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Cardozo Shows Forest Hills ‘A’ Whole New World, winning 7-2

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Cardozo (9-3, 6-0, Queens East A) scored five runs in the first inning and...

By Mitch Abramson

Like a newcomer dipping his toe into the water to test the temperature, Forest Hills played Benjamin Cardozo Tuesday to see if it is ready for Class A competition in the PSAL.

Cardozo (9-3, 6-0, Queens East A) scored five runs in the first inning and pitcher Glenn Smith held the Rangers to four hits in a 7-2 win at home, but there were encouraging signs for Forest Hills, which got bumped up after getting eliminated from last year’s ‘B’ playoffs.

The Rangers scored two runs in the seventh inning, but it was too little too late as Smith (3-0) helped his own cause with a pair of towering home runs in the first and sixth innings that easily cleared the 310-foot fence in center field, his second and third of the season.

After sitting out his first three years of baseball, Smith, a senior, is making the most of his opportunity to play, dominating at the plate and surprising on the mound.

“I always knew that offensively he would be a good hitter,” said coach Peter Douglas in his 14th year at the helm, “but I didn’t know he would be pitching this well. Going into this season, I was basically looking at every player on the team as a possible pitcher. I have been pleasantly surprised with Glenn.”

Douglas realized his pitcher’s potential during the Monroe Tournament when Smith came in to staunch the bleeding, trailing Christopher Columbus High School 7-0. Douglas watched as Smith held Columbus scoreless and Cardozo rallied to win 11-7.

Together with pitching ace Michael Errigo, who already has a no-hitter this season, the Judges have a meaningful one-two punch to propel Cardozo past the first round of the ‘A’ playoffs where they were eliminated last year.

“Glenn is the best hitter in the city,” said senior rightfielder Drew Schlesinger.

With Denis Medic and Errigo on base with singles, Smith took an 0-1 curveball and walloped it out of the park for a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Adam Yager followed a groundout by Sean Smith with a double, and Andrew Ahn doubled through the third base gap, sending Yager to third. Schlesinger singled past the shortstop to score Yager and Ahn collided with the catcher, loosening the ball from his glove to extend the lead to 5-0.

Smith struck again in the sixth inning with Errigo on first because of a walk and no outs, sending an outside fastball onto 56th Avenue behind Cardozo’s field to take a 7-0 lead.

“I just stayed back and followed the pitch over the plate and made contact,” said Smith, who may play for Briarcliff College in the fall. “I’ve been practicing a lot on my hitting and the hard work is paying off.”

Forest Hill’s manager Martin Finkelstein replaced starting pitcher Seth Auerbach, a 10th-grader recovering from left knee surgery, with Daniel Bellish and the senior walked the first batter he faced before inducing two ground outs and striking out a batter.

After too many lopsided playoff losses in the A division, Forest Hills (7-6, 3-3 Queens East A) abandoned the competitive division for Class ‘B’ five years ago after Finkelstein lobbied the PSAL for the change. Now Finkelstein is back where he began when he started coaching Forest Hills 10 years ago, facing the baseball elite.

“I just want the best for the kids,” he said. “I’m in a very tough situation. I have to make sure these kids think they can win because we’re going against some good teams here.”

Scoring two runs in the seventh inning against Cardozo is a start.

Richmond Hill 18, Flushing 5.

Ted Riofrio struck out 11 in a complete game win for Richmond Hill (4-2, Queens East A) at Levitt Field Saturday. Robert Santo went 3-for-6 including a home run and two RBIs. Robert Lenahan and Riofrio added a pair of RBIs. Flushing fell to 0-6 in Queens East A.

Far Rockaway 9, Queens Vocational Tec. 5.

Far Rockaway scored four runs in the first inning and five in the second to up its record to 2-3 in Queens South B Saturday at home. Alberto Aspiazu and Fernando Nunez together struck out 11 batters for Queens Vocational Tec., which dropped to 4-2 in Queens North B.

Bushwick 7, Newtown 4.

Rafael Fabre struck out six in a complete game win for Bushwick (4-1, Queens West A) at Highland Park Saturday. Newtown fell to 1-4 in Queens West A.

Bushwick 8, John Bowne 6.

Chris Guerrero and Roberto Alfonso combined to strike out nine in Bushwick’s win at Highland Park last Friday. John Bowne fell to 0-6 in Queens East A.

Jamaica 18, Campus Magnet 3.

Richard Taylor struck out 10 in five innings for Jamaica (1-4, Queens Central B) last Friday at Cambria Park. Carlos Lopez went 4-for-5 and drove in five runs. Campus Magnet fell to 1-5 in Queens South B.

Grand Street Campus 14, Richmond Hill 4.

Dellin Betances had four RBIs and Paulino Hernandez Jr. had two RBIs for Grand Street Campus (3-0, Queens West A) last Friday at American Legion field.

Grover Cleveland 11, Flushing 3.

Grover Cleveland improved to 4-2 in Queens West A last Friday at home, taking a 7-0 lead after two innings.

John Adams 19, Bayside 2.

Carlos Guzman hit two home runs and drove in seven runs last Friday for John Adams (4-1, Queens West A) at home. Faro Vitale and Lucas Tellado each had three RBIs. Bayside dropped to 2-2 in Queens East A.

Long Island City 11, Francis Lewis 1.

Alveris Rodriguez hit a home run, and Derek Ali and Oscar Virella had a pair of RBIs for Long Island City (3-2, Queens West A) last Friday at home. With the loss, Francis Lewis fell to 2-2 in Queens East A.

Townsend Harris 7, Franklin K. Lane 2.

Chris Guillou struck out eight in a complete game win for Townsend Harris (5-0, Queens Central B) last Friday at Kissena Park. Franklin K. Lane fell to 3-2 in Queens Central B.

William C. Bryant 11, Renaissance 0.

James Aspenleiter struck out 10 in four innings and Enriqui Abreu went 2-for-2 with four RBIs for William Bryant (5-1, Queens North B) last Thursday at St. Michaels Field.

Franklin K. Lane 16, Springfield Gardens 0.

Aneudy Castro and Richard Rodriguez each struck out five for Franklin K. Lane at Springfield Gardens last Thursday.

Beach Channel 9, Robert F. Kennedy 2.

Daniel Rodriguez and Lemonte Attles combined for a four-hitter, and Benjamin Deleon went 3-for-4 for Beach Channel (4-1, Queens South B) last Thursday at home.

High School for Arts & Business 14, Far Rockaway 7.

Kevin Hernandez struck out seven and Abel Curiel went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored for Arts & Business (1-6, Queens Central B) last Thursday at Far Rockaway.

Francis Lewis 19, John Bowne 3.

Jamaal Sedayao struck out six in four innings, Scott Roth went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, and Ori Kairy went 3-for-3 with six RBIS for Francis Lewis (2-2, Queens East A).

Martin Van Buren 16, Jamaica 6.

Brian Thompson went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored for Van Buren, which stole 11 bases and improved to 4-1 in Queens South B last Thursday at Preller Park.

Townsend Harris 11, August Martin 3.

Chris Fuchs struck out six and allowed one earned run in a complete game win for Townsend Harris at August Martin last Thursday. August Martin fell to 2-3 in Queens South B.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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