QU pitcher has chance at MLB draft

Photo courtesy: Matt Eisenberg/QU Chronicle

Entering college, Derek Lamacchia says he didn’t think he had much of a future as a Division I baseball player. The high school infielder turned college pitcher now has a chance of being picked up by an MLB club.

The senior’s pitching career at Quinnipiac didn’t get off to a strong start. Lamacchia made 17 appearances in his freshman year, only starting two. He gave up 49 hits and allowed 35 earned runs in just 35 innings that year. His 8.92 ERA and 2-6 record were anything but impressive.

Lamacchia made great strides between his freshman and sophomore years. In his sophomore season Lamacchia appeared in 11 games, starting all of them. The righty pitched significantly more innings, hurling 63.3. While his season hit total rose to 68, he allowed fewer earned runs. Lamacchia allowed only 24 earned runs his sophomore season, causing his ERA to plummet 3.41. Despite his good ERA Lamacchia’s record was only 4-5.

In his junior year, Lamacchia’s stats regressed. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound pitcher appeared in 11 games, starting 10.  Lamacchia started the season strong for the Bobcats. On opening day he threw six hit-less innings, striking out a career-high 13 batters. Yet run support failed Lamacchia, who didn’t get the decision in the Bobcats’ 3-2 loss. The Whitestone, N.Y. native went 1-7 with a 5.4o ERA in just over 61 innings last season. However, he did strike out 65 over the course of the year.

Lamacchia has rebounded so far this season. With the year half over, he has pitched over 67 innings in nine games, all starts. The ace has given up 58 hits, allowing 18 earned runs while striking out 46. That’s an average of over six strikeouts per game. Lamacchia’s impressive 2.39 ERA will be the best of his career if it holds up.

Though Lamacchia has a 3-6 record, that statistic says more about Quinnipiac as a team than it does about him as a pitcher. The Bobcats’ offense is lacking with the team batting .238 overall. Quinnipiac averages only about three runs per game as well, which is not enough support.

Derek Lamacchia is a diamond in a rough team. The Bobcats, currently in the middle of a 14-game losing streak, are just 10-26 this year. Lamacchia should not be punished for his team’s poor performance. He should be given a chance by an MLB organization.

College baseball players are eligible for the MLB draft in their junior season, but Lamacchia wasn’t selected. Quinnipiac baseball coach Dan Gooley said he expected Lamacchia to be picked last year and was surprised when he wasn’t.

Most college pitchers can get by with only mastered two pitches. Having command of a third pitch is a necessity for pitching in the minors. Lamacchia has been working on developing his third pitch for a while, said Gooley.

Lamacchia’s mindset hasn’t changed much with the MLB draft approaching. After not expecting to have much of a college career, Lamacchia said he tries not to think about the draft too much. He’s taking it one day at a time, trying to help out his current Bobcat team.

Does Lamacchia deserve a shot?

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