High Schools - PET Charter's win over Franklin Towne Charter soothes pitcher's pain
Two parts of Luke Moscinski's glove-hand pinkie were pointing in the same direction. That means the other part was not, of course, and we'll wait while you wince.
Two parts of Luke Moscinski's glove-hand pinkie were pointing in the same direction.
That means the other part was not, of course, and we'll wait while you wince.
If a guy's going to experience screams of pain, it helps if they're followed in semishort order by shrieks of delight. And that was the case yesterday at Vogt Rec Center, in Tacony, during and after a baseball contest in the preliminary round of the Public League playoffs that also qualified as the PIAA District 12 Class AAA final.
A not-so-funny thing happened to Moscinski, a 5-7, 160-pound senior righthander, as he pitched in the seventh inning and tried to nail down victory for Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter over previously invincible Franklin Towne Charter.
While trying to snag Joe Gilbert's no-out, two-on liner, Moscinski flashed his glove and . . . Ouch! A visit to Dislocation City.
"I just felt incredible pain. In both hands; not sure why," Moscinski said. "That was why I threw the ball away [while trying for a forceout at third]."
Very much against his wishes, although he understood the necessity deep down, Moscinski headed for the bench and Rob Boreman, about a foot taller but maybe no heavier, switched to the mound from first base. Eric Nunez, one of only two Charger subs, went to second and Randy Pizzo slid over to first.
A few decidedly hairy moments later, PET owned an 11-9 win and a spot in Monday's overall Pub quarterfinals (as well as a state berth in June).
"I'm so excited, my finger doesn't hurt too much right now," Moscinski said.
Would he like to fix the dislocation in front of a fascinated reporter, who would promise to provide a blow by blow to Daily News readers?
"Nah," he said, laughing. "I think I'll wait until I get home, and let my dad pull it out."
Hopefully, pop's skill matched the Chargers' as they pulled off this upset.
FT rolled to a 14-0 record in the regular season, outscoring its opponents by 173-45 and often not playing beyond three innings, let alone five or as many as seven. Lost somewhat in the shuffle, and it very much bothered coach Mark Olkowski, was that PET had fallen to FT by scores of only 11-9 and 4-2.
"Coach said all the talk at the coaches' meeting [Tuesday] was that Franklin Towne was gonna win the district title easy," Moscinski said. "He said it was all Franklin Towne this, Franklin Towne that. Everybody was saying, 'They're not gonna lose.'
"They're good and we do respect them, but it wasn't like they crushed us. We played them hard the other two times. I came in here looking to have fun, and at least hopin' to win. Once we got those four runs in the first, my feeling went to expectin'."
The game, witnessed by about 125 people, featured gamelong enthusiasm along with 24 hits, eight walks, four hit batsmen, nine errors and eight stolen bases.
Moscinski's final line showed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits along with four free passes and the same number of punchouts.
As he entered the home seventh with an 11-4 cushion, all looked well. Then he plunked Jim Dailey and Mike Croft and the liner by Gilbert followed.
"It was hard to leave, but I knew my backup pitcher would pick me up," Moscinski said. "I'm proud of him."
In walk-a-tightrope fashion. Boreman's first pitch drilled Nick Greco. One out later, Keith Rycek fired a two-run single to center and the last two runs came home on an error and a sacrifice fly by Jason Krajewski (3-for-3, double, walk, two RBI).
Mike Skinner, the tying run, grounded to third baseman Sam Petrowski to end it, and the Chargers then gave an electric performance while mobbing each other near the mound.
Much later, Boreman insisted: "I was nervous, but I also had a lot of confidence. I just knew I would get the job done; not to sound cocky."
Moscinski, who lives near 3rd and Wolf, is a transfer from Ss. Neumann-Goretti. Although PET is downtown, footsteps from Broad and Chestnut, it draws many of its students from South Philly.
"A lot of my friends go here," Moscinski said. "Plus, I want to try to get into the electricians' union - after maybe first going to Community - like my brother, Steve. PET's a good fit.
"I'm really a shortstop. I'm just pitching because we didn't have anyone behind Chuck Fitzgerald [two hits yesterday playing shortstop]." *