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Baseball: Lucas Giolito vs. Cody Thompson on Tuesday

March 5, 2012 |  7:27 am

Screen shot 2012-03-05 at 7.40 am
It's going to be the best pitching matchup of the early baseball season on Tuesday at O'Malley Field in Encino when Lucas Giolito and Studio City Harvard-Westlake take on Cody Thompson and Mission Hills Alemany in a 3:30 p.m. Mission League opener.

Giolito, who was clocked throwing a couple of fastballs at 100 mph last week, has given up two hits and no runs in 10 1/3 innings while striking out 11 and walking none.

Thompson has matched Giolito, giving up no runs and no walks in 10 innings while striking out 11.

These two schools have been preparing for this week's two-game series for months. Alemany Coach Randy Thompson sent Cody Thompson (no relation) to chart pitches for a Harvard-Westlake game, joking, "I sent him to get me a sub sandwich. Did he go by the Harvard-Westlake game?"

Both schools are 4-1 and know the importance of the league opener Tuesday and the second game on Friday at Alemany. If a team is able to sweep, the league title race might be over.

Giolito has been unbeatable in pressure-filled games of late. He ended last season pitching near-perfect games in two playoff victories. But Cody Thompson, another senior pitcher, also has come up big in his prep career in pressure games. As a sophomore in 2010, he threw a complete game to upset defending Division 2 champion Crespi, 4-1.

As for how to simulate Giolito's velocity in practice, Randy Thompson said, "We're going to bring in Justin Verlander to throw batting practice on Monday."

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: Pitcher Lucas Giolito of Harvard-Westlake. Credit: Eric Sondheimer.