In late March, Glenn Beyer was with everyone else who considered William Bryant the favorite in Queens A West baseball. He figured his John Adams team was No. 3 in Queens, behind Bryant and Cardozo in Queens A East.
That was before the emergence of Anderson DeLeon, the dynamite 5-foot-4 sophomore right-hander.
Now Adams is not only No. 1 in its borough, but the sixth-seeded Spartans are back in the PSAL Class A semifinals for the first time in seven years. Adams shocked third-seeded Tottenville 3-1 in the quarterfinals May 29 at Lafayette in Brooklyn behind DeLeon.
“It’s tremendous — I thought I’d never see a final four again,” Beyer said after picking up the win at Lafayette, where he coached before landing at Adams. “I’m very proud of the boys.”
DeLeon, the diminutive righty from the Dominican Republic, struck out eight, walked six and allowed just one hit, a Mike Milazzo double, in 6 2/3 innings for his eighth win against PSAL foes. He starred on the junior varsity as a freshman, a move Beyer joked was unfair because “he was so dominant it was embarrassing.”
“I’ve never had a sophomore pitch this tough,” Beyer said. “Anderson has the whole assortment. He has the pitching, he has the ability to hold people on, he has the fielding — he turned a double play today — and he has the poise.”
Jose Reynoso got the final out, getting John Giakas on a groundout after walking two. Jeffrey Valera doubled twice and scored a run, Deleon helped himself with two RBIs and Jorge Barahona doubled and scored once.
Senior Mike Sullivan was the hard-luck loser for Tottenville (17-4), which dropped its first league contest on the field — it had three forfeits to start the year — won it all two years ago and reached the final last June.
Adams (17-2) has won its three playoff games by a combined 15-3, 7-1 over No. 27 Luperon, 5-1 over No. 11 Kennedy and now this victory over Tottenville. Co-aces DeLeon and Braylin Nuenz, who was to start Friday, have pitched 20 2/3 of a possible 21 innings.
“Ultimately, it comes down to one thing — we gave up three runs in the first three playoff games against some good teams,” Beyer said. “When you give up one run each game, last time I checked you have a good chance of winning.”
Adams now heads back to the final four, the first Queens team to do so since it accomplished the feat in 2005. The Spartans will face Grand Street Campus, a loaded team featuring Maryland-bound signees Jose Cuas and Kevin Martir and PSAL Class A triple crown winner Ernesto Lopez. Beyer thinks Grand Street has the best lineup, one through nine, he’s seen in a decade.
“We know we have our work cut out for ourselves,” Beyer said. “It’s going to be tough, but the last time I checked there are only four teams that have a chance to win a championship. I’d rather be in that position.”
©2012 Community News Group
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