Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lapkowicz out

Here's a story from Wednesday's O-R:

It's easy to say the ace of Carmichaels High School's pitching staff is Joby Lapkowicz.

The junior lefthander is 9-0 and struck out 100 batters in just 56 innings, with a 0.75 ERA, proving he's deserving of the praise he's received in the last three years.

Right behind him is another pitcher who doesn't get talked about as much but might be just as good.

Chuck Gasti, a junior righthander, upped his record to 9-0 to match Lapkowicz's after pitching five innings of relief in the PIAA semifinals Monday. Gasti has 75 strikeouts in 52 innings with an ERA of 0.96.

It's more of a 1A, 1B situation to the pitching rotation. Except now the "A" is out of the equation.

Lapkowicz hurt his ankle in a collision at home plate after trying to score on a passed ball. He was taken to the hospital, where doctors inserted six screws and a plate in his leg Tuesday morning.

The length of his recovery time is unknown, but he almost certainly will not play in the PIAA championship game against Camp Hill Friday.

That means Gasti is likely the starter, which would suit the Mikes just fine. Gasti threw a shutout in the PIAA first round and was stellar Monday in the semifinals.

Offensively is where Carmichaels is likely to miss Lapkowicz the most. The junior is the No. 3 hitter in the lineup with a .484 average, 10 extra base hits - including two home runs - and 23 RBI.

Phil Zack was inserted into the lineup Monday after Lapkowicz left the game.

If Gasti pitches the Mikes to a state title, he'd join some elite company. His older sister Nikki pitched Carmichaels to the 1998 PIAA Class AA softball title. That team remains the only one from the Washington-Greene region to win a softball championship.

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