Matt Sciarretta had a huge grin on his face.
Despite giving up three runs, Sciarretta pitched a no-hitter Friday as the Stamford Warriors defeated the Stamford Blue Jays 11-3 at Cubeta Stadium in the semifinals of the 25th annual Sharkey Laureno Memorial tournament.
The Warriors advanced to Monday's final in the 15-year-old division which will be an all-Stamford affair as Stamford Legion routed Harlem RBI 16-4 in the second game of Friday's semifinal doubleheader.
Usuallly, in a no-hitter there are one or two outstanding plays in the field to preserve it. That wasn't the case Friday as there were few balls hit hard off Sciarretta, who knew he was working on a gem.
"I tried not to worry about it, though," he said. "I didn't want to jinx it."
A rising junior at Stamford High School, Sciarretta struck out five and walked five. Only one of the runs he allowed was earned as the Warriors committed four errors.
Sciarretta was in control to the extent that there no balls hit to the outfield against him. There were two foulouts, seven groundball outs and seven popups or lineouts to infielders.
"My curveball was pretty good and the outside corner, they kept chasing," Sciarretta said. "I didn't really worrry about the score. I just wanted to have a good game. I knew we would get runs on the board."
The game ended in unusual fashion. Since the Warriors enjoyed a big lead, they paid no attention to Kyle Cruz, who took off for third, but Cruz was doubled off second for the final out after a popup to third.
The Blue Jays grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as D.J. Davis scored on the back end of a double steal after Sciarretta issued two walks.
"Walks kill, but it feels good to throw a no-hitter," he said. "It's the first one in my career. I never threw a no-hitter before."
The Warriors answered with a pair in the bottom of the first as Brian Powers and Randy Barahona got things got with a singles. Chris Dipietro tied with a sacrifice fly and Mike Palumba put his team ahead with a run-scoring single.
The Blue Jays tied in the top of the third, when Davis reached on an error and scored on a throwing error after stealing third.
But the Warriors regained the lead in the bottom of the inning, also scoring a run without the benefit of a hit. Powers reached on a one-out walk, stole second, advanced on a throwing error and came home on a wild pitch.
The Warriors extended their lead to 5-2 in the fourth after Palumba and Paul Battinelli started the inning with singles. Sciarretta plated Palumba with a groundout to second and Stanley Block scored Battinelli with a single to left.
The Warriors made it 6-2 in the fifth on Dipietro's RBI single before another error led to the Blue Jays' final run in the top of the sixth.
The winners broke it open with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, the big hit being Ronnie Jackson's two-run triple. They also scored in the inning on a balk and two groundouts.