NEW YORK - Xaverian head coach Lou Piccola was coaching a team that he had never coached before while playing against a team he had never played against, but none of that mattered. To him, coaching the CHSAA All-Star team in the Mayor’s Cup was a piece of cake.
“These kids are All-Stars,” Piccola said. “The only decision I had to make was who played third, everything else fit into the puzzle perfectly so believe it or not, it was easy.”
In a game which pit the CHSAA All-Stars vs. the PSAL All-Stars, the CHSAA had the better pitching staff and an offense that wore its opponents down as they won 9-3 in the second annual Mayor’s Cup Friday night at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
“We have kids going to Division I schools. For any coach it's easy. They're a good team, disciplined, and they work very hard," Piccola said. "This is the result of it.”
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: The CHSAA took an early lead as it scratched out a run in the second inning when St. Raymond’s Manny Rivera drove in Xaverian’s Victor Bautista for a 1-0 lead.
It started to pull away in the fifth inning after the PSAL pulled its starter, George Washington pitcher Jariel Cedeno. The CHSAA scored two runs that inning on a throwing error that scored James Norwood of All Hallows and a ground out that gave Bautista his second run scored to boost the lead to 3-0.
Jason Galeano of Telecommunications scored on a double for the PSAL in the fifth to make it 3-1.
The PSAL couldn’t keep up with the CHSAA from that point on, though, as the CHSAA scored another run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Xaverian’s Antonio Nunez. In the eighth, it scored three more runs to pull ahead 7-1, taking advantage of the wild Jesus Brito from James Monroe.
TURNING POINT: The CHSAA turned two big double plays in the game, with a crucial one happening in the fifth inning.
The PSAL had already scored one run, slicing the score to 3-1, and were threatening. John Adams’ Justin Ruiz smacked a ball to second base, but it was turned beautifully into a 4-6-3 double play that killed a potential PSAL rally. The CHSAA made it 4-1 the next inning and never looked back.
STAR OF THE GAME: Bautista might be Xaverian's No. 6 hitter, but that says more about the depth of the Clippers lineup. Bautista was named the game's MVP after he went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base.
“Some people consider him under the radar, but he's not under my radar,” Piccola said. “What's special about Victor is where he was last year to where he is now. He struggled a bit last year and he was unhappy, but he's had a really good year. His future is ahead, there is a lot of upside to him.”
BIGGEST SURPRISE: The PSAL was missing two of its biggest stars, Tottenville’s Kevin Krause and Thomas Kain, because they were at their senior prom.
QUOTE OF THE GAME: “It's always terrific to put yourself up against another league. I told the players, this is more about the league than it is us. This is bigger than us, it's about our league.'--Piccola
UP NEXT: This game ends the high school baseball season in New York City.