By Joseph Staszewski
The Judges ruled the borough in what was a sensational baseball season in Queens.
It was highlighted by Benjamin Cardozo making an unexpected run to its first PSAL Class A baseball city championship since 1988. The Judges did so by beating defending champion Telecommunications and league powers George Washington and Tottenville along the way.
Archbishop Molloy was a one of the top teams in the CHSAA all year long, but fell a win shy of being crowned intersectional champions.
Beach Channel didn’t miss its chance to make history. After completing a four-year rebuilding process under Coach John Mangieri, the Rockaway team won its first PSAL Class B crown. St. Francis Prep, Holy Cross, Construction and Aviation also turned in strong campaigns.
Here are the players considered the borough’s best:
All-Queens Player of the Year: Keith Rogers, Benjamin Cardozo
Rogers’ season was as strong as his team’s campaign. The senior did everything for the Judges and delivered in all the big moments. He was undefeated in 11 starts and won four playoff games. Rogers, who allowed just three earned runs all season, was the victor in the quarterfinal, semifinal clincher and the title game at Yankee Stadium. He also drove in the go-ahead run against Tottenville in the final.
All-Queens Coach of the Year: John Mangieri, Beach Channel
The climb was a steep one, but Mangieri helped Beach Channel reach the mountaintop with the school’s first PSAL Class B crown.
The Dolphins hadn’t gotten out of the first round in his first three seasons. This year the former Mets minor leaguer Mangieri — with help from the leadership of senior Kely Aponte — got the most out of a young roster of just 12 players and won the title as a No. 10 seed.
All-Queens First Team
P/RF Aaron Ammirati, Construction
The junior was a duel threat for the Red Hawks, who placed second in the Queens A West division. Ammirati was 6-0 with a 1.00 ERA during the regular season and struck out 46 batters in 42 innings. He also hit .440 with nine doubles and 12 stolen bases.
2B Noah Cabrera, Benjamin Cardozo
Cabrera is just a sophomore, but his skills are those of a veteran. His athleticism gives him great range at second base. The youngster was a spark plug for the Judges in the leadoff spot. He hit .447 with 16 runs scored, 13 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
CF Christopher Campbell, Benjamin Cardozo
Campbell is a five-tool player and a major reason Dozo won it all. The senior had a two-run, go-ahead RBI double in Game 2 of the semifinal and drove in Cardozo’s first run in the title game. He scored 21 runs, walked 15 times and stole 13 bases in the regular season.
P Anthony Catinella, Archbishop Molloy
The Molloy College-bound senior was arguably the most dominant pitcher in the CHSAA. Catinella went 7-1 with an impressive 0.71 ERA. His lone loss came in Game 1 of the intersectional final. His ability to shut down lineups helped Molloy have one of its best seasons in recent years.
P/SS Anderson DeLeon, John Adams
DeLeon remained one of the most versatile players in the borough. The senior went 5-2 on the mound with a 0.08 ERA while fanning 88 batters in 42 innings. He also hit .380 with 12 RBIs and played a stellar shortstop.
LF Karl Klesin, Archbishop Molloy
Klesin delivered in the big moment. The senior made a game-saving catch and drove in the winning run against St. Joseph by the Sea to send Molloy to the championship. He hit .302 with three home runs and a team leading 24 RBIs throughout the season.
P Dylan Lawrence, St. Francis Prep
The highlight of Lawrence’s season was tossing a no-hitter against rival Molloy that powered the Terriers to a 1-0 win. Lawrence went 7-2 with a 0.49 ERA that included four shutouts.
RF/P Jun Young Lim, Benjamin Cardozo
Lim played multiple positions and was a bit of an unsung hero. The senior was Dozo’s No. 2 starter behind Rogers. He went 6-0 with a 0.21 ERA. One of his three saves ended with him striking out the side in the ninth of the title game. Lim also hit .368 with 21 runs scored.
P Junior Ramirez, Aviation
The senior was a major force on the hill and at the plate for Aviation. Ramirez went 8-1. He allowed just three earned runs and struck out 104 batters in 67 innings. Ramirez also hit .367 with 12 RBIs and five doubles.
CF Liam Slattery, Archbishop Molloy
Slattery was Archbishop Molloy’s most consistent hitter. He posted a .470 average while hitting in the No. 2 spot in the batting order and was constantly on base to help kickstart the Stanners’ offense. The senior was also one of the league’s best center fielders.
C Matt Walsh, St. Francis Prep
The Terriers weren’t the heaviest hitting team, but Walsh got the job done with the bat. He batted .321 with 13 RBIs and was clutch when called upon. The senior also shut down team’s running game by getting out 70 percent of the players trying to steal against him.
All-Queens Second Team
3B Daniel Alfonzo, Bayside
SS/P Kely Aponte, Beach Channel
C Lucas Burton, Christ the King
C/P Elvis Clime, John Adams
SS Mikey Espinal, Long Island City
P Scott Hannin, Archbishop Molloy
P John Michelli, St. Francis Prep
SS Nick Morici, Archbishop Molloy
CF Chris Moussa, Holy Cross
1B Brandon Simone Holy Cross
3B Quincy Tunstall, Francis Lewis