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Ny Post- Stepinac Baseball preview

Posted Saturday, March 26, 2011 by NYpost.com

No. 7: Pitching depth key for Archbishop Stepinac

Last Updated: 2:20 AM, March 26, 2011

Posted: 2:09 AM, March 26, 2011

Comments: 0

Archbishop Stepinac is bucking its trend.

“In years past we’ve had plenty of hitting, good defensive teams and one pitcher,” coach Pat Duffy said. “It’s all about pitching. If you have depth in pitching and have someone who can stop a good hitting team, you’ve got a chance.”

And that’s just what Stepinac has with several returners back on the mound.

Junior Christian Huertas is vying for the No. 1 spot and he’ll be joined by three-year varsity pitcher Danny DeFilippo, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound righty who has picked up a few miles on his fastball, lefty John Galgano is battling for a spot in the rotation along with Julian Ponce, who is a “big strong kid,” according to Duffy.

 

Also back for Stepinac, which has won three consecutive Bronx-Westchester division titles, is Donato Signore, who started at third base and served as the Crusaders closer. Duffy said he’s probably the Crusaders best hitter and should bat in the three-hole.

Signore, DeFilippo and Greg Digiacinto, a three-year varsity player and returning starter in center, were all on the Stepinac team that reached the final two years ago only to lose to rival Fordham Prep.

“You want to get there again and win it because you want that ring,” said Signore, who will play in the middle infield at Adelphi next year.

A ring is exactly what Nick Euvino has. A starting wide receiver, the senior helped guide the Crusaders to a perfect 12-0 season and a CHSFL Class AA title. He hopes to duplicate that success on the diamond.

“I’m trying to bring the intensity from football season to the baseball team,” Euvino said. “I want to get another one.”

Euvino is one of two football players on the baseball team, joining junior tight end Vinny Narog, on the baseball team. Duffy said that football toughness and intensity is something Howie Smith, his former coach at Mount St. Michael, used to always do.

“Every spring a couple of big, huge football guys who were barking out orders would show up in baseball uniforms,” Duffy said. “Whether they could play or not, they brought some leadership, they brought moxie. Howie loved that.”

“They’ve got rings and when they flash those rings around, these guys get jealous,” Duffy added.

With catcher Nick Carpinello back, Stepinac is solid up the middle and Duffy believes they are strong at the corner infield spots with Signore at third and a competition at first. Second baseman Manuel Lara is solid, but Duffy is a bit concerned with inexperienced, but talented, sophomore shortstop Skylar Mercado.

“I’m going to have patience with him because we’re going to live and die with him,” Duffy said.

But because of the Crusaders depth on the mound, Duffy expects his team to be living deep into June.

“I like our chances because we’ve got shutdown pitchers,” Duffy said. “That’s what you need when you get into the playoffs.”

dbutler@nypost.com


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/high_school/baseball/no_pitching_depth_key_for_archbishop_seiscZvuWcwjxllmboUw5M#ixzz1HjshQVXi

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