Baseball: Spring-Ford's Mike Oczypok blanks Pope John Paul II

By DAVE KURTZ

Pac-10sports.com

 

ROYERSFORD –  Hitting Mike Oczypok this spring has been like trying to mow a 10-acre plot with a pair of hand clippers – forget about it.

Pioneer Athletic Conference hitters would have a better shot at eating soup with a fork than trying to make solid contact on the Spring-Ford senior right-hander.

Oczypok was back at it again Monday evening, turning Pope John Paul II’s bats into aluminum chips with a dominating, four-hit shutout that featured 10 strikeouts and carried the streaking Rams to a 6-0 victory.

“Mike was great, like always,” said Spring-Ford catcher James Hoff, who drove in three runs in support of his battery mate. “He was on with all three of his pitches, kept them off balance. Oz just throws whatever pitch I call.”

Oczypok’s precise command is reflected by the numbers – one earned run allowed in 30 1/3 league innings for a microscopic 0.23 earned run average.

With those kind of numbers - the Rams' 5-0 lead in the second inning was overkill. Hoff had a pair of clutch, two-out singles – driving home the first run with a sharp liner to right in the first and coming through again in the second with a bullet to left that plated two more runs. Earlier in the inning, Sean Larkin had tucked a line drive just inside the foul pole in left for a two-run homer.

For more Janet Jones images of this game, visit our photo gallery

 

“I got deep in the count,” said Hoff, whose second-inning bolt prevented Spring-Ford from squandering a second-and-third, no-out opportunity. “It was a breaking ball and I waited on it.”

The Golden Panthers – shut out by Oczypok in a 10-0 loss earlier this season – are still waiting to dent the plate against the Rams, who won their 12th straight. 

Jeff Evans’ infield single with one out in the fourth inning ended the no-hit bid, but PJP was never able to get a runner past second base, despite consecutive hits in the seventh from tough-luck loser Rob Barth and Tyler Mikell.

“We had a couple of errors, and they cost us,” said PJP coach Tom Sergio after his club fell to 5-6 in the league. “We didn’t do much with Oczypok, we couldn’t get anything going. We have some talent here, but I can’t get the same team to show up twice in a row.”

Oczypok showed up again Monday, displaying a killer instinct that grew stronger with the early run support.

“Any time you get runs, it makes it easier to pitch,” said Oczypok, who allowed two walks and hit one batter, stranding eight baserunners along the way. “I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes, let them put the ball in play.

“The changeup was working pretty well, along with my other pitches. I was getting ahead in the count, hitting my spots.”

Pounding the strike zone with three quality pitches – that’s what makes Oczypok so effective. There’s nothing predictable during an at-bat against the tall righty, other than the fact that you’re probably headed back to the dugout.

“He’s overpowering with his fastball, and he comes at you with three pitches,” said Spring-Ford coach Bruce Brobst. “He’s very focused, especially with a lead.

“It’s hard for a hitter to sit on any particular pitch.”

Sitting – it’s what most hitters do later on.

 

Spring-Ford 6, Pope John Paul 0

Score

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

R

H

E

Spring-Ford

1

4

0

1

0

0

0

6

9

1

Pope John Paul II

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

2

 

Spring-Ford

AB

R

H

BI

 

Pope John Paul II

AB

R

H

BI

Medley lf

4

1

2

0

 

DiPrinzio cf

4

0

1

0

Grablewski 2b

4

0

1

0

 

Koscelansky 2b

4

0

0

0

Gorrell ss

3

1

2

1

 

Zbyszinski dh

1

0

0

0

Hoff c

4

0

2

3

 

Cotellese lf

0

0

0

0

Simmons cr

0

0

0

0

 

Romberger dh

1

0

0

0

Oczypok p

2

0

0

0

 

Mills 3b

2

0

0

0

Shronk cr

0

0

0

0

 

DiGenova 1b

3

0

0

0

Clarke 3b

3

0

0

0

 

Evans ss

3

0

1

0

Conway dh

4

1

0

0

 

DiPiero c

3

0

0

0

Vining cf

0

0

0

0

 

Barth p-rf

2

0

1

0

Larkin 1b

2

2

1

2

 

Mikell rf-p

3

0

1

0

Cratsenberg rf

3

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

30

6

9

6

 

Totals

21

0

4

0

E-Pope John Paul II 2, Spring-Ford 1. DP-Pope John Paul II 1. HR-Larkin. SB-Gorrell, Medley, Evans, DiPrinzio. LOB-Pope John Paul II 8, Spring-Ford 7. HBP-by Barth (Oczypok, Clarke); by Oczypok (Zbyszinski)

PJP

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

BF

 

Spring-Ford

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

BF

Barth (L)

6.0

9

6

3

3

4

-

 

Oczypok (W)

7.0

4

0

0

2

10

-

Mikell

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

-