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Pitching keeps Falcons flying

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Mike Hanrahan, in his first year as varsity baseball coach at Bishop Ford High School, at times has been impressed with his team’s performance, especially with their pitching, which has certainly carried the Falcons, a member of the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association. The Falcons entered the week playing .500 ball at press time.

Pitching has kept the Falcons in the games and has been the strength of the team.

“Our pitching has been there all season,” Hanrahan said.

Terence Stubbs, Kasceim Graham (who has the best earned run average on the team at 2.24) and Steve Bove head the pitching staff.

Terence Stubbs is among the Falcon’s top pitchers. He has turned in decent performances and pitched against tough teams all year.

“Look at the competition Stubbs has faced and you can’t go by his record,” Hanrahan said as the team neared the end of the regular season. “After starting off a little rough and wild at times, including walking and hitting batters, he has been progressing better and better during the course of the season. Now he’s coming back to where we expect him to be where he’s throwing strikes and making batters work. He’s done a great job, has great control and works hard.”

Stubbs throws mainly three pitches – the fast ball, curve and change-up – and he has a slider that he occasionally uses. He turned in his best game against league rival Holy Cross of Queens even though the team lost.

“I had a productive outing in pitching six and one third innings and striking out eight batters,” said Stubbs.

Middle relief pitcher Pat DeFillippo has also done a tremendous job.

“DeFillippo has also done a great job for us,” said Hanrahan. “He doesn’t walk too many batters. He has a great curve ball that compliments his fast ball. He has been a surprise for us.”

“Overall, our team can go as far as our young pitching staff takes us,” said Stubbs.

While pitching is a major strength, second baseman Julian Delarosa and short stopper Bill Cardona have been carrying the offense.

“Delarosa has led the hitting all season,” Hanrahan said after a 9-0 victory over league rival St. Edmund’s in Prospect Park, the home field for the Falcons. “He’s batting about .315. He is always going to be a hitter, continues to hit and is consistent. He is good at bat and doesn’t strike out that much.”

Overall, the hitting has come around a great deal, averaging four runs a game, scoring nine against St. Edmund recently.

“We scored that many runs against a very good team,” Hanrahan said. “Their [well under .500] record doesn’t show it, but they are well coached by [Michael Mancini].”

Overall, the Falcons have been getting better with each game.

“We’re in the strongest division in the city,” Hanrahan said. “Having a winning record in this division says a lot about our team.”

Ford competes in the same league with such other schools as Bay Ridge’s Xaverian, St. Francis, Holy Cross and Molloy, all perennial tough teams year in and year out.

The highlight of the season has been a trip to South Carolina before the start of the league portion of the schedule.

“We came back home with a 1-3 record and we were the only team who hit with wood [wooden bats, a new rule in New York City],” said Cardona, a .310 hitter, who signed a letter of intent to continue his education and baseball at Siena University in upstate New York come September. “We didn’t come out the way we wanted to be but by far, it was the best baseball we played.”

“I think we can go pretty far with our pitching staff [in the playoffs],” Stubbs added. “We should surprise a lot of teams.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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