Expectations were high for Queens, but the results didn’t quite match as the quarterfinals lacked any ‘A’ program from the borough.
Francis Lewis ace Jonathan Bobea was drafted by the Anaheim Angels, but the Patriots were eliminated in the second round of the PSAL Class A playoffs for the third straight year. Queens A Mid-West champion John Adams came within a single strike of upsetting Brooklyn powerhouse Madison in the second round and Queens A East champion Cardozo was upset by Brooklyn Tech in its playoff opener.
In the CHSAA, St. Francis Prep was highly touted before the season, but the Terriers battled injuries and had some untimely defensive breakdowns in the postseason. St. John’s Prep again had a successful season in the CHSAA Class B playoffs, advancing to the title game again, but the Red Storm failed to make it three championships in a row, losing to Monsignor Scanlan.
All-Queens baseball Player of the Year: Jonathan Bobea, Francis Lewis
His final start for the Patriots said it all about the tenacious right-hander: scary-good with little support. Bobea lost 1-0 to highly touted George Washington, but he impressed the handful of Major League scouts in attendance, striking out 11, walking one and allowing only one unearned run.
Two weeks later, the Anaheim Angels took the 6-foot Bobea and his heavy low 90’s mph fastball in the 19th round of the First-Year Player Draft, making him the first Patriot drafted since 1966. Bobea came a long way in four years at the Fresh Meadows school, becoming the face of the program and leading it to two consecutive Queens A East crowns before a second-place finish this spring. His numbers this season were freakish: 81 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings, a 7-2 record and two earned runs allowed.
All-Queens baseball Coach of the Year: Glenn Beyer, John Adams
Every year, his roster numbers drop, but the results stay the same: the Spartans are near the top of their division. The humble Beyer will say he didn’t deserve this recognition — it’s always about his players — but he didn’t have any studs who have marked his successful teams of the past. Sure, Long Island University-bound Rafael Guerrero is talented, and infielder Rudy Burdier is versatile and productive, but John Adams was far from a stacked club. It still went 15-1 in Queens A Mid-West and came within one strike of the PSAL Class A quarterfinals.
All-Queens First Team
P Lebro Burnette, St. Francis Prep
The ace of the Terriers staff, the senior left-hander was dominant early and late, but he was shelved during the middle of the season because of a pulled muscle under his rib cage. The Adelphi-bound Burnette, a three-year varsity starting pitcher, wasn’t a one-trick pony, though. He was also one of Prep’s top hitters.
P John Duggan, Archbishop Molloy
He wasn’t the hardest thrower, but there were few better pitchers around than Duggan. While others throw, the senior right-hander pitches, using his smarts. The Stanners ace often had control of several pitches and was most dangerous when working ahead in the count. Duggan was also the only Queens pitcher in the CHSAA to toss a no-hitter. He’ll play at Division I New York Tech next year.
OF/P Chris Dunn, Aviation
Want to know how Aviation reached the PSAL Class A playoffs after a two-year layoff? Look no further than the emergence of the multi-talented Dunn, the Flyers’ top hitter and hard-throwing ace. A participant in the first Mayor’s Cup PSAL-CHSAA all-star game, he picked up four wins on the mound, striking out 55 batters in 34 innings and also had 17 RBIs and scored 16 runs.
P Rafael Guerrero, John Adams
Guerrero owns the distinction as the best player Coach Glenn Beyer ever cut. That was four years ago, as a freshman; now he’s a Division I-bound pitcher headed to Long Island University who also was of the Spartans’ top run producers. The 6-foot-3 right-hander did his best work on the mound, going 8-0 with a 0.47 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings pitched.
2B Stephen Lopez, Archbishop Molloy
Along with Phil Loprete and Duggan, Lopez was part of a strong senior class at Archbishop Molloy. A great contact hitter with good speed, Lopez was the prototypical leadoff hitter and the second baseman for one of the best defensive infielders in the city, a vacuum up the middle.
3B Phil Loprete, Archbishop Molloy
A two-year starter at Archbishop Molloy, Loprete was one of the best hitters in Queens. The senior third baseman, a line drive hitter, hit for power and average as the Stanners’ cleanup batter. A strong leader with a solid arm and deceiving speed, Loprete will play at Division I C.W. Post next season, just down the road from Duggan, a close friend and longtime teammate.
P/OF Alex Miden, Monsignor McClancy
Three years ago, McClancy Coach Nick Melito couldn’t entertain the thought of Miden as the Crusaders’ ace, but that’s just what he became this season after junior Joe Gangi went down with a season-ending injury early on. Miden’s best outing might have come against Queens rival St. Francis Prep when he tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout. He was also a dangerous hitter, creating a great one-two punch with Perez, who he’ll join at Nassau Community College next year.
OF Andrew Nunez, Cardozo
The sparkling center fielder and team captain enjoyed an unforgettable senior season, leading the Judges to their first Queens A East crown in three years. Labeled a six-tool player by Coach Ron Gorecki because of his superb work in the classroom, Nunez stole 24 bases, scored 28 runs, batted .575 and had 10 extra-base hits.
OF Lou Perez, Monsignor McClancy
Opposing pitchers aren’t the only ones happy Perez is graduating. So, too, are the residents of East Elmhurst who were terrorized by the power-hitting right fielder’s massive home runs. Perez, a three-way winner of the Home Run Derby at the inaugural Mayor’s Cup PSAL-CHSAA all-star game, will take his bat to Nassau Community College next year.
P Jeremy Rodriguez, Francis Lewis
The Patriots’ most consistent dual threat, Rodriguez excelled as a fire-balling co-ace and No. 3 hitter. Most impressively, he was unselfish at the plate, taking his walks but also producing runs, either by scoring or driving them in. Francis Lewis’ run to the second round of the PSAL Class A playoffs wouldn’t have been possible without this 6-foot-3 standout with immense potential.
All-Queens Honorable Mention
3B Chris Brudie, St. Francis Prep
2B Rudy Burdier, John Adams
P Joe Cavanaugh, Christ the King
P Chris Estrada, Cardozo
1B John Paul Koulotouros, Bayside
SS/P Lerone Lashley, Queens HS of Teaching
1B Joe Lentino, St. Francis Prep
SS Alex Middlemiss, St. Francis Prep
P/1B Matt Mullin, St. John’s Prep
P Jorge Perez, Newtown
OF Jason Perrone, St. Francis Prep
OF Jonathan Ramon, Archbishop Molloy
2B Dan Restrepo, Monsignor McClancy
3B Edwin Saez, Long Island City
SS/P Dennis Strawsacker, William Bryant
©2010 Community News Group
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