Dolphins Vie For Title At Shea
Dolphins Vie For Title At Shea
By Elio Velez
Despite being ranked 18th out of 32 teams in the playoffs, the Beach Channel Dolphins have shocked the high school baseball world. For the first time in school history, the Dolphins advanced to the PSAL B Championship with a 6-3 victory over Morris High School last Monday at St. John's University.
The #18 seed Dolphins will face off today at 4 p.m. against #4 seed Townsend Harris High School at Shea Stadium. The game will be the first of a championship doubleheader, which includes #1 seed Monroe facing off against #2 George Washington at 7 p.m.
St. John's was the scene of another comeback victory as the Dolphins defeated another high ranked opponent. It was a seesaw battle against #11 ranked Morris High School, and the outcome was not decided until the final inning.
Tied at 3 in the 7th, the Dolphins pulled off another game winning rally that has been a trademark throughout their run. Rubi Ramos started the first of three consecutive two-out base hits as his RBI single scored Lemonte Attles to give BC a 4-3 lead. Ernie Reyes rapped a double to score Ramos for a 5-3 lead and Jonathan Cuba singled to top off a three run rally with an RBI to make it 6-3.
The game ended on a great defensive play as Dolphins first baseman Ernie Reyes made a great throw to complete a 6-3-5 double play to throw out Jimmy Tobon trying to advance to third. The play capped off an exhilarating win according to head coach Thomas Kazalski.
"I'm so relieved. The kids surprised me. We were teeing off with good solid hits," Kazalski said smiling after getting a Gatorade shower from his team.
"We smoked the ball and got some championship type hits," Kazalski said. "That was the biggest victory I have ever experienced."
The road to Shea Stadium has included many close battles and quite a few upsets. After defeating South Shore in the first round, the Dolphins won a narrow 12-11 victory over second ranked Graphic Arts in Central Park in the second round.
The train almost derailed in the third round against #7 ranked Gompers. Gregory Perdriel's fielder's choice RBI tied the game at 2 in the 7th inning. Charlie Novak's booming 2 RBI double in extra innings gave the Dolphins their 4-2 margin of victory.
According to Kazalski, the team never thought that they were the underdog in any game. It was after the Graphic Arts game that he believed that his opponents underestimated the Dolphins' resolve because of their low seeding.
"When the playoffs begin, seeding doesn't matter. Because of where we were ranked (#18 out of 32 teams), others teams may have had the attitude that they would eventually take care of us."
Freshman pitcher Daniel Rodriguez will start today for Beach Channel. He will face off against Townsend Harris, who defeated #1 seed Environmental Studies 10-5 last Monday. At 19-1, the Hawks are a veteran team who has played with each other in high school and in other leagues. The team won the Queens Central B Division Title.
The team has banded together to win games even when their defense at times has been shaky. The Dolphins are riding sky high with confidence and no matter what the opponent, a PSAL championship is an achievement they believe can happen according to Coach Kazalski.
"We're feeling great right now. I feel very confident. We ain't pretty but we find a way to win."