If you think the no-hitters are getting out of control in Major League Baseball, you ought to check out the high school scene in northern Connecticut.
On Monday in Manchester, just outside Hartford, Frank Mozzicato of East Catholic pitched his fourth no-no in a row, striking out 19 and running his scoreless streak to 36 innings. Mozzicato is committed to UConn, but you have to wonder if he’ll ever get there — as the Journal Inquirer reported, Padres general manager A.J. Preller already has seen the lefty pitch, and surely more scouts’ eyes will be on him during the Connecticut state tournament, where undefeated East Catholic will be the top seed.
The fourth no-hitter in Mozzicato’s streak did come with a question, as South Windsor leadoff hitter Ben Balducci reached on a short-hop off the second baseman’s glove, a play that could have been ruled either a hit or an error.
But kudos to South Windsor coach Mike McDermott for answering the question, saying that while the play “could have gone either way … I have no problem with giving him a no-hitter.”
It’s a tough break for Balducci, who could’ve said forever that he got the hit that broke up Mozzicato’s no-no streak. He can still say he managed to reach base against the most untouchable pitcher in the state. Still, without an official scorer in place, a good rule of thumb generally is that when there hasn’t been a hit yet in a game, you can lean toward an error on the first questionable play.
Either way, this is the latest prime example, following Jacob deGrom absolutely blowing away Single-A hitters in a rehab assignment, that the gap between you, an ordinary person, and an elite athlete is much bigger than you realize. You could not win a point against Serena Williams. You could not beat any Division I basketball player one-on-one. And you could not get a hit against Frank Mozzicato. At this point, maybe nobody can.