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Walton wallops John Adams in semis

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After upsetting fourth-seeded Beacon and fifth-seeded George Washington in the 'A' playoffs, the No. 13 Spartans reverted back to the unpredictable club that had overwhelmed some schools and inexplicably struggled against others. No. 8 Walton defeated the Spartans 11-3 at the College of Staten Island Saturday to sweep the best-of-three semifinal series. The Wildcats advanced to the final where they will face Tottenville in a game scheduled for Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. Walton won the first game 9-6 on Friday."We didn't play that well and we made some errors that were magnified because we were playing in the semifinals," said Spartans' coach Glenn Beyer, who in nine years at John Adams has made the playoffs every year, never losing in the first round. "But we never make excuses, and you have to give credit to Walton."Walton overwhelmed John Adams (30-9) in every offensive category, but perhaps the most telling statistic of the game pertained to the number of times catcher Freddy Parra went out to confer with pitcher Jesse Cardenas, who performed brilliantly against Beacon (18-4) in a 4-3 second round win, but was anemic against the Wildcats. Six times Parra, a senior, jogged out to mollify the junior pitcher before Cardenas was removed to start the fifth inning."He wasn't hitting his spots," said Parra, one of the top catchers in the city. "Anything I asked from him they were getting a bat on. We worked so hard to get here, but we didn't do what we had to do to win."John Adams didn't score until the sixth inning and at that point the game had long been determined. The Spartans loaded the bases with no outs, leading to the first conference between catcher Pedro Gonzalez and pitcher Jose Cuevas. The Spartan's Danny Lao stepped into the batter's box and ripped a triple to centerfield to drive in Parra, Alberto Ruiz and Cardenas to make it 11-3, prompting the second meeting between Walton's pitcher and catcher. "There was no heart after the first inning," said Cardenas, who gave up six unearned runs. "I wasn't throwing strikes. I was falling behind in the count and they were getting key hits. It's hard because you want to come out here and do your best, but I guess today my best wasn't good enough."Walton eliminated any suspense during the fifth inning when the Wildcats pumped in five runs and batted around the order to go up 11-0. Parra made two throwing errors that led to a pair of runs scoring for Walton and John Adams managed just five hits against Walton pitchers Edward Nunez and Cuevas.Cardenas suggested that his teammates might have gotten ahead of themselves, believing that with Monroe out of their side of the draw, Yankee Stadium was a likely destination. Walton upset nationally ranked Monroe 10-5 in the quarterfinals. "Everyone at school was like, 'see you Wednesday, "Cardenas said. "They saw Monroe was out and they thought we would make it there."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by E-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.

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