Judged too soon

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Cardozo has long been the dominant baseball team in Queens East A. The Judges have controlled their division for the better part of two decades. But this regular season, for their standard’s, was sub par. They finished 12-4 and in a second-place tie with Bayside when normally Cardozo is the team looking down at the rest of the division.

Instead, this year, the Judges showed their mettle in the playoffs. They beat Bryant, 4-3, in the first round May 21 for their first playoff victory in five years and then took top-seeded James Madison to the brink in a 4-3 second-round loss Friday.

“The players should be extremely proud of themselves,” coach Pete Douglas said. “A bounce here and there and we win that game.”

Cardozo was up 1-0 in the third when a slight miscue opened up the floodgates for Madison. With a fast runner on first, slick-fielding second baseman Antonio Zorrilla scooped up a grounder and tried to turn a double play, but the throw to shortstop Brian Morel was off line and everyone was safe. Madison ended up scoring three times in that inning to make it 3-1.

But the Judges clawed back. They scored once in the fourth and again in the fifth to draw even at 3. Madison got one more run off Cardozo starter George Theodoropoulos in the fourth and that was the final margin.

“It was just really that one inning,” Douglas said. “Without that play, we possibly win that game, 3-2.”

George Washington 11, Francis Lewis 3. With Lewis down, 7-2, in the third inning, a hobbled Ethan Liederman (hamstring) entered the game to hold No. 6 GW. But the senior ace was injured and fatigued after pitching three innings one day earlier and the 11th-seeded Patriots couldn’t hit Trojans starter Jose Taveras in a second-round loss Friday in Washington Heights.

“I think a healthy Ethan, a starting, rested Ethan changes the complexion of the game,” Millman said.

Liederman struck out eight of the nine John Adams batters he faced in a resumed game last Thursday. Lewis’ first-round game against Adams on May 21 was called in the fourth inning due to darkness. Had he not pitched a day earlier, Liederman would have been fresh to start against George Washington, which is ranked 12th nationally by Baseball America.

“They’re a good ball club,” GW coach Steve Mandl said of Francis Lewis. “They can beat a lot of teams. They deserved a better fate.”

No. 19 Bayside was also ousted in the second round Friday, 10-0, by No. 3 Lehman.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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