St. Francis Prep players have spent more time wielding rakes and shovels in the last two weeks than bats and gloves. With all the rain, attempting to play games at the Terriers’ grass field at Cunningham Park has been dicey. Three games this week alone were postponed.
“The kids get tired of fixing the field,” Bro. Robert Kent said. “They want to play.”
It certainly seemed like that Friday.
Dylan Lawrence pitched a complete-game two-hitter to lead St. Francis Prep to its biggest win of the season, 2-1 over previously undefeated Xaverian in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens ‘AA’ baseball in Fresh Meadows. Somehow, despite all the rain, SFP (9-3) has now strung seven straight wins together after starting the league season 2-3.
St. Francis players celebrate their victory.
St. Francis Prep's Dylan Lawrence tossed a two-hitter against Xaverian.
“It’s difficult to keep your rhythm, momentum,” Kent said. “We were playing good last week and this week we couldn’t even play.”
Until Friday, that is. Bobby Perretti went 2-for-3 with two triples and an RBI and John Mendez scored the winning run after a wild pickoff attempt to second.
Lawrence, though, was the story. Just a sophomore, the right-hander almost pitched this year on the JV with all his friends, but Kent brought him yp because the longtime coach felt he could help the big team. That decision is paying dividends.
“If I bring you up, you’re gonna pitch,” Kent said. “I don’t believe in moving guys up and not pitching him.”
Lawrence got his feet wet in a win against Monsignor McClancy and then beat Christ the King. Kent had enough confidence in the 10th grader to throw him into the fire against defending CHSAA Class AA intersectional champion Xaverian (12-1). Lawrence rewarded him with a brilliant outing, even picking off two batters off first.
“We found another pitcher today,” Kent said with a laugh. “That’s what happens with these rainouts.”
Indeed, with ace Taso Stathopoulos, steady Nick LoPrinzi and now Lawrence, St. Francis Prep has a staff that will be a force to be reckoned with in the postseason.
The Terriers will be right back in action Saturday morning against Archbishop Molloy and then play four games in four days next week. This victory against Xaverian doesn’t clinch second place in Brooklyn/Queens, but it puts SFP in the driver’s seat.
“It’s tremendous,” Kent said of the victory. “We’re trying to get second place, get a good spot in the playoffs.”
And perhaps the best part about the playoffs is that they’re mostly at college fields. The Terriers can leave the rakes and shovels at home.