Carmichaels Mighty Mikes vs Sto Rox Vikings

Mikes' aggressiveness pays off with return trip to Class A
championship game

May 24, 2004

ROBINSON TWP. - Carmichaels took the little it expected to get
Monday and made it go a long way against Sto-Rox right-hander
Adam DiMichele.

Because of that, the Mikes will have a chance to defend their
WPIAL championship.

Carmichaels used aggressive base running and - what else? -
another dominant performance by left-hander Jared Lapkowicz to
squeeze out a 4-1 victory over the Vikings in WPIAL Class A
semifinal action at the Burkett Sports and Recreation Complex.

Now standing between the Mikes and another WPIAL crown is
Neshannock, a 10-0 winner over California Monday. The game will
feature the two previous champions and should be a showcase for
star lefties Lapkowicz and the Lancers' Mark Tanner, who has been
scouted by several major league teams.

Tanner fired a five-inning one-hitter against California Monday,
while Lapkowicz allowed just three hits and one run in seven
innings of work. Lapkowicz finished with six strikeouts and
walked just one batter.

"No matter who we play, I go into every game just trying to do
the same things and pitch my best," Lapkowicz said. "And my
defense has been there for me all year."

Without the benefit of a hit, Carmichaels (15-2) staked Lapkowicz
to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Jamie Kowalczyk
legged out a ball bobbled by Sto-Rox shortstop Matt Stumpf and
was sacrificed to second by Jamie Bandish.

DiMichele then had control problems, issuing consecutive walks to
Shayne Busti, Jared Lapkowicz and Jeff Lapkowicz to force in
Kowalczyk with the Mikes' first run. With Busti on third and Andy
Mazur in the batter's box, Carmichaels called for the suicide

Busti took off for home, and by the time DiMichele threw his
pitch, was nearly three-quarters of the way there. Mazur tried to
protect Busti, attempting to bunt the 2-2 pitch, but he just
nicked the ball, which catcher Louie Parralla held onto.

Then, just before Parralla could apply the tag, Busti slid head
first into home plate to give Carmichaels a 2-0 lead.

"That's what we do," Carmichaels coach Dave Bates said.
"But all the credit goes to Shayne. He did a good job. He
realized DiMichele was in the windup and he got a good lead. He
was so quick on the steal, he was nearly at home plate before the
pitch was."

More aggressive play led to two more Mikes' runs in the top of
the seventh inning. With one out, Bandish singled to

Busti - a Penn State recruit and Carmichaels' No. 3 hitter - was
then called upon to bunt, which he did, and moved Bandish to
second with two outs. "Everybody has to be able to bunt," Bates said. "That's

Sto-Rox chose to intentionally walk Jared Lapkowicz and instead
take their chances with his twin brother Jeff. The strategy
failed when Jeff Lapkowicz smacked the first pitch off the
centerfield fence and drove in Bandish and courtesy runner Tim Voithofer.

Dave Serkoch broke up the shutout when he tagged a 1-1 offering
from Lapkowicz over the fence in left field to lead off the
bottom of the seventh inning.

DiMichele then singled before Butch Carrabbia hit into a
fielder's choice.

Jared Lapkowicz may have then come up with his biggest strikeout
of the day, when, after falling behind Parralla 3-0, he fired
three straight strikes past the No. 6 hitter.

Lapkowicz then got Eric Boylan to fly out to centerfielder Sean
McCombs to end the game. "If we can get two or three runs with Jared, we're pretty
confident," Kowalczyk said. "We know he's probably not going to allow a big inning."

DiMichelle went the distance, allowing five hits, striking out
eight and walking five.

Kowalczyk came up with a little trickery in the bottom of the
third inning. After Sto-Rox's Pat Ringel drew a two-out walk,
Ringel took off for second on a 1-0 pitch to Serkoch.

Jeff Lapkowicz's throw went over Busti's head at the second base
bag, but Kowalczyk was backing the play up and caught the ball.
Kowalczyk, however, acted as if the ball got past him and went
into centerfield. Busti then tried to "help" Ringel out by
yelling "Go!" and Ringel took several steps off the bag towards
third. When he did this, Kowalczyk ran up and tagged him for the
inning's third out. "Me and Shayne have been trying that play for years," Kowalczyk
said with a smile on his face. "That's the first time it's ever worked."

NOTES: Carmichaels won the WPIAL Class A title last year when it
defeated Bishop Canevin, 10-0, at PNC Park.


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