John Habib's City Sports: Trinity, SNHU players got good looks from Pirates
One day after playing his last game for Manchester’s Trinity High School, Boston College-bound pitcher Carmen Giampetruzzi drove to James Monroe High in the Bronx, N.Y., for a May workout conducted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in advance of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft.
When he arrived at the school, Giampetruzzi said, there were 15 position players and 10 other pitchers already working out — among them former Franklin High and Southern New Hampshire University ace Derrick Sylvester, later to be drafted in the 31st round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Most of the players at the workout were from Division I college programs, Giampetruzzi said.
A 6-foot, 3-inch, 210-pound lefthander — and the only southpaw to attend the workout — Giampetruzzi said the majority of players invited by the Pirates were from Division I college programs.
“It was kind of neat and different,” he said. “I got to face four hitters, and there were no fielders behind me.”
Giampetruzzi said he threw around 25 pitches, getting two batters to ground out, one to pop out and a third to strike out. One of the batters, he said, was University of Connecticut shortstop Tom Verdi, who was later drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 33rd round.
“At first I was a little nervous,” said 6-foot, 3-inch, 210-pound lefthander, “but overall I felt good and thought I did pretty well.”
Giampetruzzi said scouts had the radar gun on him but gave no details how fast he threw.
Having gone undrafted, Giampetruzzi is preparing for his college career by pitching out of the bullpen for the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. His roommate is another BC freshman-to-be, outfielder Scott Braren of Madison, Conn.
“We’ll be reporting to Boston College on Aug. 27, and I’m looking forward to it,” said Giampetruzzi, who will be eligible again for the MLB draft after his junior year.
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AFTER winning state titles with personal best-throws in the state Meet of Champions last Saturday, Manchester High Central’s Dominique Pascoal and Jacob Stanko are pursuing regional honors today in the New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Bridgewater (Mass.) State University today.
Pascoal defended her state title with a throw of 124 feet, 1 inch. Stanko won his first state championship at 165-5.
Pascoal’s win came just hours after she attended her high school graduation at Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena.
“I just had enough time to take some pictures with family and friends before going home to change and driving over to Londonderry to compete,” Pascoal said. “I was really focused ... I came through in the clutch with the biggest throw of my life.”
Pascoal said she was “distraught” after finishing runner-up in the Division I Meet two weeks ago at Winnacunnet High in Hampton.
“Last Saturday I was just super pumped because I wanted to win so badly,” she said. “Emotionally I think I reached a new level, and hopefully in the New Englands, I’ll have an even better throw in me.”
Stanko, a quarterback who started two varsity games for the Central football team last fall, said he was nervous entering the Meet of Champions but quickly convinced himself he could win his event.
“Words can’t really explain how I felt after I won the Meet of Champions,” he said. “Believe it or not, the highlight for me was setting my personal-best throw. Winning the event was something extra.”
Stanko believes he can top his 165-5 throw today.
“Another five feet is definitely within my reach,” he said. “I’m aiming for 170 feet, which would give me another PR. Now, whether that gives me a chance to win the New Englands I can’t say because I don’t know what the competition will be like. But I’m going to try my best to qualify for the nationals.”
Pascoal and Stanko are among each other’s biggest supporters.
“Watching Dominique is fun because she knows the technique of throwing the javelin better than anyone,” said Stanko. “Last week I knew she was going to win because she’s just so much better than the rest of the field. Our goal this week is to qualify for nationals, and I really believe we’re going to do it.”
Pascoal said Stanko remained at Londonderry to encourage her after he’d already won his championship.
“He was done long before I got started, and he still stuck around to cheer me on,” she said. “That was awesome. After I won, he came over, hugged me, and then we did our special weird handshake that we usually do after every meet.
“Jacob is a phenomenal javelin thrower, and the interesting thing is, he doesn’t even know how good he really is. I mean, he has the ability to win any meet, even the New England meet, which I hope he does.”
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TRACK and field athletes ages 2 and older, and of all abilities, are invited to participate in the city’s Summer Fun Run series, which returns to Livingston Park on June 26 and consecutive Thursdays from July 10-21. Registration, which costs only $1 per entrant, is from 5:15-5:45 p.m., with the meets beginning at 6.
The meets on June 26, July 17 and July 31 will feature the 100- or 110-meter hurdles, 50-yard dash (for ages 2-6 only), 100- and 400-yard dashes, 1,600-meter run, long jump and shot put. The meets on July 10 and July 24 will feature the 300-meter hurdles, 50-yard dash (again, ages 2-6 only), 200-yard dash, 800- and 3,200-meter runs, high jump and triple jump.
For more information, email Manchester Central coach Kelly Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org, call her at 548-6802, or call the Manchester Parks and Recreation Dept. at 665-6817 during office hours.
"City Sports” is published Saturdays in the New Hamsphire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at email@example.com.