All arms on deck for York Catholic baseball
If nothing else, York Catholic coach Joe Gurreri should be feeling pretty good about the state of his pitching staff, heading into Thursday's PIAA Class AA quarterfinal against Danville. "We have everybody available," the Fighting Irish coach said Tuesday. Gurreri played coy on who his starter would be, the but smart money would probably be on 6-foot-7 lefty Alex Tucci. The senior is 5-0 this season, with a 4.15 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 54 innings. Tucci struggled in the District 3 title game against Oley Valley -- he allowed nine runs in five innings -- put tossed two scoreless innings on Monday against Springfield Township. The other likely option is senior right-hander Joe Miller. He is 7-1 this year with 1.83 ERA, but has only pitched two innings since May 14. And then there is the wild card: Mike Melhorn. The righthander started Monday against Springfield, and allowed one run in five innings. Because he only tossed five innings, Melhorn (8-1, 2.96) is eligible to pitch again Thursday, under PIAA rules. As I wrote today, this will be Melhorn final game, win or lose. The senior has enlisted in the Marine Corps -- along with fellow senior Ethan Urey -- and must report to Parris Island, S.C., for basic training on Monday. Something tells me the Irish will try to get him into the game. It's hard to know much about Daville, the Irish's opponent Thursday at Walter M. Stump Stadium in Pine Grove. The Ironmen (great name) won the District 4 championship. Just glancing at their stats, they can hit for some power (17 home runs). Danville's best hitter appears to be senior Anthony Renz, who is hitting .508 with 5 home runs. Fourteen of his 30 hits have gone for extra bases. Renz and junior Andrew Andreychik appear to do most of the pitching for the Ironmen, and have a combined ERA under 2.00. The latter seems a good bet to start Thursday. Then there is this: Danville (14-7) has won its last eight games. It beat Lake Lehman, the District 2 champ, 6-5 in its final at-bat Monday. So Danville has been playing some of its best ball lately. We'll see what happens. It's almost impossible to compare teams across districts -- the competition varies so much -- and the baseball playoffs are notoriously fickle. One big swing, one lights-out pitching performance can make the difference. I suspect that will be the case again Thursday.