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High hopes for QCC baseball

Tigers have won the the past two CUNY championships and reached the semifinals of the Region XV tournament two years ago and Everett is sensing that some of his players are becoming a little too happy with themselves. "I see complacency setting in," said Everett, in his fourth year at the helm. "Even some of the new guys who are here expect to win the CUNY championship. They feel it's automatic or something. I have to get them into the mindset that nothing is going to be given to them. When I started here, I tried to instill in the players that they should be hungry and play hard. We have to get back to that type of formula to continue having the success that we've had."Queensborough has always been a meeting point for many high school players from Queens and this year's club is no exception.Eight players are back for Queensborough, a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Sophomores Anthony Gonzalez (Grand Street Campus), a first team all-region catcher, Felipe Martinez (Mount St. Michael), a first team all-region third basemen, Tommy Reo, a second team all-region outfielder and shortstop Dave Mercardo (Long Island City HS) should get the Tigers back into contention.Last year the team finished 22-26, won the CUNY championship but lost in the first round of the regional. Everett, who also coaches for the Team NY Cardinals travel team, won a national championship in 1998 with the 14-year-old team and wants to duplicate some of that success at Queensborough. He expects to be back contending for a CUNY title but he also anticipates getting past the first round of the regional.To do that, he is going to have to get maximum effort from Danny Rosenbluth (Benjamin Cardozo), the team's No. 1 pitcher, who has recovered from arm problems he had in high school to once again become a dominant force."He's showing signs of coming around," Everett said. "He has a little more zip on his fast ball and his breaking ball is really sharp. The biggest problem with him has always been finding the plate, and this year I see some nice improvements in that area."Along with Rosenbluth, the Tigers will be relying on pitchers Danny Dioguardi (Flushing HS) and Jeff Martinez (Long Island City HS) to also be key contributors.Newcomers to the team include: utility pitcher Frank Russo (Forest Hills), pitcher Alveris Rodriguez (Newtown), Junior Ramirez, also a pitcher from Newtown, first basemen Bryan Pagan, Kendall Ortiz, a backup pitcher from Queens Vocational and Bobby Manzolillo, an outfielder from Grover Cleveland. "I try and tell them that every team they face is dangerous," said Everett, who played baseball at Cardozo. "I can't stress that enough to them. If they don't take their opponents seriously, it's going to be a very long season. With the mixture of new faces and the players we have coming back, I anticipate another stellar season."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by E-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.

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