Leading off today:
Imagine if Stephen King wrote the novel based on his dreams after eating a garlic and sardines pizza before bedtime. And then Quentin Tarantino adapted the screenplay and directed the movie after three days of heavy drinking.
They would have still fallen short in dreaming up the most bizarre non-no-hitter, no-hitter in the pitch-count era of New York high school baseball.
Tuxedo junior Joe Castellanos was one strike away from a no-hitter at Eldred on Monday when coach Marco Margotta came to the mound to discuss options. Castellanos had reached 95 pitches, so staying on the mound to finish off the no-hitter would have triggered an additional day of mandatory rest and cost him the opportunity to throw again on Friday.
Castellanos opted to stay in -- with the way the weather has been this spring, there was no guarantee there would be a game Friday.
The umpire had a different idea. Margotta's visit to the mound was his second of the inning, requiring the coach to replace Castellanos.
So Castellanos swapped positions with second baseman Ethan Cardona, who proceeded to surrender a hit to Jordan Reed on the next pitch.
Castellanos returned to the mound foe the next batter, rang up a strikeout and closed out a 10-0 victory. His pitching line read: 7 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 18 strikeouts ... and no no-hitter, at least not officially.
"I feel bad for him because he pitched so well," Margotta said.
The outing was the continuation of a stellar spring for Castellanos. He's struck out 65 batters and allowed just 11 hits in 27 2/3 innings, compiling a 1.63 ERA.
"I don't know what it is this year," Castellanos said. "I feel like whenever I'm pitching to someone, I don't feel nervous. I feel that everything is going to be good."
Penn Relays: St. Anthony's ran a near-historic race but had to settle for second place Friday in the boys distance medley at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
Hopewell Valley, N.J., won in 9:57.77 to break the meet record of 9:59.66, and the Friars' quartet of Mason Gatewood, Michael Barbaro-Barnett, Brendan Dearie, Matthew Payamps nearly also came in under the old mark. With Payamps anchoring in 4:08.34, St. Anthony's posted a 9:59.87.
Purcellville (Va.) Loudoun Valley, anchored by former Carthage runner Sam Affolder, was third in 10:04.49.
In the girls 3,200 relay championship, Shenendehowa took third in 9:03.62 on the strength of Hannah Reale's 2:13.57 anchor.
Softball: Brittyn LeBaron pitched a perfect game with 10 strikeouts to spark undefeated Cassadaga Valley to a 2-0 victory over Forestville. It was the team's first perfect game since 2004, when Alicia Morley hurled back-to-back perfect games.
Forestville's Brooke Ostrye pitched a two-hitter and struck out 12. After the first inning, she allowed only one walk and a fifth-inning double by LeBaron.
Seeking office: Yonkers Saunders boys basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo is stepping into a whole different sort of