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Stepinac Super Soph's lead the way to Championship

Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 by lohud.com

CHSAA baseball playoffs: Sophomores spark Stepinac past Farrell

By Josh Thomson • jthomson@LoHud.com • June 9, 2009


Before this season began, Stepinac coach Pat Duffy committed to lean on his three sophomores. He knew they had the ability to produce. He only wondered how ready they were to do it.




Duffy has stopped wondering. His youngest players have been among his most clutch during the CHSAA playoffs, and after a 3-1 win yesterday over No. 5 Monsignor Farrell at Fordham University, No. 2 Stepinac advanced to its first city championship game in 47 years.



Sophomore Danny DiFilippo pitched five innings of two-hit ball to earn the victory. Classmates Donato Signore and Greg Digiacinto each had an RBI and Signore escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the seventh to earn a save on the second straight day.



"I knew they were talented but I didn't know about their maturity level," Duffy said. "We went through some wars during the year and now I'm just so proud of these guys. They've grown up right in front of my eyes. They're warriors now. They don't look so young anymore."



The Crusaders last won the city crown in 1962 when their current pitching coach, Billy Cook, beat Power Memorial in the final.



This time Stepinac will have two chances thanks to the double-elimination format. The winner of the losers bracket must beat the Crusaders on Friday night at St. John's at 7:30, then beat them again the next day.



Stepinac earned the favorable schedule one run at a time yesterday. Digiacinto singled home Pete Tacinelli in the third. In the fourth, Ed Martinez squeezed in Steve Martinez with one out and Signore later scored Jackson Markey on a sacrifice fly.

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