Really, all 14 teams that are still alive in the Section 1 playoffs could make a case for one or two players to be this week’s #lohudbaseball Player of the Week. There were several dominating pitching performances and a handful of hitters who mashed in key situations, which made this week’s decision even more difficult than usual. And while there will surely be varying opinions regarding which player is most deserving of the honor, I think we can all agree on which team was the best story of the opening week of sectionals.
Yes, Lincoln entered the Class A bracket as the No. 3 seed, but I don’t think many people — myself included — thought that the Lancers were heading for the semifinals. It’s not meant as a knock on the program, but the reality is that Lincoln had never previously reached the final four in any class. The Lancers were very successful against the competition from its league in Yonkers, but until we saw them knock off some quality opponents in Class A, there were legitimate reasons for skepticism. Well, now we have. And a big reason for that is sophomore right fielder Ray Patrone.
In wins over Yonkers and Beacon, Patrone went 5 for 7 and played a role in six of Lincoln’s 12 runs with three runs scored and three RBI. He scored the winning run against Yonkers in the first round after leading off the fifth inning with a single and stealing second, and he had the game-winning RBI in Saturday’s 4-3 win over Beacon in the quarters. According to Lincoln coach Brian Vickers, no player was as critical to the team’s success in the first two rounds.
Other players who were considered included Arlington’s Dan Schweitzer, Greeley’s Adam Quine, Fox Lane’s Andrew Workman, Suffern’s Justin Weisberg, Rye’s Tim DeGraw, Byram’s John Spadafino, Harrison’s Dean McCarthy, Solomon Schechter’s Noah Dunn, Albertus Magnus’ Owen Lorenz, Keio’s Kenta Nishiyama, Ketcham’s Tim Zehnbauer, John Jay’s Justin Drpich, Putnam Valley’s Eddie Lent and Mamaroneck’s Kumar Nambiar.