Carmichaels Mighty Mikes vs Neshannock Lancers
Neshannock Pounds Carmichaels 15-0 for Class A Title
05/30/2004 - Don Rebel
The McDonalds/WPIAL Class A baseball title game was supposed to
be a tight, low scoring pitchers duel. Problem is nobody told the
Neshannock batters. The Lancers exploded for 12 runs in the
bottom of the 4th inning en route to a 15-0 whitewash of the
defending champion Carmichaels Mighty Mikes.
The win gives Neshannock a 2nd WPIAL baseball title in the last
Colby Breeson broke a scoreless tie for the Lancers with a solo
home run to left field in the bottom of the second inning.
Neshannock added to the lead with a pair of runs in the 3rd
inning when Beeson doubled to score Scott Bender. Beeson then
scored on an RBI bloop single by Ryan Jones to make it 3-0
Lancers after 3 innings.
The dike then broke for the Mikes in the bottom of the 4th
In one of the most dominant innings in WPIAL baseball
championship history, Neshannock scored 12 runs on 10 hits which
included two doubles and three triples, plus 2 Carmichaels errors
and a hit batter.
"We had a couple of left-handed freshmen pitching batting
practice all week for us" said Lancers head coach Mike Kirkwood
as the team prepared to face Mighty Mikes south paw Jared
Lapkowicz, "I think it really helped us."
The loss by Lapkowicz dropped his record in 2004 to 9-1.
"These kids love to play," said Kirkwood. "They always want to do
more to be successful."
Neshannock improves to 20-1 with the win, while Carmichaels fall
Both the Lancers and Mighty Mikes, along with Sto-Rox will
participate in the PIAA state baseball playoffs which begin on
Monday, June 7th. Neshannock will face the District 6 runner-up,
Carmichaels will play the District 10 champion, either Saegertown
or Sharpsville, while Sto-Rox will face the District 5 champion.
Carmichaels – 0-0-0-0 – 0-1-2-4
Neshannock – 0-1-2-12 – 15-15-1-5
Extra base hits:
2B – Nesh: Scott Bender (3), Colby Beeson
3B - Nesh: Donnie Kirkwood, Mike Busin, Colby Beeson
HR - Nesh: Colby Beeson
Lapkowicz - 3.2 innings; 21 BF, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Cole - 0 innings, 5 BF, 6 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 0 K
Mazur - 0 innings, 7 BF, 4 ER, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP
Tanner - 4.0 innings; 16 BF; 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 K
Aces ready for Mikes-Lancers Class A showdown
By: Rob Burchianti , Herald-Standard 05/29/2004
Carmichaels' Shayne Busti points toward left field after an
apparent home run against Sto-Rox Monday. Today the Mikes meet
top-seeded Neshannock at 4 p.m. at Falconi Field in Washington.
The WPIAL Class A baseball championship game between
second-seeded Carmichaels and top-seeded Neshannock has the
makings of a premier final with a pair of highly touted
left-handed aces in the Lancers' Mark Tanner and the Mikes' Jared
Lapkowicz the likely pitching matchup at 4 p.m. today at Falconi
Field in Washington.
Unfortunately for Neshannnock, it's the same meeting the Lancers
may have been anticipating but never got last year.
The two teams have traveled similar paths the last five baseball
seasons with 2003 a big exception.
Like this year, Carmichaels was second seeded behind Neshannock,
and was seeking a chance to get back at the Lancers for
eliminating them in the 2002 semifinals.
The Mikes entered the 2003 playoffs with a 15-1 overall record
and a 9-1 mark as the Section 1-A co-champion. They knocked off
Union, 9-6, California, 13-7, and Avonworth, 9-0, but there
waiting for them in the final instead of the Lancers was
ninth-seeded Bishop Canevin, whom the Mikes easily dispatched,
10-0 in five innings at PNC Park.
Neshannock, which had breezed to a 17-2 record during the regular
season, including a perfect 10-0 sweep in Section 5-A, followed a
first-round bye with a stunning 8-1 loss at the hands of the
Crusaders in the quarterfinals.
A year later, Carmichaels again is in the final, and this time
Neshannock held up its end of the bracket to get there as well.
Both teams are 3-0 in the postseason with one five-inning, 10-run
rule victory under their belts.
The Section 1-A champion Mikes (15-2), coached by Dave Bates,
have outscored their playoff opponents 22-3 with wins over Geibel
Catholic, 6-1, Brentwood, 12-1 in five innings, and Sto-Rox, 4-1.
The Section 5-A co-champion Lancers (18-1) have outscored their
playoff foes 21-4 with victories over Bentworth, 4-1, Avonworth,
7-3, and California, 10-0 in five innings.
Tanner, considered by many to be a legitimate major-league
prospect, was dominant in his last outing, firing a one-hitter at
the Trojans to improve to 9-0.
Lapkowicz, who twirled a two-hitter in last year's championship
win, propelled the Mikes into the final with a three-hitter
against the Vikings, upping his mark to 6-0 while lowering his
ERA to 1.20.
Neshannock has been the No. 1 seed for three years in a row, and
did come through with the crown in 2002, knocking off Carmichaels
along the way.
Both teams once again were section champions that season. The
Lancers beat Avonworth, 8-2, and Chartiers-Houston, 2-1, before
topping the Mikes in the semifinals, 9-5. Neshannock then edged
Greensburg Central Catholic in the final, 4-3. The Mikes defeated
Geibel Catholic, 10-0 in six innings, and Rochester, 2-1, before
losing to the Lancers, but came back to beat Bentworth in the
third-place game, 4-3 in 10 innings, to earn a spot along with
Neshannock in the PIAA postseason.
Neshannock and Carmichaels both went 1-1 in the state playoffs
that year. The Lancers stopped Villa Maria Academy, 9-5 in the
first round before being thumped by Meyersdale, 14-5 in the
second round. The Mikes nipped Cambridge Springs 1-0 and then
fell to Greensburg Central Catholic 13-3.
In 2001, Carmichaels went 1-1 in the WPIAL playoffs while
Neshannock was eliminated in the first round. A year before that,
neither team qualified for the postseason.
The Mikes enter today's game with an offense that features a
batting lineup made up completely of .300-plus hitters. Heading
into the Sto-Rox game, catcher Jeff Lapkowicz led the team with
an amazing .636 average. He was followed by brother Jared (.463),
Jamie Kowalczyk (.458), Donny Hewitt (.444), Jamie Bandish
(.426), Shayne Busti (.408), Andy Mazur (.396), Niko Buday (.344)
and Karl Cole (.323).
Jared Lapkowicz and Busti lead in home runs with four each,
followed by Mazur and Buday with three apiece. Mazur tops the
team in RBIs with 20, followed by Busti (19) and Jared Lapkowicz
(16). Kowalczyk leads in runs scored with 24.
If Bates needs to go to the bullpen today, the most likely
candidates are Cole, who is 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA, and Mazur, who
is 2-1 with a 2.02 ERA.
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