Brandon Lawless, Carmichaels
This week: Lawless threw a two-hitter and struck out seven Monday in leading Carmichaels to a 9-0 semifinal win against Riverview, earning the Mighty Mikes a spot in next week’s WPIAL Class A baseball championship against California at Consol Energy Park.
Check this out: Lawless, a senior, is one of the top pitchers in Class A. He is 8-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 72 strikeouts. Lawless also picked up a win in Carmichaels’ 17-8 quarterfinal victory against No. 2 Western Beaver. Carmichaels (14-2) next gets a rematch against No. 1 California (19-0), the only team to defeat the Mighty Mikes this season. Lawless also excels in football (he threw for 1,619 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior) and basketball (he averaged 25.6 points per game, fifth most in the WPIAL). Lawless will play baseball and football at Division II Alderson-Broaddus.
•What’s going to be the key to beating California? Just play our game and not make mistakes, and we should be all right.
•How happy are you to be getting another shot at them? I’m really happy. I’ve been thinking about it since the last time we played them. We were up, 5-2, but we made a couple of errors and ended up losing, 6-5.
•What would winning a WPIAL title mean? It would mean a lot. Ever since ninth grade I’ve thought about winning one. Last year after we lost in the second round, I promised my coach that we would win the WPIAL championship this season.
•Funniest player on the team? Probably Michael Blasinsky. He’s our catcher. He just says some of the most random stuff.
•What is a Mighty Mike? (Laughs) I honestly couldn’t tell you. Our mascot is like a monkey, but it’s a strong guy. I can’t really explain it.
•Will it be difficult to play two sports in college? I think if I put my mind to it, I can do it. I think I’ll be fine just like in high school.
•Biggest problem with the Pirates right now? Pitching. All of the starting pitchers are terrible right now.
•Most people might be surprised to know that … That’s a tough one. I live in a small town, so everybody knows everything about me.
Beth Shenck, Avonworth
Last week: Shenck won the Class AA 800- and 1,600-meter runs at the WPIAL championships at Baldwin and set meet records in both events. She also ran a leg on the team’s winning 3,200-meter relay team.
Check this out: Shenck is a senior at Avonworth but the name of her team is Avonworth/Northgate. That’s because the team is a cooperative sponsorship between the two schools. Shenck also won the WPIAL 800 title a year ago and has been part of three championship 3,200-relay teams. She finished second at the PIAA Class A cross country meet in the fall.
College talk: Shenck will attend Pitt and run track for the Panthers next year.
•Two WPIAL records — Do you realize that rarely happens? I don’t know if it has completely hit me yet, what I’ve done.
•Were you surprised? Yes, in the 800. I wasn’t expecting that. For the [1,600], I was preparing all year long and that’s what my goal was. For the 800, it was more like that was a race where I wanted to just do my best.
•You ran last Thursday when it rained almost all day and night. Some of the races were postponed until Saturday. Should the whole meet have been postponed? I think it probably should’ve been. For my races, there wasn’t much rain. But the races after mine, like the 4-by-100, there were some complaints. Our girls team was upset. They were just complaining that they couldn’t see anything and it was so hard to hand off [the baton].
•Do you get asked a lot why the team is called Avonworth/Northgate? I think sometimes people get confused. They don’t know what school you’re from. It’s kind of hard to explain sometimes.
•Will you work this summer? Probably not. I was thinking about it, but I’ll probably start summer classes. I don’t want to push myself too much.
•Would you rather go to a Penguins game or a Pirates game? Penguins. I like them both, but hockey is my favorite sport to watch.
•Well then what do the Penguins need? I don’t know [laugh]. I don’t follow it that closely.
•People might be surprised to know that … I talk a lot more than people think.