By Joseph Staszewski
The death of legendary Archbishop Molloy baseball Coach Jack Curran was the backdrop of the 2013 baseball season in Queens.
His Stanners played all season for him, but came up short of a city title. Benjamin Cardozo saw star Adrian Castano drafted and then signed by the Detroit Tigers and Keith Rogers emerge as a standout. John Adams and ace Anderson DeLeon still earned the title of the borough’s best PSAL team and Aviation provided the year’s biggest turnaround story by going from five wins to 13. St. Francis Prep Holy Cross and McClancy all had strong seasons.
Here are the players considered the best in Queens:
All-Queens Baseball Player of the Year: Adrian Castano, Benjamin Cardozo
The five-tool senior put together quite a résumé this spring. Castano moved to centerfield fulltime and hit .514 with a .633 on-base percentage and slugged .865. The lefty scored 17 runs and stole 17 bases to help the Judges to a Queens A East division title. Castano, now playing for the Detroit Tigers in the Gulf Coast League, was also the PSAL Wingate award recipient for baseball.
All-Queens Coach of the Year: Michael Fischer, Aviation
No one produced more of a feel-good story this season than Aviation. The Flyers produced a complete turnaround by increasing their win total from five to 13 and earn a second place finish in the PSAL’s Queens A East division. Fischer helped develop aces Elias Martinez and Junior Ramirez, who were the keys to their winning ways. He never let his team get comfortable with their success, always keeping them focused on the next goal.
All-Queens Baseball First Team
C Danny Ammirati, Holy Cross
The Knights’ team MVP made things happen with his bat and cannon right arm. The senior hit .337 with 20 runs scored and collected 19 RBIs. Behind the plate he threw out an amazing 80 percent of the attempted base stealers against him.
P Donovan Armas, Archbishop Molloy
The Villanova-bound Armas had a stellar season on the mound. He went 5-1 with a 1.87 ERA and average 9.5 strikeouts per game. The hard-throwing righty tossed the Stanners past Stepinac in an elimination game and into the CHSAA championship tournament.
SS/P Anderson DeLeon, John Adams
DeLeon doubled as the Spartans’ ace and stud shortstop. The junior hit .404 with 14 runs scored and 14 RBIs. He also went 7-0 during the regular season with a minuscule 0.32 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 44 innings of work.
SS/P John Izquierdo, John Bowne
The senior showed off a consistent bat to a tune of a .512 average, .618 on-base percentage and by slugging .698. Izquierdo, who also picked up three wins on the mound, scored 14 times and drove in 11 runs.
P Adonis Lao, Bryant
The senior was one of the city’s more unsung players. Lao posted a 5-1 record with a 1.40 ERA and 75 strikeouts. He also hit .460 and put up a .680 slugging percentage, thanks to his five doubles and three triples.
SS Bobby Perretti, St. Francis Prep
Perretti provided a big-time spark in the Terriers’ batting order. The senior No. 3 hitter batted .352, slugged 632 and drove in 19 runs. Add in his superb glove at short and 15 stolen bases and you have a player who makes things happen.
2B/P Chris Piteo, Archbishop Molloy
The Maine-bound Piteo went 5-3 on the mound with a 2.25 ERA and was a hard luck 1-0 loser in the Stanners’ final game. He provided a consistent bat and some punch, including a homer in playoff win over Stepinac.
3B/P Junior Ramirez, Aviation
Ramirez was a huge reason for Aviation’s turnaround. The senior hit .514 with 12 RBIs. On the mound he posted a 7-1 record with a 0.91 ERA. He fanned 77 batters in 46 innings of work.
P/1B Keith Rogers, Benjamin Cardozo
This year was a coming out party for Rogers, who became the Judges’ ace after an injury to Connor Doyle. The junior won all six games he pitched and had a 0.57 regular season ERA. Rogers hit .435 with 17 RBIs, 13 runs scored and eight doubles.
P Taso Stathopoulos, St. Francis Prep
The Rhode Island-bound ace was stellar again this season. The senior posted a 7-3 record, including two shutouts, with a razor thin 1.26 ERA. Stathopoulos also added two saves for the pitching rich Terriers.
P Greg Boyle, Archbishop Molloy
C Dan Clemniecki, McClancy
CF/P Elvis Clime, Monsignor John Adams
SS Danny Giatan, Archbishop Molloy
SS/P Christian Guerrero, Long Island City
P Brian Hughes, Monsignor McClancy
2B/3B Kenny Lara, Newtown
C/P Nick LoPrinzi, St. Francis Prep
RF/P Billy Martinez, Lane
RF Austin Nieves, Holy Cross
1B Jonathan Sanjines, St. John’s Prep
1B Patrick Villafana, Aviation