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This weeks Lohud Baseball rankings

Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 by LOHUD.COM

Southern Westchester baseball notebook: Eagles fighting slow start
By Josh Thomson
The Journal News • April 20, 2008

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In baseball, hope will forever spring eternal, and so Eastchester hoped to forget a tough finish to 2007 and begin its '08 anew.

Unfortunately the new season hasn't been so kind for the Eagles, who departed yesterday on their annual trip to Camp Virgil Tate in search of answers. The club once considered a Class A contender lost to Ardsley on Friday and dropped to 1-7.

Nothing has gone as planned despite the return of several key starters, including Journal News Westchester/Putnam first-team all-star Dan Sorine; first baseman Mickey Abbatiello; shortstop Dave Perleshi; and pitcher Rob Federico.

"We're just in a funk right now," coach Dom Cecere said.

Eastchester has played without the arm of Sorine, a talented junior who pitched his first outing of the season against Ardsley and allowed two earned runs in three innings of work.

Sorine rested his arm until the soreness subsided, but the coach isn't sure his star's absence threw the team into flux.

"It might be a factor," said Cecere, who, in his 44th year, is one win from No. 600 for his career. "The other guys have picked it up though."

Sorine's bat hasn't been an issue. The junior slugger leads the team with a .556 average and eight RBI. Overall, however, both the offense (3.25 runs per game) and the pitching (7.98 ERA) have struggled mightily.

Cecere envisions this week's three-game road trip through West Virginia as something that can unite his club. The Eagles play official games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but will also be left with ample time to bond.

He believes Eastchester still has the time - and the talent - to jell.

"I think we can definitely come back," he said. "We just better do it in a hurry."

Sweeney helping Stepinac: Former Stepinac star Brian Sweeney has been a supporter of the program since he graduated in 1992, but he helped in a unique way this preseason. The former major leaguer, who currently plays in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters, donated $1,000 to the Stepinac program to purchase wood bats this preseason.

Power rankings: Records through Friday's games.

1. Mamaroneck (6-0): The Tigers should head into Friday's game against Scarsdale at 9-0.

2. Stepinac (8-1): Unbeaten in one trip through their division.

3. Iona Prep (8-2): Gaels' pitching is hot, though offense is not.

4. Mahopac (7-0): The staff has allowed just five runs all season.

5. John Jay (5-1): The Indians average nearly 14 runs per game.

On deck: Kennedy (8-2), Carmel (8-2), Pelham (7-1), Somers (4-2).

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