2006-04-07 / Sports

Dolphins Try To Catch Title Fever

By Elio Velez

The end of Shea Stadium as the home of the New York Mets will happen as of 2009. In a huge press conference, the team along with the city and the state announced a glamorous 500-600 million dollar stadium with all luxuries that newer ballparks like Camden Yards has.

Until the 2009 season, Shea Stadium will be the host of the Mets and this June, the PSAL baseball championship. Tom Kazalski, the head coach of the Beach Channel varsity baseball, has experience playing at the ballpark in 2004 as they lost the B championship to Townsend Harris.

What intrigues Kazalski is that Dolphins 2004 team were under the radar and jelled together to make a run for the championship. In 2006, Kazalski has a young team but might just be talented enough to possibly return to Shea Stadium for the title game.

The Dolphins will have new players at key positions on the ballclub. Seven seniors graduated, including three fourths of their infield with Ernie Reyes and Rubi Ramos departing from the corners and two-thirds of their outfield.

They'll also be facing a tougher division than in years past. Van Buren, who finished in second with a 14-2 record in 2005, will once again be the main nemesis but others may be on the verge to make a push.

Hillcrest gave the Dolphins a battle last Tuesday tying the game at 6 and forcing the game into extra innings. The Dolphins scored four times in the top of the eighth to win 10-6 and improve to 2-0.

According to Kazalski, he would like his team to be solid up the middle and in Ben Deleon and Hector Garcia, he has two players returning who should provide stability. Deleon has been moved from shortstop to centerfield to make way for Omar Artsen but will provide plenty of hitting punch and solid fielding. Garcia takes over behind the plate and will hit fifth in the order.

Danny Rodriguez has improved with the bat so much that Kazalski will slot him fourth in the order. A starting pitcher the last two seasons, he will become the closer to begin the season. Chris Baierlein and Jonathan Melendez should provide hitting and pitching depth.

Kazalski is impressed by some of the new talent that has arrived. Stefan Pollus is an impressive freshman who can track down flyballs in the outfield. Louis Verdino and Jeremy Soto will take over at first and third base respectively. Kazalski says that by midseason he will have a definitive reading on what his team will do. By then the team should know their role on the field.

"I told them the potential is there to make a run. They had a look of surprise on their face. What they need is confidence and work on their good skills. If we do that, we got a shot," Kazalski said.

Seahorses Start Rebuild

It was one season ago that fourteen Far Rockaway baseball players, which included third baseman Felipe Santos who was tragically killed in a car accident in February, embarked on a quest to make the playoffs. They accomplished their mission finishing 10-6 and third place in the Queens BIII.

Now the rebuilding begins with a whole new roster that will tryto gain enough experience on the field to compete. It's been rough going so far as they've started the season at 0-3. They also have a new coach as Thomas A. Telford assumes the skipper role. He previously coached the junior varsity team for four years at James Monroe Campus in the Bronx.

Stella Maris improved to 5-0 with a 22-0 win over Christ the King in girls softball last Friday. Rain caused havoc this past week with their softball schedule. Games against Archbishop Molloy and St. John's Prep were postponed and will be made up at a future date. Tiffani Parchment helped lead her Beach Channel girls' tennis team (3-0) to a 4-1 victory over Springfield Gardens last Thursday.

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