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Fired up Central eliminates Edison in Public League quarterfinals

The Public League quarterfinal playoff game between Central High and Thomas Edison featured quite the story lines.

The Public League quarterfinal playoff game between Central High and Thomas Edison featured quite the story lines.

After receiving a bye in the first round, Central earned a little revenge against the visiting Owls with a 14-3 victory. Edison had taken down the Lancers, 7-0, toward the end of the regular season.

Edison entered the game still very aware of the controversy surrounding the team after forfeiting 10 wins for using an over-age player. Despite dropping from the fourth to the sixth seed, Edison had defeated Lincoln, 18-2, in the first round, so this had the makings of an interesting affair.

Central coach Rich Weiss could not express enough how much his team zeroed in on this game.

"They came out so ready to play," Weiss said. "They were so focused, especially against Edison with all the things that went on behind the scenes. It was extra motivation for them. They knew that they were shut out before and they were embarrassed on their home field. They were out for revenge this time."

Central scored five runs in the first inning, then seven more in the second, highlighted by senior third baseman Kevin Pfeifer's grand slam.

Pfeifer, who hopes to walk on at Millersville, was nearly speechless talking about his big hit.

"Honestly, when I first hit it, it felt like a good hit," said Pfeifer, who also doubled. "Once they said it was a home run, it was a great feeling. I can't even describe it."

Pfeifer, a Daily News All-Public League football player, also pitched an inning, striking out two in the fourth inning of a game halted after 4 1/2 innings by the 10-run rule.

All-Public League first-teamer Pete Rowe started for Central. He pitched three innings, allowing no runs, with three strikeouts.

Trailing 14-0, Edison broke through with three runs in the final inning.

"It was a great game," Pfeifer said. "We jumped on them right away. We knew we had to come in and play smart ball to get the win. This is a big win. We thought Edison was one of the better teams in the league. It was a good test and will help us get ready."

Ready for tomorrow's semifinal matchup at La Salle University against Girard Academic Music Program, which eliminated Northeast, 11-3.

Weiss is confident his team can continue its quest for a second straight Public League title.

"They are ready for the winner," he said. "We are excited to play at La Salle University."