At the right moment on Sunday-Virginia Cavalier All-American Mike Papi delivered the game winning hit against Mississippi in the College World Series. It didn’t take long for the echo to resonate in Wyoming County Mike’s former coach at Tunkhannock -Gary Custer watched every pitch.
“Yes 3-2 count. I mean it was a big question mark there for a minute. He like I said before he comes thru in pressure situations-right guy in the right place,” said Gary Custer.
Joe McCarthy from Scranton drove in the first run for UVA on Sunday night. The Lackawanna League and Wyoming Valley Conference well-represented in Omaha.
“Very proud of him. The whole community I’m sure is behind him. It’s very good for the program and I’m happy for him and his family,” again said Gary.
This is where it all began for Mike Papi here in Tunkhannock when some of the college recruiters and the pro scouts started taking notice of a very athletic and powerful shortstop for the Tigers.
“It’s a big buzz around town obviously. It’s in the papers. Everybody is hearing about it. If your on Facebook or Twitter it’s everywhere. Everybody’s extremely happy for him. I think Mike was always a good kid growing up-really friendly. He’s a real humble guy so I think for the most part everyone is really happy for him and wanting him to succeed,” said Alex Zaner.
While Mike’s former teammates at Tunkhannock coach the American Legion team, Virginia gets ready for Round II with TCU their next opponent in the College World Series.
“He’s got to be having one heck of a time out there-everybody here is proud of him and hopefully he can keep it going,” said Jason Strohl.
“What do you think the Cleveland Indians are getting in Mike Papi? A hitter, they’re getting a hitter. It’s funny I don’t know if we’re still on or not but the Mets called me about him and I said he could play for them right now,” added Gary Custer.