South baseball team set for a run at A North title Eagles off to a 2-1 start entering yesterday’s showdown with CBABy Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer An experienced group of returning starters has helped the Middletown High School South baseball team to a 2-1 start. The Eagles, 15-10 last spring, have downed Howell, 9-1, and Red Bank Catholic, 17-1, while losing to Manalapan, 5-3. Shortstop David Toma led the way in the Howell game going 2-4 with two RBIs. Lead-off man Andy Hooker poked a pair of doubles and drove in four runs in the RBC game. This week Middletown South is looking at three games. The Eagles were slated to host CBA yesterday and Middletown North this afternoon, and will travel to Toms River East Saturday. With a win over either the Colts or the Lions, the Eagles could make an early statement within the highly competitive A North division. Middletown South’s strength is hitting, as four players batted more than .400 last year. Hooker, who has signed on to play at Columbia University next year, was at .439 with 12 RBIs, pitcher/right fielder Steve Sakosits batted .429 with 22 RBIs, second baseman Mike McClelland hit .420 and catcher Bill Doll was at .414 with 17 RBIs. In addition, Toma is coming off a .390 season and pitcher/left fielder Marc Nevins hit .378 a year ago. On the mound, coach Steve Antonucci will rely on Sakosits and Nevins. Last spring Sakosits, who is heading to Xavier next year, was 7-3 with a 4.03 ERA, while Nevins was 5-2 with a 3.29 ERA. The other pitchers are junior Brian Skirka, who was 2-0 with a 4.10 ERA, and seniors Sean Murphy and Rod Murchie. “We’re a good hitting team and our pitching should be adequate,” Antonucci said. “We have some experience on the mound and that helps, but we’ll also have to play well on defense.” Other members of the team include senior catcher Jon Jandoli, first basemen Justin Distler and Mike Lyttle, and infielder Mike DeBartolome, all juniors; and Matt Miller, a sophomore infielder. As a well-rounded team with quality pitching and defense, the Eagles should be among a number of teams chasing the Colts for the division’s top spot this year. CBA is loaded once again, with dominant starting pitching and a number of dangerous hitters scattered through their lineup. But South is capable of playing with the Shore’s top teams and will look to climb the rankings as the season progresses. Currently, the Eagles are ranked sixth in the Shore.