Bronx Science Loses PSAL Championship
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 13- Two very unlikely public high school baseball teams met in the PSAL “B” Baseball Championship on Thursday afternoon. Bronx Science (17-4) is one of this nation’s most prestigious academic high schools. It is far more known for winning scholastic awards than sports contests.
Beach Channel (19-2) was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Its students and their families suffered in many ways by the devastating storm. Unbelievably, its baseball team carried a roster of only 12 players this season.
Despite expectations, each team won its conference and defeated each of its opponents in the playoffs to reach the championship encounter. Strangely, each team’s last loss occurred on May 17 and to a similarly named opponent. The Bronx Science Wolverines were defeated by American Studies, 3-2, and the Beach Channel Dolphins lost to the Academy of American Studies, 6-1.
Yankee Stadium, the venue for the championship, was extremely appropriate as it is the site that has flown the most World Series flags in MLB history.
The game was interesting and competitive but was played somewhat sloppily. Although 12 runs were scored in the game, there were only 12 hits. More than three dozen batters ended their at bats without hitting the ball in fair territory, 23 batters struck out, 14 walked and one was hit by a pitch. There were also a number of errors, wild pitches and passed balls.
A run was not scored in the first three frames, and David Polanco, the right fielder of the Dolphins, had the only hit.
Both teams pushed runs across the plate in the fourth. Science hurler Glenn Price created his own problem by walking the first five batters of the inning. Catcher josph Colandra and centerfielder Antonio Moccia received RBIs for their bases loaded walks. The final two runs were driven in on a single by pitcher Kelly Aponte.
The Wolverines cut the lead in half with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Consecutive single by Benjamin Kravitz, Daniel Bomfiglia and Glenn Price aided by two Beach Channel errors led to the runs.
Each team scored a single run in the sixth to keep the Dolphins advantage at two, 5-3.
In the seventh, three Science hits and two walks tied the score and filled the bases with one out. A fly to Moccia in center was caught and Moccia’s throw nailed Kravitz at the plate for an inning ending double play. The coach of the Dolphins, John Mangieri, described the play as “a big league play and a big league throw.”
Moccia tried to deflect the praise to Colandra, the catcher by saying, “You couldn’t ask for a better catcher.”
A diverse but effective ninth inning for the Dolphins, error, hit batsman, walk and two singles produced two runs and a 7-5 victory and a first city championship for Beach Channel.
Mangieri saluted his entire team, “I’m proud of my boys and what we’ve overcome. They’ve been fearless from the beginning. I used everyone [all 12 players]. I tried to do the right thing. They were excited [to be at Yankee Stadium] but pretty relaxed during the game.”