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The Philadelphia Daily News

Frankford's Rosado Has Another Field Day


5 May 2005
Copyright © 2005 The Philadelphia Daily News. All rights reserved.

Carlos Rosado enjoys taking an occasional turn on the mound for Frankford High's baseball team.

Emphasis on occasional.

"Me and pitching? Nothing big," he said. "I never go more than an inning or two and that's only if our other guys have tired arms.

"I'm always ready if needed, but in a game like this, phew, I was kind of glad I stayed right where I was. Not being that experienced, I might have messed things up. I was comfortable doing what I do best: making plays in the field and getting base hits."

Rosado, a 5-9, 160-pound senior, is a high-quality middle infielder and yesterday he showed why early and often, as the visiting Pioneers spanked Central, 16-7, in a beyond-wild Public League Division A game. It lasted just under 3 hours and was accompanied by persistent chanting and singing, in Spanish, by a small but energetic group of Frankford fans.

The teams combined for 24 hits, with nine going for extra bases (eight doubles, one triple), as well as 17 walks and 10 errors.

Frankford coach Bob Peffle used just 10 players, but made 15 position switches and called upon four pitchers. The totals for Central's Bob Barthelmeh were 14 players (five pitchers) and eight position switches.

Messy scorebooks were the order of the day.

Meanwhile, hitting out of the No. 3 slot, Rosado went 5-for-5 with four singles, a double, a sacrifice fly and four RBI.

At second base, he was the middleman on an impressive doubleplay and later sneaked to the bag, after a single, behind an unsuspecting, moving-up courtesy runner who'd made too much of a turn and he applied a crisp, successful tag off a throw from centerfielder Edwin Burgos.

When asked about his batting average, Rosado got kinda excited.

"Well, I've been on a tear and I'm hoping to stay on it," he said. "My average was .550 two games ago and since then I've had two hits and five hits. So, it's gotta be up there. The new stats will be ready to see when we get to school [today]."

Luis Alicea, a star shortstop-pitcher, is the Pioneers' acknowledged headliner, and he deserves every last bit of attention. Peffle is equally high on Rosado, though, and the admiration is very much returned.

"He's the best coach ever," Rosado said. "All the advice he gives you is perfect. All you have to do to be a good player under him is listen.

"He really stresses to recognize the pitch out of the pitcher's hand. He says I should always look for the pitch to be on the outside because if it's not, my hands are quick enough to handle it inside. He always tells me, 'Your hands are really good. Just trust them.'

"Before I came under Mr. Peffle, I couldn't do a thing with an outside curve. He has helped me in my life, too. He cares about us. Wants to prepare us for our next steps in life."

Early, and even medium, in this one, Frankford's players were at least partially prepared for the unthinkable - a loss.

The Pioneers (12-0) trailed by 4-1 after three innings and by 4-3 after four. They exploded for seven in the fifth as Jose "Pinky" DeLeon (2-for-2, three RBI) and Rosado lashed singles worth two runs apiece, Kelinton Tejada (3-for-4, two doubles) and Alicea thumped RBI doubles and Richard Jimenez (winning pitcher in relief) delivered an RBI single.

They added two in the sixth and four in the seventh while winning for the 51st time in their last 52 PL regular-season games. The tremendous run started with Game 1 of the 2002 season.

Central's leader was Andrew "Potter" Reynolds, who went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, walk and two RBI. His triple, a true blast, missed reaching the fieldhouse roof by maybe 6 feet, about four-fifths of the way toward centerfield.

Like most of his teammates, Rosado began his high-school years elsewhere. A distant elsewhere, in his case. This is his second year at Frankford after one at Olney and one in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

"I was supposed to go to Frankford out of Rush Middle School," he said. "But my mom sent me to live for a while with my uncle in P.R. When I came back, I still wanted to go to Frankford, but she said to try Olney since it was closer. I didn't like it."

Four more Olney players (DeLeon, Burgos, Tejada and Juan Torres) transferred to Oxford and Wakeling this year, as did Alicea (from Jules Mastbaum Tech).

"When the other guys came over, I thought it was awesome," Rosado said. "I knew we'd have fun and be a great team. We're all in a good place and we're all doing well, with baseball and school."

Rosado lives near Wyoming and Rising Sun and hopes to become an accountant. He is being eyed by assorted junior colleges.

"I know I can play," he said, matter of factly. "If I go to a school where there's a weak player in the lineup, I'm going to take his spot."

And, no doubt, make more than occasional contributions.

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