Carmichaels Ready for Rematch

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As the second and third seeds, respectively, in the WPIAL Class A playoffs, Serra Catholic and Carmichaels were destined to face each other in the postseason.

What neither team knew was that their showdown in the WPIAL semifinals was only a precursor for their matchup at 6 p.m. Monday at Consol Energy Park in Washington with a berth in the state championship game on the line.

Carmichaels (22-1) won the first meeting between the teams on May 21, 7-3, on the artificial turf at Seton Hill and went on to defeat Rochester, 4-3, to capture its third WPIAL crown. The Mikes are expecting a very similar game when the two meet again for the right to play on Friday at Blair County Ballpark in Altoona.

"We've seen them once, and we've scouted them three or four times, and they're friends of ours, actually," Carmichaels coach Dave Bates said. "This is when it gets fun, when you can finish out in the semifinal or final round, play people you know and respect, recognize reputations ... that's when baseball becomes fun at its peak."

Carmichaels is the only Class A team not to have allowed a run in the state playoffs and has used three pitchers to keep its shutout streak intact. Chuck Gasti and Billy Musgrove combined on a six- inning shutout in a 10-0 victory over District 9 third-place finisher Keystone in the opener, then Joby Lapkowicz struck out 10 and allowed only two hits before Gasti finished off the last two innings in a 7-0 victory against District 6 champion Homer-Center.

Lapkowicz took a no-hitter through four innings before Eric Cusimano broke it up with a grounder up the middle to lead off the fifth. …