After cracking the Aragon varsity starting rotation as a junior in the spring, Anthony Calvo has pitched sparingly this summer for the Peninsula White Sox Palomino League team.
In just his second start for the White Sox, though, Calvo was magnificent. In fact, not only was he magnificent, he was perfect.
In a 2-0 win over Dub Dynasty of Morgan Hill, Calvo set down 21 of 21 batters to record his first ever perfect game Tuesday night at Live Oak High School.
“I didn’t really realize it until after the fifth (inning) when I came back into the dugout; I sat down and realized no runners had gotten on base,” Calvo said.
White Sox manager Lenny Souza said he didn’t realize a perfecto was in progress until the seventh inning, when Dub Dynasty had the top of its order leading off the final frame. Calvo left the cleanup hitter standing in the on-deck circle, recording a fly out to center fielder Aubrey Sine to seal the deal.
Souza said he was surprised for several reasons, one being Live Oak High School is a notoriously live yard with short fences. The other was Calvo’s lack of pitching work in recent weeks. He hasn’t pitched since serving as the White Sox’s opening-day starter, and at that worked just one inning in a staff outing.
“His fastball had a lot of life,” Souza said. “Their 3-4-5 hitters were behind on it the first time through the order. … He hadn’t thrown in two weeks, so I was surprised he was as pinpoint as he was.”
Working with fellow Aragon classmate, catcher Elliot Biagini, Calvo was unrelenting with his fastball. Normally, a coach calls the pitches for the White Sox. Due to the long road trip to Morgan Hill, however, that coach did not attend the game, leaving Biagini in the rare spot of calling the pitches himself.
“To be honest, the only thing I had good, consistent control of was my fastball,” Calvo said. “My changeup was working OK, so I just kept working with my fastball because I throw a two-seam and a four-seam, so I just worked off those.”
At Aragon, Calvo didn’t make his first varsity start until April 14 with less than a month to go in the season. He quickly made a case as Aragon’s most dominant arm, posting a 4-0 record with a 0.88 ERA through seven total appearances, earning wins in each of his four starts. He closed the year May 4 against Half Moon Bay, recording his first varsity complete game.
“He hadn’t really pitched that much before this year,” Souza said. “Then he jumped into our rotation about midway through the season and was just dealing. … I wish I would have got him into the rotation sooner.”
The White Sox faced mostly routine defensive chances Tuesday behind Calvo, who notched eight strikeouts. Souza said the most challenging play was a slow roller to shortstop Willie Reader, who charged and fired to turn in into a fairly routine-looking groundout.
“Everything else was pretty routine,” Souza said. “It was just a really clean game.”
The White Sox totaled just five hits in the game, but it was all they needed. Owen Hackel scored the game’s first run in the fifth without needing a hit; Hackel got hit by a pitch to reach, moved to second on a passed ball, then stole third and scored when the catcher bounced the throw into left field. In the sixth, Sine doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Henry Kazan.
The White Sox returned to Morgan Hill Wednesday, dropping the second game of a two-game series by a mirrored score of 2-0.