A 66-pitch perfect game was tossed by St. Francis High School senior Michael Strem last Wednesday.
Strem and the top-seeded St. Francis Lancers defeated Monta Vista in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation Central Coast Section Division 1 playoffs. Strem’s perfect game in which he obviously retired all 21 batters that he faced in the seven-inning contest also included 48 strikes and eight strikeouts, so he averaged about three pitches per batter. It was also the first perfect game in the Mountain View, Calif., high school’s athletic history.
St. Francis won the game 2-0 on a sixth inning single by Michael Strem teammate Mark Cardinalli, so opposing pitcher Peter Stern also did a fine job in the playoff matchup. Stern allowed only three hits, walked three, and struck out eight in six innings. The Lancers went on to defeat Valley Christian-San Jose on Saturday by a score of 3-0 in the quarter finals, with Michael Strem notching a one-out save in relief of southpaw John Gavin. The St. Francis Lancers advance to play Palo Alto today in the CCS semi finals.
The senior’s perfect game is not necessarily what you might call a fluke. This season, Strem recorded a dominating 10-1 mark in 13 appearances with a 1.12 ERA and 71 strikeouts. The righty also has a .400 batting average with 40 hits and 17 RBI along with a .995 OPS and five stolen bases. He is reportedly heading to Boston College in the fall.
“It’s a pretty amazing, special day that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Strem said of his 66-pitch perfect game. Added Strem: “It definitely helped that the game was close because I couldn’t lose focus at all. And this being a CCS game, we knew that tomorrow wasn’t guaranteed so we had to step up as a team. The important thing was to get the win.”