Cardozo cruises to 11-1 win at Monroe tourney

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With the 32nd annual Monroe Holiday Invitational tournament reduced to a four-day double elimination tournament because of unplayable fields Saturday, Cardozo first baseman Mike Mastrogiovanni knew it was critical to get off to a good start in its opener against Norman Thomas.

And the Judges wasted little time, scoring six runs in the top of the first inning to cruise to an 11-1 win over the Tigers at Alfred E. Smith in the Bronx Monday.

“We knew we had to score runs right away,” said Mastrogiovanni, who was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. “It was important to get runs early.”

Cardozo (6-1) advanced to the winners’ bracket, where the Judges took on Smith, 8-5 winners over Stevenson, in a game scheduled for Tuesday morning at Taft.

The Judges strong start was also critical for pitcher Paul Kouba, who hadn’t taken the mound in about a week and a half because several games were canceled because of inclement weather.

“I was very comfortable,” said Kouba, who allowed one earned run on six hits. He struck out seven with just two walks. “I didn’t have to work as hard.”

Jack Medic actually led the game off grounding out to third, but the next eight Cardozo batters reached base safely. Landon Veissy singled to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Norman Thomas pitcher Juan Carlos Tavarez then walked Kouba — his first of three first inning passes — before Brian Rosen reached on an error to load the bases.

Walks to Danny Rosenbluth and Bernie Estevez put Cardozo ahead 2-0 before Mastrogiovanni delivered the big hit, a two-run single to left field to give Cardozo a 4-0 lead.

“I was looking for a fastball,” he said. “I knew it was coming.”

Antonio Reyes walked and Jeremy Hyatt singled to center, driving in Estevez. Medic stepped to the plate for a second time and drove in Mastrogiovanni with a sacrifice fly to left field.

When the smoke cleared, Cardozo sent 11 to the plate, scoring six runs on three hits.

“If a team gives you the opportunity with walks or errors, it is important to take advantage,” said Cardozo coach Pete Douglas. “Then it’s important to shut them down on defense.”

Norman Thomas (1-3) came right back in the bottom of the first with three hits, including an RBI-single to left by Vianny Ramirez to cut Cardozo’s lead to 6-1. But Kouba calmed down from there, allowing one hit in three scoreless innings.

“Because the weather hasn’t been that great, we were looking for Paul to have a solid four or five innings,” Douglas said. “He did a good job.”

After Kouba gave up back-to-back hits to open the fifth inning, Douglas pulled him for sophomore Mike Lezmo, who retired nine of 11 Tigers batters he faced in three scoreless innings.

While Norman Thomas’ offense dried up after the first inning, Cardozo consistently scored runs, plating one an inning in five of the final six innings.

John Adams 8, Walton 1. Sean Bell struck out 13 and allowed just three hits to lead the Spartans (13-1) Monday in a first round of the Monroe tournament at Clinton.

Columbus 10, Van Buren 0. Pedro Tejada and Alex Perez each had two hits and two RBIs for Columbus. The VeeBees were scheduled to face Taft in the losers’ bracket Tuesday at noon.

John F. Kennedy 4, Newtown 1. The Pioneers went ahead 1-0 on Anuedy Casilla’s RBI-single in the third inning in the opener of the Monroe tournament Monday at Monroe, but Kennedy (6-5) scored four runs on three errors in the fourth inning with Elvis Rodriguez delivering a two-run home run. Newtown (2-1-1) will face Manhattan Center in the losers’ bracket in a game scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Smith.

Van Buren 4, Edison 3. Jose Diaz delivered the big hit for Van Buren with a two-run double in the seventh inning and Brian Berg went the distance, striking out 11 for the VeeBees (1-1 Queens A-III).

Aviation 17, Bowne 2. Fadul Bambino fanned 10 and allowed just four hits in four innings and Mohammed Johan went 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs for the Flyers (3-0 Queens A-II).

Francis Lewis 6, Bayside 0. Jonathan Lewis scattered five hits and struck out nine in his second league shutout and Chang Yee Chiang went 2-for-3 with a triple for the Patriots (7-2, 3-1 Queens A-III).

Newtown 14, Bryant 1. Miguel Maria allowed one unearned run and struck out seven in four no-hit innings for Newtown (2-1-1, 2-0 Queens A-II).

Queens Vocational 6, RFK 1. Luis Toribio allowed three hits and struck out 11 and had two singles and a triple for Queens Voc (10-1, 4-0 Queens B-II).

Cardozo 16, Hillcrest 0. Mastrogiovanni went 3-for-3 with a double, a triple and four RBIs and Rosen went 3-for-4 with four RBIs for the Judges (5-1, 2-1 Queens A-III).

August Martin 10, Jamaica 9. Brandon Phair delivered the big hit with a two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning and Mariano Marino pitched two innings in relief to earn the save for Martin (3-3, 2-2 Queens B-I).

RFK 11, Arts & Business 2. Ryan Wilichinsky pitched a complete game two-hitter, giving up one earned run with six strikeouts for RFK (4-2, 2-2 Queens B-II).

Posted 7:04 pm, October 10, 2011
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