Noviello ’22 Pitches First Perfect Game in Fairfield Baseball History

Noviello ’22 Pitches First Perfect Game in Fairfield Baseball History

Action shot of student-athlete Jake Noviello '22 preparing to pitch a baseball.

The senior right-hander retired all 21 batters he faced in a 10-0 victory over Saint Peter’s.

This past Sunday at Alumni Diamond, Jake Noviello ’22 pitched the first perfect game in Fairfield Baseball history, retiring all 21 Saint Peter’s batters that he faced in a 10-0 victory for the Stags. Noviello needed just 71 pitches to attain the historic feat, striking out four batters and working around just one three-ball count on the day.

"It's obviously a special thing, but in a way it means even more knowing what I've been through the past year," Noviello said. "At one point last summer, I didn't know if I would be able to throw a baseball again. But now, I can say I've been perfect which is pretty special. Thanks to plenty of run support and terrific fielding I can say I'm a part of Fairfield history."

After turning in an All-MAAC First Team performance in the Stags’ historic 2021 campaign, Noviello’s summer ball plans were derailed by the discovery of a blood clot in his left arm. He underwent multiple surgeries to clear the clot and had a rib removed, then spent the next several months rehabbing to get back into form.

"I'm so happy for Jake," Head Coach Bill Currier said on Sunday. "He has gone through rehab in the summer and fall and came out today and just put it all together. He had great command of his fastball and slider. He was ahead in counts all day. I'm just really happy for his outing today with everything he has been through."

In addition to the first perfect game in Fairfield history — which spans more than 70 years and 2,300 games — Noviello’s outing was just the fourth no-hitter on the books. Joe Cizynski threw the only nine-inning no-hitter in 1977, while future Major Leaguer Keefe Cato and Rich Clemens each spun a seven-inning no-no in 1978 and 1985, respectively.

Noviello’s perfect game was unique in that the right-hander was in the dugout for the close of the game as the Stags plated a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to push the score to 10-0 and invoke the MAAC’s “run rule”. The delayed reaction after Paul Catalano’s RBI double did not sour the atmosphere, however, as the Stags’ mobbed their triumphant teammate in celebration.

Fairfield Baseball is currently 24-15 overall and 12-3 in the MAAC entering their “bye week” of the league schedule. The Stags will maintain first place by at least one game coming off of the idle weekend with three-game sets against Monmouth, Quinnipiac, and Siena still to come in the stretch run of the 2022 campaign. The top six teams in the league will qualify for the MAAC Championship, slated for Memorial Day Weekend at Clover Stadium in Pomona, N.Y.

Tags:  Top Stories,  Athletics

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