Convincing Win Clinches BC Title
The Dolphins had a sneaky idea planned after their convincing 11-0 victory over Van Buren at home last Tuesday. It involved a Gatorade cooler full of water and head coach Tom Kazalski. The plan was carried out to its intended effect.
“It was refreshing. It chilled me to the bone at first but it was worth it and I’m proud of the boys for doing it,” Kazalski smiled after the game.
The whole team smiled after a win that clinched a share of the Queens South B Division championship and gave them a 15-1 record heading into the playoffs. Pitcher Lemonte Attles pitched five innings and struck out nine in a game ended due to the mercy rule.
Beach Channel have a business like attitude approach on their field and catcher Keron Carter is one example of it.
“We needed to keep the ball in front us, no walks, no strikeouts and get the ball. That’s pretty much what we had to,” Carter said.
Thrusted into the starting role of catcher this season, the senior took the job so he could get more playing time and contribute to the team. He has been better as advertised defensively. His three hits on offense especially sparked a Dolphins team that wanted to erase a 9-8 loss to Van Buren earlier in the season. Beach Channel sent up 14 batters in a big fourth inning by taking advantage of their opponent’s mistake.
Up 3-0, Keron Carter’s well placed bunt could not be grabbed by third baseman Christopher Thomas and loaded the bases. Van Buren pitcher Craig Lalla imploded soon thereafter. Leftfielder Chris Baierlein’s two run RBi single started an 8-run that chased Balla out of the game.
“Every day someone comes up and does something unique and not just one guy. Everyone steps up and has a great day for us,” Kazalski said.
In the 2004 playoffs, the Dolphins were the underdogs and relished that role in reaching the PSAL B Championship at Shea Stadium.
Next week, the Dolphins will become the hunted. An expected high seed should put them in the crosshairs of their opponents. They will have to approach the playoffs with a different mindset.
Kazalski is not worried that his team may become too lax or cocky if they are branded one of the favorites to win.
“This is a mature bunch of kids out there who play this game, they‘re very confident and they have a little bravado, which is just the right amount,” Kazalski. “We got a shot to return to the championship.”