While a perfect game in the majors is pretty much always newsworthy, it’s rare that a non-professional player gets much attention for it. Sometimes, though, a pitcher manages to accomplish this rare feat in a way that makes the larger sports world sit up and take notice.
That’s just what happened when Michael Strem, senior at St. Francis School in Mountain View, California, threw the first perfect game in his school’s history. Throwing a perfect game – especially the first in your team’s history – is impressive enough. What’s really remarkable is that Strem did it with a mere 66 pitches. In seven innings of baseball, Strem faced 21 batters, which means that each batter saw, on average, just slightly more than three pitches. That makes it one of the most efficient perfect games you could ever hope to see.
Even more impressive, 48 of Strem’s 66 pitches were thrown for strikes, and only 18 were balls. He also recorded 8 strikeouts.
Strem’s gem turned out to be a major boon to his team, whose offense was a little slow. The game was tied 0-0 until the 6th inning, when St. Francis scored two runs on an infield single by Mark Cardinalli.
Thanks to Strem’s amazing pitching (and Cardinalli’s two-run single) St. Francis improved their record to 26-4 and advanced to the semifinal round of the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.