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Forman pitches St. Francis Prep into next round

Tuesday, June 5, 2007  
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The Queens Courier

Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:53 PM CDT

When Dan Forman is on the mound, not much offense is needed. The Manhattan-bound southpaw generally keeps the opposition’s attack down. For some reason, however, St. Francis Prep still saves their best offensive performances for when their ace is on the hill.

“When he pitches, they hit,” Manager Robert Kent said, later adding Forman’s mere presence “probably takes the pressure off them.”

With the season hanging in the balance, the Terriers left little to chance. After splitting the first two games of their best-of-three playoffs series against Monsignor Farrell, St. Francis was facing elimination Monday afternoon. They had Forman back on the mound - he also won Game 1, 9-0 - and again, their bats exploded, this time with a 14-hit attack, which paved the way to a rather stress-free 10-1 victory at Molloy College.

After a one-year absence, the Terriers return to the Catholic league’s eight-team double-elimination tournament. Junior shortstop Lucas Romeo, who reached base in each game against the Lions, led the attack with three hits, three RBIs, and two runs scored. “My job, in the second spot [in the order], is just to get on base in front of the big guys,” he said.

One of those guys - St. John’s-bound right fielder Paul Karmas - rocketed a three-run opposite-field homer, and another, third baseman Sebastian Grazziani, added three hits, a run batted in and scored once in support of Forman, who struck out 11 and yielded six hits on three days rest.

“There’s no doubt he’s the best pitcher in the league I think,” Romeo said. “Every time he gets the ball, we have a good chance to win.”

Of course, any time a team scores five second-inning runs, as the Terriers (18-6) did in this case, it is easy on the pitcher. “Once you get five runs under you belt,” Forman said, “nothing else feels that important.”