St. Thomas senior Bryce Gapinski pitched his first game in 2009 to help the Tommies win a national championship.
Now, Gapinski wants to pitch a winning season that will outshine his freshman feats.
“I want to come back after that; try to do a repeat,” Gapinski said. “That’s been something we’ve been all trying to do.”
Coach Chris Olean said that the biggest asset Gapinski brings to the game is command and ability to throw strikes.
“He never beats himself,” Olean said. “A lot of guys beat themselves up over bad counts, and he is really able to stay out of those.”
During the team’s Florida spring break trip, the Tommies took down the Minnesota Twins rookie team 4-3. The following day, Gapinski pitched seven innings and gave up just one run in a 6-1 victory against the University of Chicago. The win improved Gapinksi’s record to 3-0 on the season and 22-5 on his career.
Senior Justin Novak said the key to Gapinski’s talent goes beyond his physical aptitude.
“He always tries; he’s always there working hard. Never see him slacking off,” Novak said. “He’s a great teammate, great guy… gets everyone to laugh. (He) gets everyone in a good mood.”
Though Gapinski’s experience may give the team an edge, Olean said it’s his fortitude that wins games.
“No situation is too big for him,” Olean said. “He’ll just go out there and compete. And it makes everything else a lot easier. He’s extremely hard working… and a guy we’re certainly going to miss next year.”
Katherine Curtis can be reached at email@example.com.