Less than a day after the funeral of his father, Mitchell, Jordan Wiener threw a no−hitter.
His follow−up effort May 26 was possibly even more spectacular.
With his father still on his mind and ESPN cameras capturing footage for a piece to be aired on the network, Wiener struck out 19 and allowed just three hits in yet another transcendent performance. This one was far grittier, considering the level of opponent and a sore quad that had acted up.
Led by the senior southpaw, No. 4 Robert F. Wagner survived 13th−seeded Alfred E. Smith 3−2 at Kissena Park in Flushing. The Panthers (17−1) meet No. 5 Taft in the PSAL Class B quarterfinals Thursday.
“He’s riding the wave right now,” Coach Mike Mulstay said of Wiener, whose father Mitchell, 55, died May 17, the first city fatality from swine flu. He was an assistant principal at IS 238 in Hollis for 30 years. “We just jumped on his back and he did it again.”
Two weeks ago, Wiener pulled his quad, an injury that cost him five league games. In the fifth, it was obviously bothering him. Mulstay came to the mound, preparing to pull his ace.
“This is my game; I want to finish it,” he told Mulstay, later adding: “There was no way I was coming out of that game.”
Afterward, he was honored at the Flushing school’s athletic banquet as the baseball team’s MVP and the Senior Athlete of the Year. Upon receiving the plaques, his classmates gave Wiener, joined by his mother, Bonnie, and two brothers, Farrell and Adam, a standing ovation.
“It’s an incredible story,” said Farrell, the team’s first−base coach.
Despite the many distractions — the reporters and video cameras — Jordan was able to concentrate from his first pitch to his last. Farrell said all the attention has increased his brother’s focus. It’s his opportunity to shine, almost like an open tryout in front of college programs that could be interested.
“He gets to put himself on the map,” Farrell said.
Before and after the 95−pitch gem, he thought about his father and what this run has meant.
“He always said you have to step up in the big games; you can’t just dominate the weak teams,” Jordan said. “I’m sure he would be proud.”
“He’s just unbelievable,” Mulstay added. “You can’t crack him. It wasn’t easy, but he battled and showed the kind of kid he is.”
©2009 Community News Group
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