Arcadia sparks La Salle rally in win over St. Joe's Prep

Posted: April 11, 2014

AS HARBINGERS go, Adam Arcadia's first swing in the fourth inning against St. Joseph's Prep foretold of potential doom for the La Salle High rally.

After the Explorers tied the game with two outs, the senior designated hitter stepped in with a runner in scoring position and waved at an offspeed pitch with an overzealous bat.

Before he could unleash another wild cut, third-base coach John Reifsnyder called timeout and met Arcadia down the baseline.

"He just said that this is a big at-bat and the team needs me to come through with a hit, and I just have to focus and forget about that pitch," Arcadia said. "Just refocus and put a solid swing on it."

A few pitches later, Arcadia watched a ball sail out of the zone, so he threw his bat to the side and sprinted to first.

Oops. That was only ball 3.

"He must have really wanted that walk," quipped a spectator.

"I wanted a hit," Arcadia said later. "The hit is so much better. Yeah, I wanted the hit."

He got it, tickling a hit-it-where-they-ain't single just by a diving third baseman and a lunging shortstop.

"Thank God, I didn't walk," he said later, smiling.

Senior Nick Dermo, who reached on a walk, scored from second to give La Salle the lead. The host Explorers (6-1) plated three more runs in the five-run inning and never looked back en route to a 9-3 victory.

"He's someone who's very hard on himself," Reifsnyder said of Arcadia. "I just didn't feel like that first swing was his best swing or that he had his head clear, so I just tried to clear it for him, and luckily it worked out."

Reifsnyder filled in for La Salle coach Joe Parisi, who missed the game with a family emergency.

With a blustery wind making popups adventurous, Arcadia finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Senior centerfielder Jimmy Herron (Duke-bound) went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Junior shortstop Austin Grezeszak went 2-for-4.

Dom Cuoci, a senior third baseman, smashed a solo home run and finished with two RBI. Senior southpaw John Scheffey earned the complete-game victory, striking out seven, while allowing three runs on eight hits in 91 pitches.

The 5-10, 155-pound Arcadia, who will play baseball at Division II Belmont Abbey College next season, is the usual DH if the Explorers' No. 1 pitcher, Cuoci, is at third.

"Yeah, we kind of came out a little slow, and maybe that at-bat sparked us a little bit," Arcadia said, also mentioning quality plate appearances by teammates.

"My role is when I'm out there in the field, play solid defense and have quality at-bats to turn the lineup over to the top of our order, which has been solid this year."

The Hawks were led at the plate by seniors Jawan McCallister (Pittsburgh) and Dan Ryan, who each went 2-for-3. Off the bench late, sophomore Keith Flaherty added a pinch-hit, RBI-double and junior Jack Frantz muscled a solo shot well over the 375-foot sign in center.

After cruising early, senior Colin Cunningham took the loss, allowing eight runs on 11 hits in five innings.

As for Arcadia, who lives in Horsham, he grew up playing baseball with his dad, Vince.

"My dad's been a big part of it, paying for lessons and stuff," he said. "He's just always been there to support me through all the games. "

His teammates either call him 12 (his number) or "The Silent Assassin," because he is usually a young man of few words. Someday, players might call him the boss. In college, Arcadia has his sights set on sports management and possibly a career as a general manager in baseball.

"They just get to make all the decisions and, when they all go well, you get to see it on the field," he said. "You just get to have control over how well the team does."

Yeah, but when those decisions don't go well? He just smiled, then said: "That's the other side that I try not to think about."

On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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