Carlo Graffeo and Blake LoCicero combined to throw a no-hitter and led the St. Paul’s baseball team to a 3-0 victory in a District 6-5A game on Friday evening at Mandeville’s Walter B. Sirera Field.
Graffeo labored a bit through the first two innings, throwing 48 total pitches. He struck out five batters in that stretch, but also allowed four walks. He was relieved by LoCicero with one on in the sixth. The starter allowed seven total walks, but struck out 10 Mandeville batters.
He didn’t allow a hit on 104 pitches.
“From the get-go, I felt like I wasn’t on my best stuff,” Graffeo said. “But we pride ourselves on getting things done.”
LoCicero closed strongly for St. Paul’s (9-7, 3-0), allowing only one baserunner in the final two innings.
“It definitely was not a conventional no-hitter,” St. Paul’s coach Mick Nunez said. “I’m so proud of Carlo for battling. He competed all night.
“He didn’t want to come out, but Blake did a good job of finishing it.”
The game was a pitcher’s duel, with Mandeville’s Joseph Gennaro displaying extreme efficiency early. Through three innings, the left-hander threw 20 pitches and only allowed an infield single to Bradley Yeager with two out in the second.
In the top of the fourth, however, St. Paul’s got to Gennaro. With one out, Kyle Schimpf singled to center and advanced on a wild pitch. Nick Chaisson singled and Schimpf scored on an RBI-single by Nick Marinello. Chaisson scored later in the inning when he came home on an errant pickoff attempt at third base.
The Wolves led 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth.
Pitching with a lead, Graffeo settled. He threw 12 pitches in the fourth and recorded his eighth and ninth strikeouts in the bottom of the inning.
St. Paul’s added an insurance run in the fifth when William Huertin singled and scored on an infield single by Schimpf.
Mandeville (7-11, 1-2) stranded seven runners against St. Paul’s.
“We faced two guys that can sling it,” Mandeville coach Mark Weinmunson said. “That’s two potential college arms, and we just didn’t find a way (to score.)”