McKinley (Niles, Ohio) pitcher Marco DeFalco recently did the improbable. He was then a 1-2-3 inning away from doing the unthinkable.
On Monday, DeFalco was three outs away from becoming the third person in Ohio prep history to throw three consecutive no-hitters, according to OHSAA.org. As the Tribune Chronicle tells it, DeFalco settled for the one-hit shutout to lead his team to a 3-0 victory against West Branch (Beloit, Ohio) in a Division II district semifinal.
A hard-throwing lefthander, DeFalco struck out 12 while walking just two. It would have been his fourth no-no of the spring, until a West Branch double to lead off the seventh inning by Tyler DeShields. An ensuing double-play erased the runner, and a grounder ended the game.
“In this big of a game, I was more worried about winning this game than anything else,” DeFalco told the Tribune Chronicle. He had no-hit Southeast (Ravenna, Ohio) in the first playoff game after no-hitting Lakeview (Cortland, Ohio) the week before. “I didn’t really have that on my mind until I came in and everyone was messing with me.”
The district title wasn’t to be, however, as The school fell to Canfield Tuesday night in the district title game, 9-2. It would have been its first district crown in 55 years.
Still, we can’t forget the impressive manner in which DeFalco closed out his season. Had he been available to go Tuesday night, he probably would have.