Randy James couldn't place his finger on it. The Francis Lewis baseball coach didnt know if it was Grand Street Campus lofty No. 6 seed or because his team was playing in Brooklyn against a team that was bigger and quicker than his Patriots, but James knew one thing for sure his team was nervous.
And it showed on the field, as two costly infield errors in the second led to a 10-run inning, capped by a mammoth three-run home run by Jonathon Rodriguez as Grand Street Campus cruised to a 12-2 win in the second round of the PSAL playoffs Friday. The Wolves advance to the quarterfinals to face defending champions, third-seeded Monroe, who defeated No. 19 New Dorp, 7-6, Friday.
Its unfortunate that our season ends like this, James said. Today we didnt show what we are capable of doing. For whatever reason we started out on our heels and you cant play that way.
One person who wasnt nervous was Rodriguez. After walking and scoring earlier in the inning, the left-handed hitting junior first baseman stepped to the plate with runners at second and third with one out and his team already leading 7-1.
James contemplated intentionally walking Rodriguez, but changed his mind at the last second.
Rodriguez tattooed Mario Santiagos first pitch over the 70-foot fence in right field, across the street and over a house, an estimated 400 foot-plus blast, to give Grand Street, which struggled a day earlier in a 5-1 first-round win over No. 27 Port Richmond, some much-needed breathing room.
That was the farthest shot Ive seen hit at this field in my five years as coach, said Grand Street head coach Melvin Martinez. They made some mistakes and we capitalized on them, especially [Rodriguezs] shot. That put the icing on the cake and we cruised from there.
Rodriguezs home run, which was the last time he was pitched to, as Lewis intentionally walked him twice, was the end of Santiagos day on the mound, as James pulled him for Mike Guarnieri. Santiago pitched 1.1 innings, gave up six hits, walked two and hit three all after retiring the side in order in the first inning.
That was for my grandmother, because I always promised her Id hit a home run in a big game, said Rodriguez, whose grandmother Jenny Gonzalez died last year. That was her one wish and she got it.
Lewis (20-7) actually had a chance to limit the damage to just two runs in the second, as Santiago caught Angel Baez, who just gave Grand Street a 2-1 lead with a two-run bases loaded single, leaning off first base.
Baez got stuck in a rundown, forcing Elvin Vargas to head to third. Lewis first baseman Jonathan Hecko crossed the diamond in an attempt to nab Vargas, but his throw to third was high and tipped off Joe Andersons glove and into the area reserved for the Patriots dugout, as both Vargas and Baez scored to put the Grand Street Campus (28-4) ahead, 4-1.
We play with what we got and you want them to hang in there and pull together and mature, James said. But this is not the pros. They are kids and they will make mistakes.
Lincoln 4, John Adams 0. In one of the biggest upsets of the second round, the Spartans, victimized by sloppy defense and an uncharacteristic bad outing by pitcher Mark Rios, fell to No. 13 Lincoln Friday. Adams (31-6-1) defeated Telecommunication, 14-4, in the first round, led by Johnny Lluberes, who went 4-for-5 with two RBIs.
Madison 4, Cardozo 0. Cardozo couldnt solve Chuck Deliteris, who tossed a two-hitter, as No. 5 Madison (30-3), who scored all of its runs in the second inning advanced to the quarterfinals Friday. The Judges defeated Stuyvesant, 6-0, in the first round as sophomore Danny Rosenbluth pitched a four-hitter and Jack Medic went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.
Lewis 3, Beach Channel 2. Despite yet another dominating performance on the mound by Stony Brook-bound Jonathan Lewis, the Patriots trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning of its first round game. But then Chang Yi Chiang delivered the heroics, with a solo home run in the sixth and the game-winning single in the seventh inning. Lewis fanned a season-high 18 and allowed just three hits.
New Dorp 11, Newtown 0. Rob Leo tossed a three-hitter and went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Tom Pento added two hits and three RBIs to lift No. 19 New Dorp over 14th-seeded Newtown last Thursday.
Monroe 7, Bowne 6. The Wildcats nearly pulled off the upset of the playoffs last Thursday, erasing a 5-2 lead to take a 6-5 advantage late. But Monroe tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on Joel Cabrejays RBI single and won it in the eighth on Victor Lirianos bases-loaded walk that scored Mike Rogers.
Tottenville 11, Edison 1. Top-seeded Tottenville was led by Joe DiMicelli, who scattered three hits in six innings for the Pirates.
In other first round scores, No. 2 Lehman defeated 29th-seeded Bayside, 11-0 and seventh-seeded George Washington edged No. 26 Aviation, 3-2.
Forest Hills 8, Automotive 3. Luca Parascheilu had three hits and came in to relieve starter Kenny Vasquez. Jason Demers had two hits and two RBIs for the third-seeded Rangers (26-1). The defending PSAL Class B champions host No. 6 Gompers in a quarterfinal game scheduled for Wednesday.
Flushing 10, Truman 2. Kevin Jenkins had 16 strikeouts and Jose Diaz went 3-for-4 with three RBIs as the 15th-seeded Red Devils (12-3) upset No. 2 Truman last Thursday. Flushing takes on No. 7 Martin Luther King in a quarterfinal game scheduled for Wednesday.
In other first round Class B games last Thursday, No. 16 Jamaica fell to top-seeded Chelsea, 13-0 and No. 9 August Martin lost to eighth-seeded Grady, 11-1.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2001 Community News Group
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