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Knights: Best team on paper

Through the first half of the season, the Madison Knights have proven that they can dominate play in the Brooklyn East “A” Division with an untouched 7-0 record. There is no doubt that the Knights have the best team on paper and their play on the field fully supports that statement. Coach Vincent Caiazza’s team has posted a 14-2 record for the past three consecutive seasons, this season, they’re well on their way to ending with that same record. (Ed. note: all statistics are as of press time.)

Madison Knights (7-0)- The two ingredients to the Knights’ success are dominant pitching and timely hitting. That same timely hitting has produced nearly 10 runs per game, leading them to five blowouts so far. The most amazing stat for staff has been that each pitcher has an earned run average under three. No other team in the division can boast that.

Leading the staff has been upstart Victor Cosme. The senior hurler has a 3-0 record with a zero earned run average while just surrendering six hits in the 14.2 innings pitched. Others on the staff also mirror Cosme’s numbers: Jonathan Farina (zero E.R.A. in 7.1 innings pitched), James Wong (zero E.R.A. in 6.1 innings tossed), Edward Lenahan (zero E.R.A. in 1.1 frames pitched), and Carlos Guerrero (2.59 E.R.A. in 8.1 frames tossed).

At the plate, center fielder Kevin Laidlaw has been laying the law as he leads the team with a .522 batting average while driving in five R.B.I. His outfield counterpart, left fielder Christopher Dantuono has batted to the tune of a .364 average and also has knocked in five R.B.I. With seven more contests remaining, it pretty much looks like Madison can run the table right into the playoffs with four games left against above-.500 teams (Sheepshead Bay and Brooklyn Tech). For the past three seasons, Madison has got it done in the regular season but can they get it done in the postseason after three consecutive bow-outs in the playoffs?

Sheepshead Bay Sharks (5-3)- Sheepshead Bay has to be the most overachieving team in the division and in the borough. After finishing 7-9 for the past two consecutive seasons, the Sharks are on pace to match and exceed that mark. Leading the tank has been catcher and ace pitcher Nestor Martinez. The senior has posted a 2-1 record with a 1.05 earned run average. In 20 innings pitched, Martinez has totaled 40 punchouts, fourth best in the city and first in the division.

Directly behind him is pitcher/shortstop Eddie Rodriguez. Affectionately known as “E-Rod” to Sharks fans, Rodriguez has posted a team-high .500 batting average while knocking in a team-high 10 R.B.I. On the hill, E-Rod has provided a formidable 1-2 punch with Martinez, as he is 1-1 with a 0.47 E.R.A. in 15 innings tossed.

With an even eight games left, the Sharks’ schedule can be described as indifferent. Sheepshead Bay has five contests left with teams that possess a sub-par .500 record while three more are against the borough’s powerhouses (two with Madison and one with Telecommunications).

Brooklyn Tech Engineers (4-4)- Right behind Sheepshead Bay, the next overachieving team in the division and borough has been the Engineers as they are also on pace to exceed their win total of a season ago (five). Leading Tech’s plot has been a duo of Engineers: shortstop Alex Diamond and center fielder Eric Robinson. The senior shortstop has been superb with a team-high .542 average and another team-leading nine R.B.I. As for the sophomore Robinson, he has driven in eight runs while boasting a .250 batting average.

On the hill, it is also another 1-2 combo that has led the way in Matthew Gibson and Henry Loehrke. The senior, Gibson, has recorded a perfect 2-0 slate with a 1.17 E.R.A. Additionally, he has 18 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. As for Loehrke, who has seen more innings, 21.1 in total, has posted up a 1-1, 1.99 E.R.A. record. As seven more games remain, Tech’s schedule is pretty much a toss-up, as two remain against Madison and one more against New Utrecht, while other contests are against below-.500 squads.

Midwood Hornets (3-6)- Last season, Midwood only lost eight games; this season, they already lost six in the first nine. The Hornets have won in heartbreak fashion but have lost in that same manner. So far, in 2008, Midwood has been edged out five times in games that were decided by the difference of four.

Despite the lack of success, center fielder Matthew Wheelehan has provided the offense for the bees, batting to the tune of a .483 average while driving in a team-high seven runs. As seven games are left, the Hornets have very little room to turn around the hive as they will need to go 5-2 with four games against above-.500 teams. The most amazing fact about the Hornets is that they have not strung together a winning streak of more than one this entire season.

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