PIAA Baseball: Camp Hill vs Schuylkill Haven

Camp Hill's Josh Goodyear, right, is expected to start on the mound Thursday against Rocky Grove. The senior will pitch for the Lions' fifth PIAA championship in his final game of his varsity career.

Matt Spiegel was comparing Josh Goodyear to a former Camp Hill Lion during practice Tuesday.

Spiegel, a Camp Hill assistant for five years who won two PIAA Class A championships in 2008-09, said that Goodyear puts in just enough work at practice “to not get yelled at.”

“Accurate,” Goodyear said of Spiegel’s comparison to former outfielder Michael Frankenfield, laughing.

No, Thursday’s starting pitcher and PIAA soccer champion is not lazy. But…

well, it’s tough to put into words.

“It’s infuriating,” Spiegel said. “I both love him and hate him at the same time.”

When reached by email, Goodyear’s soccer coach, Justin Sheaffer, added his own take:

“I could be wrong, but I always felt Josh wanted everyone to think he wasn’t really working hard. But, you don’t recover from an ankle injury like Josh had this past fall, play as well as he was throughout the soccer postseason run, score the first goal in the state championship game and set up the second goal, and finish your senior year with an opportunity to get another state gold by not working hard. Luck is something that you create through hard work. Josh has been a leader on all of the fields/courts he’s played on this year, and while he is a great athlete, he is also an extremely hard worker (although he wouldn’t want his teammates to know it and we certainly did not see it every second of every practice).”

Goodyear is a gifted athlete who can pick up just about any sport and excel almost immediately. He’s done that for years with the Lions in soccer, where he was a defender, basketball and baseball.

And now the affable, laid-back senior will pitch in the biggest game of his life, taking the mound against Rocky Grove for a PIAA Class 2A championship.

He hardly gets rattled and prefers to enjoy the fun in sports rather than stress out, like his brother, Luke, or others on the team. Goodyear is all laughs, no stress.

“Maybe when my brother messes up in the field,” Goodyear said, again for a laugh, when asked if anything raises his blood pressure. “As long as we get the win at the end, I’m happy.”

Goodyear is a soft-tossing right-hander that throws almost exclusively fastball-curveball, at a nearly equal rate. He’ll sprinkle in a changeup if needed. He flirts with 80 miles an hour, hardly the type to blow a pitch by a hitter.

He’s been superb all season, leading the team or trailing only his younger brother in wins (5), saves (3), innings pitched (45.1), strikeouts (47), ERA (1.23) and WHIP (1.12). In the playoffs he’s 3-0 with two saves, 18 strikeouts and two earned runs allowed in 17 innings. He picked up the win Monday as Camp Hill mounted an impressive comeback to beat Schuylkill Haven 8-7.

“They both have very good control,” coach Mike Acey said of the Goodyears — Luke’s 100 pitches Monday leaves him unavailable Thursday. “They both can put it where they want.”

Josh Goodyear’s keys will be simple.

“Throw strikes,” said senior Quinn Buffington, an option if the Lions need to go to the bullpen. “If he can throw strikes our defense is good enough to back him up.”

“The biggest thing for me is just mix it up,” Goodyear said.

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Email Jake Adams at jadams@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520

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Sports Editor

Sports editor at The Sentinel.