Adrian Castano was on the bench, nursing a pulled muscle. Connor Doyle was in the lineup, but was quiet for a change.
Cardozo’s two stars, its two junior aces and arguably top hitters, weren’t a factor in April 24’s showdowns between Queens division leaders as John Adams paid a visit to Bayside.
The Judges won anyway — a nod to the team’s depth which has mostly gone unnoticed. Down to their final strike, Nicanor Luna drove in Chris Campbell with the tying run and Diego Gonzalez plated Luna with a single through the left side of the infield as Cardozo remained undefeated in baseball league play after its thrilling 9-8 win over Adams, the Queens A West leader.
“It goes to show how deep we are as a team,” Gonzalez said. “As a team, we have a lot of guys that play the game hard. We’re trying to establish ourselves as one of the better teams in the PSAL and today’s win propelled us toward that goal.”
Said Cardozo Coach Ron Gorecki, “If the first three batters don’t do it, four, five, six will do it. If it’s not them, seven or eight. What we have is pretty uncanny.”
The seventh-inning rally capped a wild back-and-forth slugfest between the two borough powers. Cardozo led most of the way, pushing ahead 3-0, 5-2 and 7-4. Adams (6-1, Queens A West), however, struck for four runs in the sixth, the key blow reliever Daniel Beizer throwing error on a Tommy Pimentel roller with two on and two out.
The gaffe gave Adams the lead as DeLeon and Jose Caceres came around to score as the ball sailed down the rightfield line. Reliever Jose Reynoso worked a scoreless sixth, but Adams Coach Glenn Beyer lifted the senior for ace Braylin Nunez, a move he said he would do over again if the opportunity presented itself despite it not working out in the end.
“Give the other team credit for coming back,” the coach said. “I’ll have no trouble sleeping about bringing Braylin in.”
After recording the first two outs, Nunez walked Campbell and Doyle, Luna lofted a softy-hit single into shallow left field to pull Cardozo (8-0, Queens A East) even at eight. Gonzalez followed by hammering a hanging curveball out of Anderson DeLeon’s reach at shortstop.
“This win shows when it comes down to pressure, we can handle it,” Luna said. “It shows that all our starting players can come through in pressure situations. We have kids that can back each other up.”
Aside from his throwing error, Beizer performed well. He worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth by striking out Richard LeBron, retiring Jordyn Correa on a pop-up and getting Jorge Barahona to ground back to the mound weakly. Alexis Torres worked four-plus innings before him as Gorecki looked to piece together the game without Castano and Doyle available.
While he would’ve preferred to have the hard-throwing Castano available, Gorecki was pleased with the continued depth of his staff. Against one of the PSAL’s top teams, his club prevailed without using its top three pitchers in Castano, Doyle and Calvin Luk.
“We’re going to be ready for the playoffs,” he said. “We’re developing quantity.”
©2012 Community News Group
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