Carmichaels Mighty Mikes 2005 Regular Season
2005 Carmichaels Baseball Regular Season Games Here
2005 WPIAL CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
Carmichaels Mighty Mikes 2 - Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers 0
Union Scotties 7 - California Trojans 6
Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers 5 - California Trojans 1
Carmichaels Mighty Mikes 2 - Union Scotties 0
Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers 7 - Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
California Trojans 4 - Rochester Rams 0
Union Scotties 13 - Vincentian Academy Royals 3
Carmichaels Mighty Mikes 7 - Bishop Canevin Crusaders 1
Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers (17-0) - BYE
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers 9 - Springdale Dynamos 8
Rochester Rams 5 - Mapletown Maples 0
California Trojans 8 - Fort Cherry Rangers 0
Union Scotties (17-1) - BYE
Vincentian Academy Royals 5 - Geibel Gators 4
Bishop Canevin Crusaders 4 - Serra Catholic Eagles 2 in 9 innings
Carmichaels Mighty Mikes (18-1) - BYE
Carmichaels rolls into WPIAL semifinals for fourth straight year
CALIFORNIA - Bishop Canevin's Matt Schwartzman started to run out
of gas early in the fifth inning Thursday.
In stark contrast, Carmichaels was just beginning to warm up.
The Mikes used a seven-run fifth inning, and another dominant
performance from left-hander Jared Lapkowicz, to cruise past
Canevin, 7-1, in Class A quarterfinal-round WPIAL playoff action
at California University of Pa.'s Roadman Park.
Two years ago, the Mikes defeated Canevin, 10-0, in the WPIAL
Class A title game at PNC Park.
"People remember that and that's the most dangerous thing (about
facing a team like this again)," said Carmichaels coach Dave
Bates. "But not too long ago, we were getting spanked 15-0 by a
very good Neshannock team. Any team can do it on any given day."
The win advances Carmichaels (19-1) to the semifinals for the
fourth straight year, where it will face Union, a 13-3 winner
over Vincentian Academy, Tuesday at Burkett Field in Robinson
Township at 4:30 p.m.
Against Canevin, Lapkowicz allowed four hits, three coming in the
seventh inning when the Crusaders scored their lone run. He
struck out 10 and walked four. Lapkowicz and Schwartzman breezed
through the first four innings, with the Mikes' Marcus Robinson
collecting the game's lone hit, a second-inning two-out single.
Schwartzman ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth inning,
however, when Cody Andrews led off with a single off the glove of
second baseman Mark Deluzio.
Bobby Virgili, the No. 9 hitter, then bunted through
Schwartzman's first pitch and Canevin catcher Steve Raffa tried
to pick off Andrews at first but threw the ball away, allowing
Andrews to move up a base.
Virgili then reached first base and moved Andrews ahead with a
perfect bunt down the third-base line. With Niko Buday hitting,
Virgili stole second before Andrews scored when Schwartzman fired
a wild pitch with the count 0-2 on Buday.
Down to one strike, Buday still followed with a successful
suicide-squeeze to score Virgili, and made it all the way to
second when Schwartzman threw the ball away at first base. Buday
moved up on a wild pitch before Karl Cole's triple to
left-centerfield gave Carmichaels a 3-0 lead.
"We don't like to be flying around and play crazy aggressive,"
Bates said. "But we do take calculated risks. I knew it was
getting to the point where we had to make something happen. Small
ball sometimes makes the game open up."
Which it indeed did. Following Cole's triple, Schwartzman walked
Jeff Lapkowicz before Jared Lapkowicz singled down the third-base
line to score Cole, and after a pitching change and two outs,
Robinson walked to load the bases.
Jeff Lapkowicz scored the Mikes' fifth run on a wild pitch,
before Andrews capped the inning with a two-run double to
"It comes down to fundamentals," said Canevin coach Red Locke.
"And we all know that you have to get the No. 8 and 9 batters
out. But these kind of things happen when the kids are under
"We threw our sophomore left-hander (Schwartzman) on purpose. We
tried to neutralize them. I just thought he ran out of gas in the
Mikes blank Union, 2-0, to reach WPIAL final for 3rd straight year
ROBINSON TWP. - Expected or not, Carmichaels is playing for
another WPIAL championship.
What else is new?
The Mikes got yet another dominant pitching performance from
left-hander Jared Lapkowicz, and made the most of their five hits
off Scotties' right-hander John Warren for a 2-0 victory in the
WPIAL Class A semifinals Tuesday at Burkett Sports Complex.
Carmichaels (20-1) will face unbeaten Chartiers-Houston Tuesday
or Wednesday in the title game at Falconi Field in Washington. It
will mark the third straight championship-game appearance for the
Mikes, who won the title in 2003 at PNC Park.
"When you expect to be here, you're out of your mind," said
Carmichaels coach Dave Bates. "Doing the things you're supposed
to do, getting deep into the playoffs and winning games like this
is fun, and that's what it's all about."
The Mikes have advanced to the WPIAL semifinals four straight
years, and with Tuesday's win, secured a berth in the PIAA
playoffs for the fourth consecutive season as well.
Led by Lapkowicz, the WPIAL's all-time leader in victories,
Carmichaels has posted a 73-11 mark over the past four seasons.
Against Union, Lapkowicz (8-1) gave up just three hits, struck
out seven and didn't walk a batter. After allowing Bob Burkes'
two-out single in the top of the third inning, he retired 11
straight hitters and 12 of the final 13 he faced.
"They were moving up in the batter's box and trying to get on my
curve ball early," Lapkowicz said. "I made an adjustment and
started to throw more fastballs, which is why there were so many
Along with his seven strikeouts, Lapkowicz induced four pop ups,
and four fly-ball outs, including a nice running catch by
centerfielder Niko Buday for the second out of the fifth inning.
Carmichaels scored the only run it need when it put together two
hits and took advantage of a Warren throwing error in the bottom
of the fourth inning.
Jeff Lapkowicz led off the inning with a single to
left-centerfield. Jared Lapkowicz then smacked a shot to the
right of Union shortstop A.J. Bryant, which Bryant back-handed
and threw to second for the force out.
After Jamie Bandish hit into a fielder's choice and Jared
Lapkowicz was forced out at second, Bandish moved to second when
Warren threw the ball away attempting a pick off at first base.
Designated hitter Phil Judy then dropped a 3-1 pitch into
centerfield that bounced in front of Burkes and skipped by him,
allowing Bandish to score easily.
"We knew they were aggressive base runners, and we had a pickoff
play on," said Union coach Gene DiGennaro. "We've been strong all
year with that play. It just happened to get away from us today."
The Mikes made it 2-0 when Karl Cole walked, moved to second on
Jeff Lapkowicz's second hit of the game and scored on Jared
Lapkowicz's single to left field.
Warren allowed five hits, struck out six and walked three.
Union (16-2) had one last chance in the top of the seventh
inning, when Warren singled to left field on a full-count pitch
with one out. But Jared Lapkowicz closed out the game when he
struck out Mike Williams and John Hedland on six pitches.
In a postseason full of upsets, surprises and stunning stories, a
sense of normalcy remains in Class A baseball.
Bad pitching, porous defense and batting slumps are foreign to
Chartiers-Houston and Carmichaels, the top two seeds and
preseason favorites to win the WPIAL title.
And while those afflictions affected other top teams in the
baseball and softball playoffs, the Bucs and Mikes find
themselves where most had them pegged – in today's WPIAL Class A
championships game at Falconi Field.
"Considering what's happened, I'd say it's extremely difficult
that both of us got here," Bucs coach Dan Alderson said. "But now
is not the time to reflect or pat ourselves on the back. There's
a lot of season left, and that's the same for Carmichaels."
Chartiers-Houston (19-0) and Carmichaels (20-1) already qualified
for the PIAA tournament but the primary focus now is on the WPIAL
The Mikes are making their third straight championship game
appearance. Two years ago, Carmichaels defeated Bishop Canevin
for the title. Last year, the Mikes lost to Neshannock before
reaching the state semifinals.
"I think if you get to the point when you expect to play in these
games, you're out of your mind," Carmichaels coach Dave Bates
said following the Mikes' 2-0 semifinal win over Union. "Doing
the things you're supposed to do, getting deep into the playoffs
and winning games like this is fun, and that's what it's all
Carmichaels has been all about playoff success and the Mikes
boast several standouts – Jared Lapkowicz, Jeff Lapkowicz, Niko
Buday, Karl Cole and Jamie Bandish – with an extra season's worth
of postseason starts, but they also feature sophomores and
freshmen in prominent roles.
At Chartiers-Houston, that's not the case. Last year, the
promising Bucs were ousted in the opening round of the district
playoffs. With 12 seniors, they believe anything less than
playing for a WPIAL title this year would be unacceptable.
"We had more of a relieved feeling than a good feeling after the
win in the semifinals," said Alderson, recently named the WPIAL
Baseball Coaches Association Class A Coach of the Year. "People
predicted so many things for us and for Carmichaels. Fourteen
games in, people really started talking about us going
undefeated. There's a lot of great teams in Class A."
The Bucs last played for a WPIAL championship in 1979, when they
lost to Freeport 5-3 in the Class AA title game. The Yellow
Jackets became one of two WPIAL teams (Bishop Canevin, 1993) to
win titles with undefeated records.
Chartiers-Houston, with its .410 team batting average,
desperately wants to become the third team.
"This is a game where the two teams come in with one loss but I
told the kids they need to look at this as a seven-inning
baseball game like the ones they've played since they were
seven," Alderson said. "We've approached each game as the biggest
on the schedule."
A game against former section rival Carmichaels for the WPIAL
championship doesn't get much bigger.
The Bucs will start Andy McIlvaine (9-0) on the mound and given
the Mikes' propensity for bunting, Dan Novak will likely play
third base. Meanwhile, Carmichaels will start proven playoff
workhorse Jared Lapkowicz (8-1), whose 36 career victories are a
"Every team that makes the playoffs is a good team," said
Lapkowicz, who has struck out 82 and allowed four earned runs.
"We're looking forward to playing Chartiers-Houston. We know
they're a good team."
And the Bucs know the same of the Mikes.
During the last four years, Carmichaels owns a 73-11 record and
will make its fourth-straight PIAA appearance next Monday. The
pitching of Lapkowicz is a big reason for the success, but the
Mikes win as much with crafty play and a fundamental approach.
"Any time you play Carmichaels, you have to play fundamentally
sound and do things right," said Alderson. "The focus is playing
good, solid fundamental baseball. They've done it throughout the
year. We're not trying to change anything."
Tuesday May 31 2005
WASHINGTON - Freshmen don't often steal headlines from seniors.
Jared Lapkowicz and Phil Judy will tell you they're happy just to
share them.Lapkowicz, a senior left-hander who has rewrote the WPIAL record
books, and Judy, a freshman designated hitter, each came up with
huge performances Tuesday night as Carmichaels won its second
WPIAL Class A title in three years, defeating Chartiers-Houston,
2-0, at Falconi Field.
With a performance definitely worthy of a gold medal, Lapkowicz
won the 37th game of his storied high school career in grand
fashion, shutting out one of Class A's best-hitting teams on just
one hit. He struck out seven and walked three, and at one point,
retired 12 in a row.
Judy came up with the biggest hit of his young career, which has
spanned just 22 games. With one out in the fourth inning and down
two strikes, Judy fought off a curve ball from Buccaneers' lefty
Andy McIlvaine and slapped an opposite-field single to right
field to bring home Lapkowicz with what turned out to be the
"I just wanted a base hit," Judy said. "I was thinking, 'I can't
leave them (runners) stranded."
Carmichaels (21-1) ran its winning streak to 15 games, with its
only loss this season coming early in Section 1-A play at California.
Shrugging off the loss and easily winning the Section 1-A title,
the Mikes were seeded second in Class A behind Chartiers-Houston,
which suffered its first setback Tuesday night. After receiving a
first-round bye, Carmichaels defeated Bishop Canevin, 7-1, to
advance to the semifinals for the fourth straight season, then
blanked Union, 2-0, to reach the title game.
"Our loss against California made us better in the long run, and
pulled us together as a team," said Mikes centerfielder and
lead-off hitter Niko Buday.
A four-year starter, Buday spent his first three seasons as a
designated hitter before taking over centerfield at the start of
his senior year. Buday made a nice catch to retire the
Buccaneers' Dan Novak for a long third out in the bottom of the
first inning, and made a fine running catch against Union to
stifle a rally a game earlier.
But perhaps the biggest defensive play of Carmichaels' season
came in the bottom of the second inning with Chartiers-Houston
(19-1) threatening to break a scoreless tie.
Again, it was a freshman that came up huge.
With one out, Brady Yevins doubled to right field for the Bucs'
lone hit. After Zach Burt walked, Jake France lined an 0-1 pitch
into right field, but freshman Cody Andrews got a great jump and
grabbed the ball while moving toward the right-field line as he
slid to his knees.
"I just watched it off the bat and got a good break on it,"
"Andrews said. "It got me pumped up and it made the hairs on my
neck stand up."
Carmichaels added a second run in the top of the sixth inning
when Jeff Lapkowicz reached second base on an error and
eventually scored on Jamie Bandish's single to left-centerfield,
his second hit of the game.
Jared Lapkowicz (9-1) then ran into trouble when he issued
back-to-back one-out walks in the bottom half of the inning, and
had to face Novak, one of the Bucs' and the WPIAL's best hitters.
Novak chased Lapkowicz's first pitch, which was high and out of
the strike zone, and fouled it off. He then weakly fouled off a
curve ball, before swinging and missing at a pitch low and in the
dirt for the inning's second out.
Lapkowicz then got Bob Mary to fly out to Buday to end the
inning. "I was just trying not to make a mistake," Lapkowicz said. "I
wanted to throw something out of the strike zone and make him
WASHINGTON - When Carmichaels won its first WPIAL baseball title
two years ago, it put on an all-around display of pitching,
hitting and defense that overwhelmed Bishop Canevin, 10-0, at PNC
The Mikes' second Class A championship in three years was a lot
closer, but similar in a lot of ways just the same.
Carmichaels was clearly the better team against the Crusaders in
2003, and even though its victory on Tuesday night at Falconi
Field was only 2-0 over previously unbeaten and top-seeded
Chartiers-Houston, the Mikes were clearly the superior team
again, in all phases.
Buccaneers coach Dan Alderson tipped his hat to Carmichaels, but
he was as convinced a couple plays couldn't have turned the tide
in his team's favor.
Here is the evidence to ponder, however.
Carmichaels ace Jared Lapkowicz clearly out-pitched Buccaneers'
ace Andy McIlvaine. Lapkowicz allowed just one hit and retired 12
in a row at one point in blanking a team that had scored in
double digits 11 times during the regular season and whose lowest
output of the year before Tuesday was five runs in its semifinal
win over California.
The Mikes' offense cranked out eight hits and produced a slew of
scoring opportunities, a couple of which were short-circuited by
base-running blunders. Ironically, a couple base-running miscues
were the only flaws in Carmichaels' win two years ago as well.
The Bucs went down in order in five of their seven at bats and
never got a runner to third.
Defensively, the Mikes were flawless and made several outstanding
"Jared knows he's got the best defense in the league in back of
him," second baseman Jamie Bandish said. "That gives him a lot of
confidence on the mound."
"I thought our outfield defense was tremendous," Mikes coach Dave
Bates said, noting a couple nice running catches by center
fielder Niko Buday, among others. "I was very pleased with the
way we played defense as a group."
The Bucs committed a pair of errors, one of which led to
Carmichaels' second run.
Still, as Alderson pointed out, there were a few momentum-turning
moments in the game, and both went in favor of the Mikes.
In the second inning, Brady Yevins doubled with one out for what
would be Chartiers-Houston's only hit of the game. After a walk,
Jake France poked a fly ball into right field. Mikes freshman
right fielder Cody Andrews sprinted near the foul line and made
the catch while sliding on his knees for the second out of the
inning as Yevins was forced to scramble back to second.
While the ball looked like it might be a hit at first, Andrews
"As soon as he hit it, I said, 'It's mine,'" Andrew said.
In fact, Andrews was so sure he was going to make the catch, he
was already thinking ahead.
"I was aware of the guy on second and was thinking where to throw
the ball after I catch it, and even what to do if I don't catch
it," Andrew said. "That was all going through, my head, but I was
sure I was going to get to it."
Lapkowicz then retired Kevin Stevens on a grounder to first
baseman Karl Cole to end the threat.
In the fourth inning another hit into right field proved to be a
key moment in the game.
After singles by Jared Lapkowicz and Jamie Bandish, Phil Judy
sliced a single in front of Bucs right fielder Zach Burt that
landed near the foul line, bringing in Lapkowicz with the only
run he would need.
The two plays were two hard pills for Alderson to swallow.
"That ball they hit down the line I didn't think was as hard as
the one we hit a few innings earlier," Alderson said. "If the
ball we hit gets down, we're on the board, and if there's stays
up, they don't score there.
"As they say, it's a game of inches."
However it came about, the Mikes' resume now reads like this:
three straight appearances in the WPIAL title game and two
Those are facts you can't dispute.
From a group as talented as the seniors on the Carmichaels High
School baseball team, certain things are just expected.
There's the steady pitching from Jared Lapkowicz, the defense and
clutch hits from Jeff Lapkowicz, the spark provided by Jamie
Bandish and the error-free play of Niko Buday and Karl Cole.
They've proved, game after game, that the Mikes get it done.
But, man, these freshmen can play, too.
Freshmen Phil Judy and Cody Andrews made decisive
championship-shaping plays, while left-hander Jared Lapkowicz
turned in a masterful one-hit performance as Carmichaels won its
second WPIAL Class A championship in three years with a 2-0
victory over Chartiers-Houston in front of 2,000 Tuesday night at
"Phil Judy has hit for us all year. Marcus Robinson at third base
has made play after play and Cody Andrews in the outfield is
extremely fast," Carmichaels coach Dave Bates said. "I don't have
children, but I know how proud a father must feel."
Carmichaels (21-1) managed two harmless singles off Bucs ace Andy
McIlvaine through three innings but got to him in the fourth.
Jared Lapkowicz delivered a one-out single to right field, which
was followed by a Bandish single. With Lapkowicz on second, Judy
lined an 0-2 pitch from McIlvaine to right field for what proved
to be the game-winning hit. After the game, and subsequent WPIAL
championship trophy presentation, it didn't even matter that Judy
was picked off at first base.
"I wouldn't have imagined hitting the game-winning single in this
game," Judy said. "I just wanted a base hit with runners in
The reason Judy's hit put the Mikes ahead had a lot to do with
Lapkowicz, who struck out seven and walked three, and
In the second, Chartiers-Houston (19-1) catcher Brady Yevins
doubled with one out. Zach Burt followed with a walk. Jake France
then drilled a one-strike pitch from Lapkowicz to right field,
where Andrews made a spectacular diving catch.
Not bad for a player who didn't start a game until the WPIAL
"I just watched it come right off the bat," Andrews said. "It
feels good to be able to help the team. It's a huge honor."
Lapkowicz knew the significance of Andrews' catch.
"That was one of the best catches of the year," he said. "That
saved at least one run."
Small schools are big winners
In terms of enrollment, they are the little guys of the WPIAL,
but the Carmichaels and Chartiers-Houston baseball teams put on a
big show at Falconi Field Tuesday night. This is what high school
sports is supposed to be.
It was a case of two teams with a great deal of respect for each
other playing excellent baseball, two communities with a great
deal of pride showing up in full voice to support their schools,
and two classy head coaches you would trust coaching your son.
"It was a great night for baseball in our area," C-H coach Dan
Alderson said. "When we got on the field I told the kids to look
up and remember this, because the support from the community was
"I looked up in the crowd and I thought how incredible this was
to see so many people from Carmichaels here to support us," said
Carmichaels senior pitcher Jared Lapkowicz.
After he looked in the crowd, Jared Lapkowicz looked to his twin
brother – and catcher – Jeff, and delivered a strike to C-H
leadoff batter Scott Moskal. Jared Lapkowicz would go on to win
the 37th game of his high school career, more than any other
pitcher in WPIAL history, and it might have been his most
impressive of them all.
Jared Lapkowicz allowed just one hit, a second-inning double to
the Bucs' Brady Yevins, and gave up three walks as Carmichaels
won its second WPIAL championship in three years with a 2-0
victory over Chartiers-Houston.
If you want to call it a dynasty, go ahead. But not quite yet,
because the Mikes feel they have plenty left to play for.
"You can call it what you want. A lot of people like to put
labels on things teams do," Carmichaels head coach Dave Bates
said. "I'm just very proud of what this team has accomplished.
Talk with me in 10 years and I'll have a better indication of
what this group has done."
This group of Mikes showed, once again, they can play solid
defense. They played before the huge and loud crowd without
committing an error. They showed they can deliver in the clutch,
and the heroes came in all age groups, from the seniors Jared and
Jeff Lapkowicz and Jamie Bandish to freshmen Phil Judy and Cody
Lapkowicz also showed he is more than just a winner. He is a
"The crowd, the pressure, nothing changes the way Jared
performs," Bates said. "If I were starting a company, he would be
the guy I would go out and get. Then I would find his brother
Jeff and get him next, and the rest of the seniors. Those guys go
out and get it done."
Jared Lapkowicz held the talented Bucs' hitters at bay but his
adrenaline caused some tense moments in the Carmichaels dugout in
the bottom of the sixth. Jared Lapkowicz had been thrown out at
home to end the sixth on a bizarre set of circumstances, then he
ran out on the field to pitch.
"I wasn't tired, I was too pumped up after I tried running home,"
Jared Lapkowicz said. "I ran right out on the field to pitch and
I was just too excited."
Lapkowicz walked two batters and was facing C-H's top hitter, Dan
Novak. He knew it was time to take a deep breath.
"I didn't want to make a mistake because (Novak) is a great
hitter," Jared Lapkowicz said. "I wanted to make him chase my
pitch, and fortunately I got him on a pitch that was down and
Jared Lapkowicz ended the C-H threat and finished the game with a
perfect seventh inning. It was a perfect ending for the Mikes,
and a disappointing one for the Bucs, who lost for the first time
Both teams have baseball life ahead, as the PIAA playoffs begin
Monday. But both communities, and teams, should take pride in the
show they put on, as it was certainly worthy of a championship
This was a night the little guys were very big.
Lapkowicz Mighty in Carmichaels Championship Win
Carmichaels senior left-handed pitcher Jared Lapkowicz became the
king of all WPIAL pitchers this season, registering a career
district record 36 victories. Tuesday in the WPIAL Class A
championship game, Lapkowicz and his teammates won the golden
Lapkowicz pitched a complete game one-hitter in leading the
Mighty Mikes to a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten
The WPIAL title is the second in three years for Dave Bates'
"I feel like a father to these kids" said Carmichaels coach Dave
Bates. "In 2003, we were riding high emotionally, then last year,
we were not prepared at all. This season, we came prepared. There
was no rah-rah stuff."
The top two seeds in Class A with a combined 39-1 record did not
disappoint the large crowd at Falconi Field in Washington.
Chartiers-Houston missed on a chance to break a scoreless tie in
the 2nd inning when Brady Yevins doubled and Zach Burt walked
with one out. However Jake France was robbed of a hit on a diving
catch in right field by Cody Andrews. Kevin Stevens then grounded
out to first base to end the threat.
Carmichaels grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning on three
consecutive singles by Jared Lapkowicz, Jamie Bandish and Phil
Judy off of Bucs starter Andy McIlvaine.
The Mighty Mikes added a run in the 6th inning when Jeff
Lapkowicz reached on a two-base throwing error by Evan Chappel.
Lapkowicz then scored an unearned run on an RBI single by
The last chance for the Buccaneers came in the bottom of the 6th
inning after back-to-back walks with one out to Scott Moskal and
McIlvaine, but Lapkowicz got out of trouble by striking out Dan
Novak and retiring Bob Mary on a fly out to center field.
"Jared never lets down," Bates said. "He can give up a single or
a walk, and all he does is bear down."
Lapkowicz allowed only one hit, walked three and struck out seven
to improve to 37-4 in his career. The fewest runs scored by
Chartiers-Houston this season was five in the Semifinals win over
The Mighty Mikes will now play the third place team out of
District 9 while the Bucs will play the District 10 champion in
the first round of the PIAA state playoffs.
CARMICHAELS: 0 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 2
CHARTIERS-HOUSTON: 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0
2005 PIAA Playoff Games
ROBINSON TWP. - One of baseball's hottest teams was prone for a
But the Lapkowiczes - Jared and Jeff - would have none of it.
Jared Lapkowicz scattered five hits and struck out a season-high
13 batters, and brother Jeff had two hits, including a home run,
as Carmichaels blanked Clarion, 4-0, in first-round PIAA Class A
action at Burkett Sports Complex.
Phil Judy also reached base twice and scored a run, as the Mikes
won their 16th straight game in improving to 22-1.
Last week, Carmichaels won its second WPIAL title in three
seasons with a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten
Chartiers-Houston. A possible emotional letdown sometimes follows
championship games, as it did two years ago when the Mikes lost
their PIAA opener after defeating Bishop Canevin, 10-0, in the
District 7 title game at PNC Park.
But even with temperatures close to 95 degrees Tuesday and a
less-than-full emotional tank, Carmichaels was too much for the
"That's one more monkey off our backs," said Mikes coach Dave
Bates, referring to Carmichaels getting by its first state
playoff game. "We had it happen to us after we won a WPIAL title
two years ago when we ran into a buzz saw in Bishop McCort.
"And the biggest adversity of the day definitely came from the
As hot as it was, Jared Lapkowicz was even hotter. He struck out
two batters in every inning but one, and at one point, retired 13
of 14 hitters.
Jared Lapkowicz fell behind just five of 27 batters, and ran into
trouble just once, when Clarion (15-4) parlayed two hits and a
double-steal into runners at second and third base with two outs
in the top of the sixth inning. But Jared Lapkowicz struck out
designated hitter Adam Dolby for the third time to end the
"I was just trying to throw as many strikes as I could, so I
didn't have to throw a lot of pitches," Jared Lapkowicz said.
Carmichaels will play District 6 champion Homer Center at 3 p.m.
Thursday at Mount Pleasant High School.
The Mikes took a 1-0 against Clarion when Jamie Bandish drew a
one-out walk off losing pitcher Paul McGinley in the bottom of
the second inning. Judy followed with a single to left field, and
with Marcus Robinson hitting, both runners advanced on a passed
Robinson's squibber to second base then brought in Bandish with
the only run Jared Lapkowicz would need.
Carmichaels scored three insurance runs in the bottom of the
sixth inning, with the big blow being Jeff Lapkowicz's solo home
run to start the frame.
With two outs, McGinley walked Judy, Robinson and Cody Andrews to
load the bases, then back-to-back errors by Bobcat third baseman
Zane Mechling allowed two more runs to score.
"He's only a sophomore (McGinley) and he has had control problems
in the past, but not of late," said Clarion coach Lee Weber.
"Once he's on, he's really tough to hit. He keeps batters off
balance well with different release points. He had a couple walks
today, but he fought back and got some ground balls that we
McKEES ROCKS – Playoff veterans know the temptation, but they
fight it. For first-timers, the urge is hard to ignore.
Looking past the first round of the PIAA baseball playoffs is a
natural instinct, and thinking a first-round win is secure, the
thought of not starting a No. 1 pitcher creeps into the mind.
Carmichaels, playing in its fourth straight Class A tournament,
knows by now winning a state championship is impossible without a
first-round victory. That's why Dave Bates didn't bypass Jared
Lapkowicz for Tuesday's contest against Clarion at Burkett Sports
Clarion, the third-place team from District 9, started its
baseball program 10 years ago and made its first appearance in
the PIAA playoffs against the Mikes. Giving in to temptation,
Clarion coach Lee Weber went with Paul McGinley instead of Erik
McGinley made things difficult, but Carmichaels came away 4-0
"(McGinley) has had some control problems in the past. That's the
main reason why he's our No. 2," Weber said. "He's tough to hit
when he's on. I wasn't at all worried to start our No. 2 guy. It
was a combination of hoping he was on and it makes our defense
"And, as a coach, you've got to think ahead."
Carmichaels, winners of the WPIAL Class A championship last
Tuesday, forged into the state quarterfinals for the second
straight year. The Mikes play Homer Center (16-5), 3 p.m.,
Thursday at Mt. Pleasant High School.
Bates scouted Homer Center Monday at White Township Park near
"He said nothing about it to us," Mikes pitcher Jared Lapkowicz
said. "We just got our stuff about (Clarion). That's all he told
Weber warned the Bobcats (15-0) about Lapkowicz, and they still
couldn't hit him.
Despite the intense heat, Lapkowicz looked comfortable
throughout. Always a quick worker, Lapkowicz went about business
at a breakneck pace.
"I'm more comfortable when I'm working quickly," Lapkowicz said.
Lapkowicz scattered five hits and struck out 13, which got him
out of trouble in the first and sixth innings.
McGinley, meanwhile, looked like a playoff veteran. His quirky
delivery, which ranged from a normal release to sidearm, kept the
Carmichaels batters guessing.
"The ball was just dead off their bats," Bates said. "I've never
seen anything like it before."
McGinley limited the Mikes to five hits, but they manufactured a
run in the second and scored three times in the sixth.
In the first, Jamie Bandish drew one of five walks issued by
McGinley and eventually scored in a sacrifice bunt by Marcus
Robinson. Jeff Lapkowicz allowed the Mikes a bit more comfort
when he led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run.
"(McGinley) hit his locations and his delivery was weird," Jeff
Lapkowicz said. "It usually takes us a couple times through to
get going anyway, especially after our big win (last) Tuesday."
Carmichaels added two more runs in the sixth off two straight
error by Bobcats third baseman Zane Mechling and three straight
walks by a tired McGinley.
"The biggest adversity came from the heat," Bates said. "It
changes the way you do things. Once you get a couple games in
this, it becomes old hat."
Mikes hope Cole is King against Homer Center
Rain forced Carmichaels' first-round PIAA Class A playoff game
against Clarion from Monday to Tuesday. The play of the Bobcats
forced Mikes ace Jared Lapkowicz to pitch a complete game.
Both conditions mean Carmichaels can't start Lapkowicz when it
plays Homer Center Thursday, 3 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant High School.
For the Mikes, that's not a big deal. They don't mind the quick
turnaround, and they didn't compile a 22-1 record based solely on
the pitching of Lapkowicz.
"I'd rather play. I'd rather not sit for a week like that,"
Carmichaels coach Dave Bates said.
Bates said following Carmichaels' 4-0 win over Clarion that
senior Karl Cole will draw the pitching assignment for the Homer
Center game. Cole has not lost a game this year.
Homer Center, the District 6 champions, will offer a strong
challenge. Bates spent Monday scouting its 4-1 victory over
"They are an excellent baseball team," Bates said. "They have
solid fundamentals and play great defense. I saw five or six guys
that can hit. Of course at this point, there are no bad teams."
Peters Township, 5-2 winners over Grove City in the opening round
of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs Monday, finds itself in a similar
position to Carmichaels.
Indians ace Jason Conley pitched a complete game, meaning he
can't take the mound when Peters Township plays Moon Thursday, 3
p.m. at the Burkett Sports Complex. The Tigers defeated the
Indians in the WPIAL semifinals earlier this postseason.
"Before each game we give them some incentive," Peters Township
coach Joe Maize said. "After the loss to Moon, we told them if
they do what they have to do, we'll be there again with an
opportunity to get back at them."
Peters Township (19-5) also has an opportunity to become the
first 20-win team in school history with a win. Either Kevin
McGuire or Ben Cain will be the starting pitcher.
"Both will probably throw," Maize said. "Right now, we're leaning
toward (Cain) and hope he can get us four or five good innings
and finish with (McGuire). But Ben has come in and closed for us
four or five times. He's been in some pressure situation with
baseball and soccer."
Chartiers-Houston head coach Dan Alderson has the luxury of
turning back to senior Andy McIlvaine for today's (3 p.m.)
quarterfinal game against Union at Shaler. McIlvaine started and
pitched four innings in Monday's 18-8 victory over Villa Maria
Academy. The Bucs could also turn to Dan Novak, who pitched two
innings against Villa Maria and also has considerable experience
and success this season.
"Technically, Andy can come right back and pitch by the rule, but
we're going to see how his arm is feeling," Alderson said.
"Knowing Andy and the competitor he is, he is going to want the
ball. We just want to make sure his arm is fine."
Mikes' defense falters in loss
By Dave Stofcheck, Herald-Standard
MOUNT PLEASANT - Make no mistake, Homer Center knocked the cover
off the ball in the bottom of the 10th inning, sending eight
hitters to the plate and scoring four runs.
But had Carmichaels not fallen apart defensively two hours
earlier, the game would have been long over.
The Mikes saw their season end Thursday after losing 8-4 to the
Wildcats in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals at Mount Pleasant High
Carmichaels (22-2) committed eight errors, seven of which came in
the first three innings to allow Homer Center to jump out to a
After scoring single runs in the bottom of the fourth and sixth
innings, the Mikes rallied to tie the game with two runs in the
Homer Center (17-5) then shelled losing pitcher Logan Phillips
for five hits and four runs in the top of the 10th inning,
spoiling a superb effort by Mikes' starter Karl Cole and stopping
the WPIAL champions two games short of playing for a state title.
"We didn't deserve to win this ball game," said Carmichaels coach
Dave Bates. "We fielded horribly today, and we had base-running
errors as well. We didn't make the plays we usually make. And you
just can't blame it on one player.
"We collectively played horribly today."
Cole got the starting nod after No. 1 pitcher Jared Lapkowicz
worked seven innings Tuesday in a 4-0 first-round win over
Through nine innings of work, Cole scattered eight hits and
didn't allow an earned run. He struck out nine and walked three.
Cole retired nine of the last 12 batters he faced, including the
final four on strikeouts.
"He (Cole) gave us what we needed to win," said Carmichaels
centerfielder Niko Buday. "It's really disappointing to see us
break down as a team. We beat ourselves. I don't want to sound
cocky, but it was just one of those days.
"Any team at this level can show up and win at any time."
Homer Center's Tyler Clifford, the Wildcats' No. 2 pitcher,
started and worked six-plus innings. Leading 4-2, Clifford was
pulled after allowing Carmichaels' first two hitters to reach
base to start the bottom of the seventh inning.
Buday greeted Homer Center reliever Jason Yarkowski with an
infield single to load the bases, and then Cole dropped in a
bloop single to score Marcus Robinson to pull the Mikes to 4-3.
Yarkowski got Jeff Lapkowicz to line out to left field, then
allowed Jared Lapkowicz's sacrifice fly into foul territory down
the left field line that scored Bobby Virgili with the tying run.
Yarkowski intentionally walked Jamie Bandish to load the bases,
and struck out Phil Judy to end the seventh.
Carmichaels had the winning run at second base with two outs in
the bottom of the ninth inning, but Yarkowski struck out Bandish
to end the threat.
"We knew who their two best hitters were, and we tried to pitch
around them," Yarkowski said, referring to the Lapkowicz
brothers. "I just tried to keep the ball on the outside part of
the plate and not lose my composure."
Jared Lapkowicz led Carmichaels with four hits, while brother
Jeff was 1-for-5.
Yarkowski worked four innings, allowing three hits while striking
Homer Center will now face Chartiers-Houston, the WPIAL
runner-up, Monday at a site and time to be determined.
The Wildcats jumped on top 1-0 when the game's first batter,
leadoff hitter Matt Zenisek, reached on an error, and scored when
Yarkowski's two-out fly ball to right field was misplayed into a
Homer Center scored two more runs an inning later when, with two
outs, Zenisek's pop up was mishandled allowing one run to score,
and Evan Gazza's infield single brought home the Wildcats' third
Without the benefit of a hit, Homer Center took a 4-0 lead in the
third inning when three of the first four runners reached base on
"Our coach told us that they were a great fielding team, but we
put the ball in play and we made them make plays," Yarkowski
Carmichaels wasted a good opportunity in its first at bat,
running itself out of two possible runs. Buday walked to lead off
the inning, then Cole reached base as well when his bunt was
fielded by Clifford but held onto without a throw.
Jeff Lapkowicz then hit a weak grounder to shortstop Evan Gazza,
who fielded the ball and caught Cole too far off second, tagging
him for the inning's first out. While Cole was being tagged,
Buday took off for home, and was thrown out easily by Gazza.
The Mikes scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth
inning when Jared Lapkowicz doubled to left-centerfield to lead
off the inning, and Bandish followed with a single to
In the bottom of the sixth, Jeff and Jared Lapkowicz started the
inning with back-to-back singles. Both runners moved up 90 feet
on a wild pitch, and Bandish picked up his second RBI when he hit
a grounder to short and Jeff Lapkowicz took off for home when
Gazza threw to first for the out.
Errors costly as Mikes fall to Homer Center
BY JIM MONTECALVO, Staff writer
MT. PLEASANT – Maybe it was the heat and intense humidity. Maybe
it was the ride on a school bus to Mt. Pleasant High School.
Maybe it was the unfamiliar opponent. Whatever it was, the
Carmichaels baseball team did not play like its usual
fundamentally sound self Thursday in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal
game against District 6 champ Homer Center.
The Mikes (22-2) could not overcome seven defensive errors they
committed or their poor base-running and fell to Homer Center,
8-4, in 10 innings.
"We don't deserve to win that ball game," Carmichaels coach Dave
Bates said. "(Homer Center) tried to give it to us a number of
times. We had seven or eight errors. Plus we had a base running
error. You don't deserve to win a ball game like that."
The errors came early and often for the Mikes.
"When we get out here and stuff like that happens, it just brings
everybody down and it's hard to recover from something like
that," Carmichaels starting pitcher Karl Cole said.
Homer Center (17-5) took advantage of the early miscues, scoring
four runs in the first three innings. Matt Zenisek led off the
game by reaching base after his routine ground ball to second was
not fielded. Two batters later, Jason Yarkowski hit a fly ball to
right field that was dropped, allowing Zenisek to score.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the second
inning, a pop up in shallow right field could not be hauled in,
allowing the second run of the game to score. Evan Gazza followed
with an RBI single to make the score 3-0 in favor of the
Carmichaels added three errors in the third inning, giving Homer
Center its fourth run.
"We fielded horribly today," Bates said. "We just played
horrendous defense. We didn't make plays that we routinely make.
If we make any one or two of those plays, we probably still win
the ball game. And when you get a chance to win a game like that,
shame on you for not doing it."
Carmichaels had a chance to score in the first when it had
runners on second and third with no outs. But when Jeff Lapkowicz
hit a ground ball to shortstop, Cole, who was on second, was
frozen between second and third and tagged out. Niko Buday, who
was on third, broke for home but was thrown out at the plate
after the tag was applied to Cole.
The Mikes battled back however, scoring one run in the fourth and
sixth and two more in the bottom of the seventh, capped by Jared
Lapkowicz's sacrifice fly, to tie the game, 4-4, and force extra
Carmichaels could have easily won the game in the bottom of the
seventh. But with the bases loaded and the score, 4-3, Jeff
Lapkowicz's sinking line drive to left field was caught by a
diving Anthony Martini and all the Mikes' runners could not
Carmichaels was gaining momentum and Cole was still going strong.
Cole pitched nine innings, striking out nine batters, including
the last four he faced, and allowed no earned runs.
But the Mikes could not score in the extra frames and when they
were forced to go to the bullpen, the Wildcats broke the game
open with four runs in the 10th.
"I can't even say state semifinals because I can't believe we're
there," said Homer Center coach Rob Stossel, who will forgo at
least part of his family vacation to coach next week. "I told the
guys, if they put the ball in play, things might happen."
The loss marks the end of stellar athletic careers at Carmichaels
for twins Jeff and Jared Lapkowicz ... Jared Lapkowicz finished
4-for-4 with one RBI ... Jamie Bandish had two RBI and Cole one.
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