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BOYS: FORGOTTEN GLOVE OVERLOOKED SABAT BOOSTS Q.H. INFIELD.

Byline: Heather Gripp Staff Writer

QUARTZ HILL - Eddy Sabat held the rare distinction of winning his team's Golden Glove award without even having a starting position to call his own.

On most teams Sabat would be a standout shortstop. But the Quartz Hill High baseball team isn't like most teams. Division I-bound stars Matt Ware and Brian Chavez have anchored the Rebels' infield since they were freshmen, leaving little chance for anyone to play shortstop.

After two years of playing whatever position Ware and Chavez were not, Sabat has taken over as the starting second baseman for his senior season, and he's been anything but a weak link.

``We've been told we have one of the best infields in the state,'' Quartz Hill coach Lance Pierson said. ``Everyone knows about Matt and Brian. And (Sabat has) been the overlooked guy. Matt and Brian are special players, they've always been the guys. But Eddy is as good defensively as the others. I can't remember him ever making an error.

``He's a fantastic shortstop, but with Matt and Brian, no one else plays there.''

Sabat has been a starter since he was a sophomore, playing whatever position was vacated when Ware or Chavez was pitching. Chavez moved from second to third base this season, giving Sabat the job full time.

``The guy has a really positive attitude,'' Pierson said of Sabat. ``I've never heard a complaint out of him.

``Matt and Brian have always been the guys since they were kids. I guess you could say he's been overlooked before. Not overlooked by me, though.''

Sabat doesn't regret being overshadowed by his teammates.

In fact, Sabat said Ware and Chavez make his job easier, and he considers it an honor to play alongside the duo he has admired since childhood.

``If anything, it takes pressure off me,'' Sabat said. ``I can relax and do my thing. ... Since I was little, I always looked up to them.''

The second-base job wasn't the only responsibility Sabat added this season. After having a designated hitter bat for him last year, Sabat gets to bat this year. He has excelled as a prototypical leadoff hitter, batting better than .400 for the Golden League's first-place team.

``He's always been a good hitter,'' Pierson said. ``But we've had a lot of good hitters here, so it was hard to get him in there.''

Defense has always been Sabat's forte, though. He grew up taking hours of ground balls with his dad. He hates making errors so much he can quickly identify his last: last season against Palmdale.

Heather Gripp, (818) 713-3607

heather.gripp(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

photo, 6 boxes

Photo:

This season Eddy Sabat took over the the starting second-base job for Quartz Hill and is batting better than .400 as the Rebels' leadoff hitter. The senior likely will try to walk on at USC.

Tom Mendoza/Staff Photographer

Box:

(1) COMING UP

(2) BOYS: GAME OF THE WEEK

(3) GIRLS: GAME OF THE WEEK

(4) SOFTBALL LOOK BACK

(5) BASEBALL LOOK BACK

(6) STANDINGS
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Apr 2, 2004
Words:509
Previous Article:GIRLS: HIGHLAND ON TOP OF AREA TEAMS, BULLDOGS PLAYING BEST AS GOLDEN LEAGUE PLAY NEARS.
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