2009-06-05 / Sports

Cathedral Prep Locals Fall Short In CHSAA Semifinals

By Elio Velez

Rockaway Park residents Matt Knott and Mike Knott made a vow prior to the start of the high school baseball to help bring Cathedral Prep to the CHSAA B championship game.

The twin seniors' quest, which featured plenty of dramatic twists and turns last Tuesday, though ended in heartbreak at Fordham University. In extra innings, Rice defeated No. 1 seed Cathedral Prep, 6-5, in the CHSAA B semifinals.

Cathedral Prep had a big local presence as they entered the playoffs as the first seed with a 12-2 record.

The Knotts especially was seeking to return the championship game, where they lost to St. John's Prep in 14 innings last year. But it was No. 4 Rice who had the upper hand in the postseason.

The Red Raiders defeated Cathedral for the third time this season.

"That's what we wanted to do to make the championship," Matt Knott said. "It just don't work out sometimes."

The Crusaders even mounted an incredible comeback down 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs, Cory Bannon hit a double to rightfield, which knocked in 3 RBI to tie the game. Rice though answered back in the extra inning as Michael DaSilva walked with the bases loaded off Cathderal Prep reliever Michael Da Silva to take a 6-5 lead.

Rice pitcher Jordan Fran then stymied the Crusaders in the bottom of the eighth to gain a complete game victory.

"You feel like you score five runs to tie up and you feel like you're going to win the game and then it don't happen," Mike Knott said.

Rice had knocked out Cathedral Prep starting pitcher Steve Trudden from the game in the top of the fourth inning. The Broad Channel resident had pitched a complete game 1-0 victory over Monsignor Scanlan in the playoffs on May 30 to keep the Crusaders alive.

But SS Kerry McAllister hit an inside the park grand slam home run, which also plated four runs which gave Rice a 4-0 lead.

Trudden, a junior, left the game with an ankle injury suffered when he tripped on catcher Mike Knott's helmet at home plate. "It's horrible. We thought we could win a championship and we just didn't do it," Trudden said.

Matt Knott will join his brother at Mount Saint Vincent College in Riverdale next year. They will play either basketball or baseball.

Winning the CHSAA championship in their sophomore year will be one of the lasting memories of a successful time at Cathedral.

"It was a good season," Matt Knott said. Every year we played meaningful games and we had a chance to make the championship."

Cathedral Prep coach John O' Brien lauded his team for making one last push at a championship. The Rockaway Beach resident wished their game ending dramatics would have resulted in a victory, not defeat. "You feel for the kids. To see them come back that far, it's high drama and it's exciting but to fall by just one run is tough," O'Brien said.

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