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Standen sparks rally as SJ Prep tops N-G in Catholic League playoff

Hawks win, 7-2, advance to second-round winners bracket for a game against Bonner Prendergast.

St. Joseph's Prep's Chase Standen (left) avoids getting picked off at first base against Neumann-Goretti High's Josh Ockimey during the fourth-inning in Catholic League baseball playoffs on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.  ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )
St. Joseph's Prep's Chase Standen (left) avoids getting picked off at first base against Neumann-Goretti High's Josh Ockimey during the fourth-inning in Catholic League baseball playoffs on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )Read moreDaily News/Inquirer

This story has been corrected. Chase Standen's batting average at the time of All-Catholic team voting was .436, not .409.

NEXT YEAR, maybe Chase Standen can be stationed at a middle-infield spot for St. Joseph's Prep's baseball team.

Then everyone could decide whether he's better at turning a doubleplay or a phrase.

The 6-2, 190-pound Standen, the rightfielder and cleanup hitter, so far has limited his extracurricular activities to sports. But he earns straight A's in advanced- placement English and will spend his final year writing for the school paper.

And he won't be one-dimensional.

"There are lots of important things going on around our school, so I'd try to write stories that would give headlines to any group that deserves them," Standen said. "You just can't focus the whole thing on sports, because there are kids in our school who are geniuses. You have to balance it out and take care of everyone.

"I'd do whatever's big at the moment. Give support to all the teams, whether it's bowling or squash or baseball or football. Hey, even the mock-trial team."

Yesterday, the Prep found itself hosting a first-round game in the Catholic League playoffs, at Richie Ashburn Field in FDR Park, and Standen enjoyed a gigantic moment in a 7-2 victory over Ss. Neumann-Goretti.

Though the home fifth began with the Hawks trailing, 2-0, Standen provided a 3-2 lead by roping a three-run double into the leftfield corner. Four more runs were tallied as the rally turned into an outburst.

Tomorrow, the Hawks will visit Bonner-Prendergast in the second round of the winners bracket in the double-elimination tournament. N-G will host Cardinal O'Hara in the losers bracket.

OK, let's say Standen had been asked to write about this one.

"I'm not really one for putting myself in the spotlight," he said.

How 'bout this? How many paragraphs would he write before mentioning his name?

"Would depend on how long the first paragraph is," he said, smiling. "If it's short, maybe late in the second. Or even the start of the third."

Pause. "Ah, I'm not really sure how I'd handle it."

In 2011, Standen was almost exclusively a JV player. He showed well enough in workouts to begin this season batting sixth, then it didn't take him long to claim the No. 4 hole.

At the time the Red Division coaches voted for All-Catholic, Standen was batting .436. Sure, he would have enjoyed seeing his name on the list, and he appreciated that coach Joe Falcone was not exactly thrilled by the perceived snub, but losing sleep was not going to be part of his reaction.

Trying for a title takes priority.

In this one, the Hawks owned only one hit through four innings. That last frame ended with the bases loaded as Pat Doudican, a lefty, replaced righty Joe Kinee and retired Colin Cunningham on a squibbed popup that necessitated a tumbling catch by second baseman Joey Glennon.

Kinee returned to the mound for the fifth. Jawan McAllister and Pat O'Dell singled, then Shane Williams was plunked. Standen proceeded to fire his three-run double down the leftfield line.

"After my first two at-bats [strikeout, fielder's choice], I just wanted to do better in my third," Standen said. "I was sitting fastball, because he'd been throwing them all game. I just wanted to get the metal on the bat. Not worry about hitting a bomb."

Again, Doudican replaced Kinee. Tim Rafter and Chris Martin milked walks, then Alex Stewart, a lefty swinger, sent a tracer down the rightfield line for a three-run triple. Pinch-hitter Dino Cattai followed with a sacrifice fly.

"I was on third for Stewart's at-bat," Standen said. "As soon as he hit it, I knew it was going to be fair. After I scored, I was screaming at the other guys. I don't even remember what I said . . . I guess whether to slide, or not."

N-G posted a two-spot in the second inning, thanks to Charlie Jerla's RBI double and Nick Simon's sacrifice fly. Otherwise, senior righthander Tom Mullin, the Red MVP, was mostly dominant. In all, he allowed six hits and three walks, while striking out 12.

Mullin, a Penn State signee, is the 14th CL pitcher to record as many as 12 postseason whiffs. The Hawks' previous high had been 11 by John Coury in a 2004 first-rounder vs. Roman.

Standen, who lives in Newtown Square, has become quite the pull hitter.

"I really do it a lot at practice," he said. "I have a pull-down swing, and I'm pretty good at reacting to the pitch."

Next year, he'll try to pull good journalism out of his computer.