Adam Sorin was slumping earlier this season. Physically, he was fine, but his confidence was down and with that came his batting average and run production.
Luckily, he had a built-in support group. The junior has played with 13 of his teammates on the Forest Hills HS baseball team since they were adolescents with Forest Hills Little League. Five of his teammates with the Rangers were on the 13- and 14-year-old Forest Hills Little League team that went to the New York State championship two years ago in upstate New York.
"We told him, don't worry, you'll get your chance," sophomore catcher Timmy Hoxha said. "We know if he gets that inside pitch, he'll be fine. He needs to wait for that pitch."
Forest Hills might not be the most talented team in the city the Rangers are still jockeying for a playoff spot in Queens East A. But they certainly have the most camaraderie. A group of baseball players staying together this long in New York City isn't just a rarity, it's an anachronism.
"I'm a neighborhood guy," coach Marty Finkelstein said. "I think kids should go to school in their own neighborhood."
Finkelstein said the players have a tendency to goof around more often, but rarely does it affect the game plan. He praises Forest Hills Little League for developing talent and keeping it together over the years.
"There should be no downside," the coach said.
The Rangers are very much an intangibles team. Star second baseman and designated hitter Jesse Friedman said they're "like a family." Everyone is fundamentally sound due to Finkelstein and their early coaching in Little League. Friedman, Jake Lefkowitz and Jonathan Kramer are all in the top 10 of the division in on-base percentage. There isn't a whole lot of power, but the entire city is down in that area because of the switch to wood bats.
After the season the group which went to Greece, N.Y., in 2006, will be together again with Forest Hills League as 15- and 16-year-olds, with the exception of Hoxha. He'll be playing with the Youth Service travel team. Sorin is already predicting a return to the state championship.
Either way one thing is certain: they'll be doing it together.
Said Friedman: "It's brotherhood."
Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@
©2008 Community News Group
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