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A hot dozen at the hot corner

As 14 area baseball teams prepare to set out in search of statewide gold, we present Southeastern Pennsylvania's best third-base performers.

As 14 area baseball teams prepare to set out in search of statewide gold, we present Southeastern Pennsylvania's best third-base performers.

We cranked this list, based on personal observations and input from local coaches, up to 12.

1. Dan Rosenbaum, Chestnut Hill Academy, junior. Arguably the Blue Devils' most valuable player, he hit .386 with 28 RBIs, 25 runs, 15 doubles, 5 triples, and 3 home runs. The cleanup man had a .529 on-base percentage.

On the mound, Rosenbaum, a righthander and Louisville recruit, went 6-2 with a 2.32 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 572/3 innings.

2. Stefan Swaintek, Lansdale Catholic, senior. The Catholic League Blue Division first-team selection, bound for Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., batted .429 with 23 RBIs and 20 runs. He had a .603 slugging percentage and .486 on-base percentage.

3. Rob Patete, Owen J. Roberts, senior. Patete, ticketed for East Stroudsburg, hit .432 with 32 RBIs, 28 runs, 9 homers, and 6 doubles. A repeat first-team all-Pioneer Athletic Conference selection, he had a .578 on-base percentage.

4. Tyler Coleman, Quakertown, senior. Coleman, a West Chester recruit who doubled as a pitcher, batted .454 with 16 RBIs and 4 homers. He was a first-team all-Suburban One League Continental Conference choice.

5. Justin Thomas, Council Rock South, senior. This third baseman's play helped the Golden Hawks place second in the Suburban One League National Conference and fourth in the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA tournament.

6. Vince Rondolone, Haverford School, senior. The four-year starter and two-time first-team all-Inter-Ac League honoree hit .446 with 38 RBIs, 27 runs, and 5 homers. He had a .759 slugging percentage.

7. Joe Kelly, Marple Newtown, junior. Kelly, a second-team all-Central League selection, batted .392 with 25 RBIs, 19 runs, 3 doubles, and 2 homers.

8. Mike Festa, Council Rock North, senior. One of the area's most improved players, Festa, the Indians' leadoff man, is hitting .492 with 22 runs and a .557 on-base percentage.

9. Joe Poduslenko, Malvern Prep, sophomore. Keep an eye on this underclassman. Mostly from the No. 2 spot, Poduslenko batted .333 with eight doubles. He made only two errors in 26 appearances.

10. Kevin Montero, Frankford, sophomore. Montero, a hard-slugging Dominican Republic native, also has a bright future. The cleanup man plays first base for the Public League champions, too.

11. Larry Brittingham, Archbishop Wood, senior. A second-team all-Catholic Blue pick, Brittingham hit .368 with 16 RBIs. The Millersville recruit had a .456 slugging percentage and .431 on-base percentage.

12. Pete Rowe, Central, senior. Rowe, a do-everything type for the Lancers, will join Brittingham at Millersville. In 20 games, he batted .300 with 21 runs, 15 RBIs, and a .483 slugging percentage.

Others to watch, listed alphabetically: Derek Barrett, Holy Ghost Prep, junior; Larry Brittingham, Archbishop Wood, senior; Jason Cho, Plymouth Whitemarsh, junior; Cody Clarke, Spring-Ford, junior; Dan Cripps, Upper Moreland, sophomore; Kris Davis, Central Bucks East, senior; Luke DiBussolo, Norristown, senior; Tom Fior, Haverford High, junior; Mike Fitzgerald, Germantown Academy, junior; Blake Goebel, Delco Christian, senior; Matt Hanson, Central Bucks West, senior; Zack Jones, West Chester Henderson, junior; Joe Kirby, Penncrest, junior; Anthony Micalizzi, Bensalem, junior; Jim Murphy, Monsignor Bonner, senior; Mike Piscopo, La Salle, junior; Shea Rosadino, Conestoga, senior; Dan Stahl, Archbishop Ryan, sophomore; Harry Taggart, Masterman, sophomore; R.J. Vaughan, Roman Catholic, senior; and Connor Wing, Unionville, senior.

Extra bases. Central Bucks West second baseman Sam Lis batted .431 with 18 runs and 8 stolen bases. . . . Haverford School righthander Ryan Blake went 6-1 with 2.38 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 47 innings. Teammate Scott Safford, a leftfielder, hit .400 with 27 RBIs from the cleanup spot. . . . Central's Mark Gervasi, a first baseman, batted .556 with 29 runs, 24 RBIs, and 10 doubles. . . . Quakertown first baseman Collin Utterback hit .466 with 18 RBIs, 8 doubles, and 3 homers. . . . Perkiomen Valley rightfielder/DH Kenny Wolf batted .413 with 17 RBIs, 12 runs, and 5 doubles. Teammate Nick Koffel, a centerfielder, hit .364 with 21 runs, 12 RBIs, and 4 doubles. . . . Abington Friends first baseman Ethan Ostroff batted .613 with 23 RBIs and a .661 on-base percentage. The senior might try to walk on at Penn State. . . . Matt Minetola, a centerfielder for Plymouth Whitemarsh, hit .456 with 21 runs, 12 RBIs, and 19 walks. . . . Shipley shortstop Spencer Stokes batted .534 with 34 runs, 30 RBIs, and 10 doubles. . . . Wissahickon righthander Greg Neduscin went 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 43 innings. . . . For Calvary Christian, the District I Class A titlist, first baseman Zach Caldwell is hitting .397 with 24 runs and 14 RBIs. Teammate Tyler Scheuer, an ace pitcher and centerfielder, is batting .367 with 15 runs and 14 RBIs.