Filomeno back in fine form
Updated: May 10, 2011 6:46PM
It may have been his first appearance on the mound this season, but St. Rita’s Joey Filomeno looked like he was in midseason form Monday.
The senior left-hander, who was shelved for six weeks because of a bad back, came on in relief of starter Eddie De La Riva with two on and one out in the sixth inning against Brother Rice.
After hitting the first batter with a pitch to load the bases, Filomeno struck out the next two hitters to escape the jam and gain the win.
The Mustangs rallied from a 6-2 deficit to post an 8-6 victory.
“I felt really good,” said Filomeno, who’s headed to Louisville in the fall. “I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand really live. I wish my curveball was a little better. But it felt awesome to be back on the mound.”
Filomeno allowed one hit and struck out three over 12/3 innings.
According to St. Rita catcher Brian Sicher, Filomeno, whom teammates refer to as “Philly Joe,” looked sharp.
“He was throwing gas and hitting his spots,” said Sicher, who will attend the Air Force Academy. “The only problem was trying to keep his composure. He was jacked up and bouncing around the mound. But he looked fine.”
As far as how Filomeno’s return to the bump will impact the Mustangs the rest of the way, Sicher was excited about the prospects.
“It’s a huge relief to have him back and healthy,” Sicher said. “It’s a big boost of confidence for the team.”
Filomeno claimed his back felt fine, probably “90 percent.”
He praised his teammates for all of their support.
“The team has been great through this whole thing,” he said. “They’ve been behind me and supporting me. I’m going to take it slow and continue working my way back to eventually starting.”
Lincoln-Way North crushing the ball
Lincoln-Way North looks like a pretty well-rounded team. Most impressive, however, is the way it swings the bat.
The Phoenix boast a .388 team batting average.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well all year,” North coach Joe Skarbek said.
North has four regulars hitting above .400: A.J. Neufeld (.500), Brandon Collins (.493), Marc Hein (.424) and Alex Eaton (.403).
Eaton leads the team in RBI with 31.
North does not rely on power to produce runs. In fact, the Phoenix has hit just six home runs all season. But it has registered 51 doubles and 14 triples.
“We don’t have a lot of home-run hitters,” Skarbek said. “But up and down our order, we don’t feel like we have an easy out.”
Providence learns walks are killers
Providence coach Mark Smith has grown weary of watching his vaunted pitching staff continue to walk hitters.
Through 1612/3 innings, the Celtics have walked 122 hitters while striking out 134. That’s not even close to the preferred 2-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
“Our pitchers continue to think they have to strike out every batter,” Smith said. “They have a very good defense behind them. Throw strikes and let the defense make the plays.”