Tom Marano's brother, Scott, is a mechanic for a prominent local car dealership and Tom thinks that's a pretty cool job, and could even see himself following suit.

"I like the idea," he said, "of taking something apart and putting it back together."

Funny he should mention that . . . Marano's right shoulder might be in the on-deck circle.

"Oh, I do not want that at all," he said, chuckling. "I'd be really mad if that happened. The doctor doesn't think there'll be a need for an operation."

Marano is a 6-foot, 190-pound senior at George Washington High and yesterday he earned the win as the Eagles bested visiting Esperanza (charter) Academy, 11-4, in a Public League baseball quarterfinal.

You mean the same Tom Marano who not that long ago was diagnosed with a slight tear in his labrum?

"When the doctor said 'labrum,' I didn't even know what that was," Marano said. "I was having some pain in there, so I wanted to be safe and get it checked out. The doctor said I was kind of lucky because there was a cyst and some scar tissue over it, which would keep it from getting worse. I've been doing a lot more exercising and it's feeling really good.

"I always played shortstop and that might have been part of the problem. I had a tendency to throw sidearm from there sometimes. Dan Meade is doing a great job at shortstop and I'm at second, where I'm more comfortable and which I like more, anyway. I'm not mad at all about the switch."

Marano was hardly dominant yesterday, allowing four hits and three earned runs while striking out one. But the offense was rolling, so it didn't much matter. Marano went 3-for-4 with one RBI, which came in a two-run first.

Frosh John Santos, the No. 9 hitter, collected three RBI while Bryan Reiss and Meade had two apiece while cracking homers. Meade earned a three-inning save, allowing three hits and one run. Jeffrey Escolatico led the Toros with two RBI, thanks to sacrifice flies.

"I hadn't pitched for a while," Marano said, "so my arm was feeling good. I only had to go four today and I'll get the start vs. Edison in the semifinals [Tuesday, approximately 4:30, at South Philly's Ashburn Field]."

Once the season concludes, Marano plans to go the month-in-mothballs route.

"Then I'll get back into training for hitting, pitching and fielding as I get ready to play at Penn State Abington," he said. "I was thinking about getting into a wood bat league, but the break will do me good.

"In college, I'll be looking to pitch. Really, I don't think I could ever pick a favorite between pitching and playing the field, but if forced I guess I'd have to say pitching only because you're in complete control. Even at Penn State Abington, I'll be hoping to do both things."

Meanwhile, does Marano, who lives in Parkwood, have a favorite type of classic car?

"I love those old Mustangs," he said. "They're pretty cool."