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Baseball: Flacco leads Eastern past Haddon Twp.

By Phil Anastasia

He passed for 2,957 yards last season as a football quarterback.

That was the fourth-highest total in South Jersey history.

His brother is a fairly famous football player.

But Tom Flacco plays a little baseball, too.

"He's improved by leaps and bounds," Eastern coach Rob Christ said of Flacco's development as a baseball player in his junior season.

Flacco scored two runs and drove in two as Eastern beat Haddon Township, 11-3, on Tuesday night in the semifinals of the Camden County tournament.

Flacco also registered his fifth home run of the season -- an inside-the-park job on a drive to right-center.

"He's one of the fastest kids I've ever seen get around the bases," Haddon Township coach Doug Richardson said. "Unbelievable."

Flacco said he thought he could circle the bases as he rounded second. He never broke stride and made it home without a throw.

"He's the fastest kid I've ever coached," Christ said. "He flies."

Senior outfielder Dom Nesbitt made a rare start and contributed theee hits and two RBIs for Eastern, (24-3), the No. 4 team in The Inquirer Top 10.

The Vikings will host the Cherry Hill West-Sterling winner in the tournament title game on May 29.

Cherry Hill West and Sterling are scheduled to play Thursday.
Flacco is 6-foot-1, about five inches shorter than his brother Joe, who won the MVP of the Super Bowl as the Baltimore Ravens quarterback.

Flacco said he still was "more apt" to play football in college, and mentioned Southern Mississippi as a school that has expressed a lot of interest.

He also said he would consider playing both football and baseball if he attended a college with a slightly lower level of competiton, such as an Ivy League school.

He said he would consider playing baseball if he was drafted next June -- an increasing possiblility given his development on the diamond.

Christ said Flacco recently was timed at 3.9 seconds going from home to first. That's the kind of speed that attracts major-league scouts, especially since Flacco is a left-handed swinger with pop in his bat.

Flacco will attend a camp in Tennessee this summer run by the Manning family and said he likely will visit Louisiana State and Southern Mississippi at that time.

He said he's not surprised by his success on the baseball field this spring but said that he's a "lot more relaxed in the (batters) box."

Christ said Flacco's improvement this year has been one of the keys to Eastern's strong season. The Vikings are the No. 1 seed in South Jersey Group 4 and host Toms River North in the second round on Friday.

"Every day I'm amazed," Christ said of Flacco's improvement.

Haddon Twp. 003 000 0 -- 3 6 3

Eastern 242 210 x -- 11 11 3

WP: Connor Travis. LP: Mike Lovett.

2B: E-Nick Tierno, Alex Bussison, Anthony Regalbuto.

3B: E-Ryan Delaney.

HR: E-Tom Flacco.

Contact Phil Anastasia at Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.