Beach Channel Teams Win Playoff Nailbiters
Beach Channel Teams Win Playoff Nailbiters
By Elio Velez
Luck seemed to be on the side of the Beach Channel softball team in their first round PSAL B playoff game against Grover Cleveland. The Dolphins (16-0) held on to their rabbit foot and won an exciting 10-9 extra inning win last Tuesday.
Cleveland (9-5) pitcher Jillian Alicea held down a high powered Dolphins attack for the first few innings. The Cleveland offense although committed many mental errors such as failing to call time after a stolen base and leaving the base too early killed their chances to blow the game wide open.
The Dolphins did not appear sharp themselves. Cleveland scored 5 runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Two errors by Beach Channel did not help and it could have come back to haunt them according to catcher Dezire McPherson.
"We were not calling out popups, not hustling enough and it got into our heads," McPherson said.
The game would seesaw as the Dolphins took a 6-5 lead to the top of the 7. With 2 outs, Cleveland took the lead on a Kimberly Donovan two run double to put them up 7-6. As the sky darkened with thunderstorms approaching on the horizon in the bottom of the 7th, the Dolphins tied the game at 7 and their collective fortitude led them to another comeback.
Losing 8-7 in extra innings, the Dolphins’ Samantha Lebron walked and stole second base. Katreem Palmer reached on RF Joyce Thevenin’s error that allowed Lebron to score. Daishel Cook’s RBI single scored Palmer to win the game and advance the Dolphins to the second round of the playoffs against Wingate (the game took place as of press time).
Head coach Robert Attonito appreciated his team’s comeback effort. "We were down against Van Buren and August Martin (regular season) and those kind of games helped us to make a comeback today."
Attontio smiled and expressed how lucky his team was in the win and thanked certain higher powers for the win. "The gods were shining on us."
Beach Channel Baseball Upset
The Dolphins had to wait an extra day to play their second round playoff game against #2 seed Graphic Communications after a rainout on June 1. For the #18 ranked Dolphins, it was well worth the wait as they pulled of the upset, 12-11 at Central Park’s North Meadow.
It didn’t matter to Beach Channel head coach Thomas Kazalski that they were the lower seed heading into the game.
"I thought the pressure was on them," Kazalski said. "We didn’t start out like we would win but we hit the ball really well and we capitalized on their errors."
It was a play in the bottom of the third down 3-1 that sparked a Dolphins rally.
Rightfielder Aaron Smith ended a Graphic Arts scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third with a strong throw on a potential sacrifice fly to nail Daniel Collado at the plate. "Emotionally for us, that may have been the key play of the game," according to Kazalski.
Down 3-1 in the fourth inning, the Dophins capitalized on numerous Graphic Arts mistakes to pile in 6 runs to take a 7-3 lead. Aaron Smith, who got 2 RBI and Ernie Reyes placed 3 RBI to key the rally.
"Ernie has gotten so much better as he played this year. He had a couple of timely hits that was instrumental," according to Kazalski.
Up 12-4 in the 7th inning, the Dolphins got sloppy with the ball and allowed Graphic Arts to score 7 times. Lemonte Attles nailed down the save as he stranded the tying and winning run on second and third
In the playoffs, most people believe the motto that anything can happen. Kazalski believes that his team has a good chance to win when they play against Samuel Gompers at Moe Finkelstein Field today at 3:30 p.m.
"If we can take care of the ball, I know we have enough chemistry to win it all or we can lose," Kazalski said.
After winning the CHSAA Brooklyn/ Queens Title against Mary Louis on May 18, Belle Harbor native Jennifer Pompanio and Bishop Kearney fell in their quest recently to win the CHSAA state title and the CHSAA city title.
The Tigers suffered a 4-0 loss against Holy Trinity for the state championship on May 28 at Queens College. Trinity scored three unearned runs on two Bishop Kearney errors in the 5th inning. Pompanio allowed 5 hits and struck out three batters.
On June 1 in Staten Island, Moore Catholic High School from Staten Island shutout Bishop Kearney 3-0 in the CHSAA City Championship.
Pompanio held Moore Catholic hitless until the 4 inning and allowed only 2 hits and struck out 10 batters in 6 innings.
As of press time, Belle Harbor’s Dawn Duggan will try to help #3 seed Midwood repeat their PSAL A softball championship as they faced off against Townsend Harris last Thursday.
Beach Channel basketball star Arthur Robertson will attend Teikyo Post, a Division II business and liberal arts university, located in Waterbury, Connecticut. Robertson’s teammate, Michael Pledger, will attend Manhattanville College.