The Flushing Red Devils traveled to the Bronx Saturday Looking for their fifth-straight playoff win and a birth in the PSAL Class AA City Championship game at Yankee Stadium. In their way was an undefeated Bathgate Educational Complex team, at Monroe High School Field.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, Bathgate’s offense was rampant, recording nine runs on 14 hits to secure a 9-1 victory. Bathgate also benefitted from a strong pitching performance by junior Emmanuel Lopez, who stifled the Flushing offense all game. Lopez surrendered just one run on four hits, while striking out 10 Red Devils. He was masterful in changing the speeds of his pitches throughout the game and kept the Flushing hitters off balance with his curveball.
“Today, the better team won,” Flushing coach Joseph Gerloven said. “They put the ball into play and found the gaps. They were able to spray their hits and move the ball around.”
Flushing was not without its chances, but ran into some hard luck in the bottom of the first inning when, with two outs and a runner on first base, Bathgate’s Jason Frias hit a ground ball into a spot vacated by the second baseman, who had gone to cover second base as Bathgate’s Emmanuel Lopez attempted to steal.
After a walk loaded the bases, Able Jimenez drove a base hit past the centerfielder for a three-run triple, which gave Bathgate a 3-0 advantage they would never relinquish.
Bathgate scored another run on a double by Eudy Dolville to increase its lead to 4-0 after one inning.
Flushing pitcher Matthew Perez tried to keep the game close, but Bathgate’s strong offense continued to push runs across the plate with some clutch hitting.
The Red Devils scored in the seventh inning after a walk and an error by Bathgate’s third baseman, Starling Rodriguez, allowed Samy Matias to move to third base and Christopher Gonzalez to reach first. Matias scored on a fielder’s choice, making the score 9-1. That’s as close as Flushing would get, as Lopez struck out Jose Otanez to end the game.
Despite the semifinal loss, it was a very successful season for the Red Devils, as they advanced farther in this year’s playoff tournament than expected and finished the season with a 14-4 record.
“It’s been a long season and I have been very proud of my team every step of the way,” Gerloven said. “They have exceeded expectations at every corner. As a coach, a man, and as an educator, I have seen things from these boys I have not seen before. Their perseverance, and dedication, were the epitome of hard work, and I could not be more proud of them.”
©2018 Community News Group
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