New York High School: Yael Regalado

Washington beats Tottenville for Class A title

June, 12, 2011
A year ago, George Washington pitcher Yael Regalado could not imagine he would be pitching in such an important game as the Public School Athletic League Class "A" final.

Pain in his right elbow ended his year early last season and doctors told him he would need Tommy John Surgery, which he ultimately avoided.

While his road back to the mound challenged him, that road led him to the mound for the PSAL title game where he pitched George Washington to a 4-2 win over Tottenville Saturday night to capture the Class “A” title at MCU Park in Brooklyn.

“I put so much pressure on myself this year to make up for missing last season,” Regalado said. “I didn’t put my head down though. Everything I missed last year, I had to make up for it this year.”

Regalado did his part to make up for lost time as he pitched six innings and held one of the PSAL’s toughest lineups to just one run while striking out seven.

“He’s been our ace all season,” Washington interim head coach Nick Carbone said. “He’s got a big heart. Even though he got into trouble at some points, he really battled and competed and got out of jams when he needed to get out of jams. He was great today.”

Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second on a sacrifice fly by Justin Ferrer, but Tottenville rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth.

Anthony Capo drove in Gilberto Mendoza to tie it at 1-1. Thomas Kain then scored to make it 2-1 when Washington catcher Nelson Rodriguez threw the ball into center field on a stolen base attempt by Capo.

While Tottenville claimed the lead, a key play in the inning was Washington outfielder Fernelys Sanchez making an amazing running and jumping catch with runners on first and third and two outs. It saved one, possibly two runs.

“He is big time,” Carbone said. “He’s nationally recognized for a reason. He’s going to be a special player at the next level. That’s two great catches he’s made (in the postseason) for us now.”

In the bottom of the inning, Washington took the lead for good. Roman gave the Trojans a 3-2 lead on a single that drove in Henry Rodriguez and Randy Rodriguez. George Washington picked up an insurance run in the sixth on a suicide squeeze and freshman Reynaldo Hernandez picked up the save.

This win truly showcased how good the Trojans were this season.

They had a tremendous lineup that gave Tottenville ace Michael Sullivan, who had a 3-0 record with a 0.54 ERA, trouble all day. They got key hits and showed that they could play small ball. Regalado’s performance was equally as impressive against a tough Tottenville lineup.

To a man, every player on the team said they couldn’t have won the title without their suspended coach Steve Mandl as inspiration. Mandl was suspended on Feb. 15 for allegedly recruiting a player and did not get a preliminary injunction that would’ve allowed him to coach Saturday.

Mandl refused to take credit for the win, but thought his team did a great job separating off the field issues from the on the field stuff.

“That was the big worry, that they would carry their emotions on to the field with them,” Mandl said. “They really did a great job remaining professional though and I think they were able to channel that emotion and use it in a really positive way. They got us another city championship.”

MLB Draft roundup: Light on NYC picks

June, 8, 2011
For the second time in three days, New York City’s top baseball players struck out in the 2011 MLB Draft.

After no high school players from the city’s athletic leagues were drafted on the first day of the draft, and two went Tuesday, no teams invested a draft pick in any player from the Big Apple on the final day of the draft as the 50-round draft concluded Wednesday.

The Red Sox selected Grand Street Campus center fielder Williams Jerez in the second round with the 81st pick while the Cincinnati Reds in a stunner took Frederick Douglas Academy shortstop Morgan Phillips in the 17th round with pick No. 535.

New Rochelle third baseman Matt Duran was also selected in the fourth round by the Yankees at 147th overall while Don Bosco pitcher Jordan Gross went to the Red Sox with pick No. 1222.

While New York City didn’t have any elite prospects beyond Jerez, who is a five-tool outfielder that some say resembles a left-handed Carlos Beltran, the lack of total draft picks is a surprise. The two picks from the Public Schools Athletic League, the CHSAA and the Ivy League matches the total from 2009.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the non-selection of Xaverian catcher Elvin Soto, who is committed to play at Pittsburgh next season, as had once been the top prospect in the city and scouts had said he could go in the middle rounds of the draft.

"I was very surprised," Xaverian coach Lou Piccola said."I spoke to Elvin today and said everything is there for a purpose. Take advantage of it. He has opportunities now. I've seen players get drafted late or undrafted and come back and be top five picks.

Other players from New York City who had shots of being drafted, but didn’t get the call included All Hallows ace pitcher James Norwood, who is headed to St. Louis, George Washington senior pitcher Yael Regalado and Tottenville catcher Kevin Krause, who is headed to Stony Brook.

"I'm surprised," Krause said. "I had been speaking to several teams and done some workouts. The whole year scouts had been coming to the game and I had been talking to them. I thought I'd get picked in the later rounds, 10 to 15, and it didn't happen. I was disappointed but it's not bothering me now, I have a championship to win Saturday. I have a really good opportunity at Stony Brook with a full scholarship and I feel I can excel there and further my skill set and get ready for the next draft I can enter in three years."

With some of the players, their college commitments can play a factor in the draft. Teams must evaluate whether a player is worth paying a significant sum to get him away from his college for the next several years.

"I mentioned to Elvin I think what happens with drafts is that people know that you have committed to a college and then it makes it a little bit more difficult to a sign than a top prospect," Piccola said. "Is the kid worth that money?