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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Manchester’s Carmen Giampetruzzi survived concussion scare

Silver Knights Journal

It was one play, a simple pickoff play at first base, that could have quite possibly derailed Carmen Giampetruzzi’s baseball career – or at least slowed it down.

It was fluky, really, as most of these injuries
are. Giampetruzzi was playing in his final high school game as a student at Trinity of
Manchester. ...

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It was one play, a simple pickoff play at first base, that could have quite possibly derailed Carmen Giampetruzzi’s baseball career – or at least slowed it down.

It was fluky, really, as most of these injuries
are. Giampetruzzi was playing in his final high school game as a student at Trinity of
Manchester.

The Pioneers didn’t even qualify for the Division I tournament, and there was Giampetruzzi playing first base against Timberlane Regional in Plaistow on May 30.

Giampetruzzi, a three-sport athlete at Trinity who will attend Boston College in the fall, dove for the ball on an errant pickoff attempt. He got spiked in the hand, and kneed in the head.

“So I went to the trainer,” he said. “And I was talking to her and I passed out.”

Yes, you read correctly. He passed out.

Eventually, Giampetruzzi was taken by ambulance to Parkland Medical Center in Derry. A CT S can was taken and, according to Giampetruzzi, nothing was found and he was OK.

“It was fine,” he said. “It was a mild concussion if anything.”

Could it have just been “mild” if he passed out? Giampetruzzi said he never got sick, never had any other reaction than losing consciousness for a minute or two.

When he woke up, the trainer asked him where he was.

“I said we were getting beaten by Timberlane,” Giampetruzzi said. “I knew right away where I was. I just didn’t know how I ended up on the ground.”

It makes the stitches he needed to take care of his bloody hand so minor. Scary stuff, but Giampetruzzi has had no ill effects since.

“That was my first time,” he said of passing out. “It was scary.”

But not scary enough, evidently, to curtail his summer plans. Silver Knights manager Ted Currle admitted he didn’t know anything about the incident, but that so far Giampetruzzi has been fine.

“He’s lefthanded, throws with good velocity, and he’s got a real good hook,” Currle said. “His breaking ball is good.”

College level?

“Absolutely,” Currle said. “He’s going Division I, and those guys aren’t dumb.”

Right now, Giampetruzzi is the only lefty in the Silver Knights bullpen. He has done fairly well in that role, touched up for only a run the other night when he made a mistake on an 0-2 pitch to Richard Fecteau.

“I love it,” he said. “When I come out of the pen, every batter I face is unbelievable. It’s helping me for the next level.”

Does he like the specialty job?

“It’s the first time I’ve ever come out of the pen,” he said. “I’m accepting the role and I like it a lot.”

He learns a new approach.

“You want to pace yourself as a starter,” Giampetruzzi said. “But coming out of the pen you just want to throw it hard and mix it up.

“Coming out of the pen you’re only in there for an inning or two, so gas it up as much as possible. Don’t leave anything left in the tank.”

Six-man starting rotation

Currle and pitching coach Kyle Jackson have decided to go with a six-man rotation for the foreseeable future.

“I like it because you play every day and then throw in two doubleheaders in a week, which we have in July,” Currle said. “I think six keeps the guys rested and fresh. We’re not paying them $6 million a year to come back on four days rest. Our job is to keep them healthy and send them back to school healthy.

“With a six man rotation you usually get about eight starts. Eight or nine, so that’s the goal.”

So who are the six? No one we haven’t already seen. From the right side are Sam Nepiarsky, Nashua native Jake Mellin, Mike Geannellis, and St. John’s University senior Shawn Heide. It will be Merrimack native Tom Hudon and Derry’s Tim Viehoff from the left side.

Helms on the mend

Currle is hoping to get Southern New Hampshire University junior Carson Helms back soon from his groin injury, but it may not be until the end of the week.

“He’s a great runner, big arm in right field,” he said. “Good outfielder and he only had 10 at bats. Definitely somebody in the middle of the lineup, a four-five-six type of guy. It definitely would be nice to get him back.”

Temperature gage

Who’s hot? That’s easy. It’s definitely outfielder and leadoff hitter Matt Sanchez, who, after Sunday’s 11-1 rout of Pittsfield, is hitting .438 (fourth in the FCBL) and is 6 for his last 7 (including a 4 for 4 night Saturday vs. Wachusett).

Who’s not? Right now that would be Oklahoma’s Quin Whalberg, who has started the season 2 for 23 despite showing excellent prowess at shortstop.

“He’s had a few errors, but he’s also made plays that other guys aren’t going to make,” Currle said.

Sizing up the lineup

The Silver Knights have a deep roster but suddenly the lineup is possibly taking shape.

Here’s what it might look like: Mike Pierson seems to have nailed down the second base job, while Harry Oringer will be at third. Whalberg, if he picks up with his hitting, could be the everyday shortstop. Sanchez looks like the everyday left fielder, and don’t discount Griffin Garabedian’s speed in center. “I’ve been happy with him out there,” Currle said.

The key appears to be Whalberg. Sunday he was used only as a pinch hitter, putting Pierson at short, Oringer at second and former Hollis resident Joe Napolitano at third. So Currle has plenty of flexibility.

Notes

As usual, the FCBL takes Monday off and the Silver Knights will be back at it on Tuesday at Worcester, with either Hudon (0-0, 5.40) or Shawn Heide (0-1, 1.22) taking the hill. Whoever doesn’t go Tuesday will go Wednesday night at 7 at Holman vs. Martha’s Vineyard. Geannellis, fresh off his seven inning no-hit performance at Wachusett, will pitch at Holman on Thursday night vs. Worcester.

Speaking of Thursday, it will be the first Dollar Beverage Night of the season, a popular Silver Knights promotion.

Don’t look now, but the Silver Knights have now pounded out 30 hits in their last two games, including 19 at Pittsfield on Sunday.

Wednesday night is Family Night at Holman with hot dogs only $1.