The Flushing High School baseball team won the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) championship Thursday after defeating South Bronx High School 3-2 at Staten Island University Hospital, Community Park.
After a perfect 15-0 regular season, the team won all five of their matchups during the PSAL tournament.
According to head coach Joe Gerloven, this season marked Flushing High School’s first PSAL baseball championship appearance since 2002 and their first title since the 1970s. He said the championship trophy and banner have already been put behind the school’s glass display. The team is also in the early stages of scheduling an appearance at Citi Field to be honored by the New York Mets and the Queens community. They are eyeing July 27 as the date to be honored, before the Mets and Yankees face off in the subway series.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Gerloven said. “Knowing how much work these kids put in from beginning to end is just great. We started out with five players in February and they became the embodiment of what the coaching staff was preaching.”
After being crowned champions of the AA division, the PSAL will move Flushing High School up to AAA next season. Gerloven is already looking forward to building upon the success from this season with the returning players and some new recruits.
“Being able to build the program is the most important thing to me,” Gerloven said. “The team made noticeable improvements over the course of the season. I’m really happy to see their hard work rewarded.”
Among the seniors being sent off with a baseball league title are Carlos Martinez, Jorsixt Jimenez and Ronald Pimental. Martinez is committed to Hofstra University, Jimenez to Queens College and Pimental to Queensborough Community College.
Martinez was the team’s star pitcher this season, earning the start for the championship game. He also drew plenty of attention from scouts for professional baseball teams and universities before deciding upon Hofstra, where he’ll presumably play for the school’s team. Jimenez led the AA league in homers this season while also logging time at centerfield, shortstop and pitcher. Pimental thrived both at the plate and behind it as the team’s catcher, working with talented young arms like those of Martinez and Jimenez.
Another player that Gerloven was quick to praise during the team’s run to the championship was shortstop Brandan Gonzalez. Gonzalez ended up leading the league in hits and batting average (.390) this season.
Staten Island University Hospital, Community Park, the stadium where the game was played, is currently the home of the Staten Island FerryHawks of the Atlantic Baseball League. That team is currently managed by former Mets great and fan-favorite Edgardo Alfonzo, who played for the team from 1995 to 2002, winning a Silver Slugger Award in 1999 and being named to the all-star team in 2000. Prior to housing the FerryHawks, the stadium was home to the Staten Island Yankees, the Class-A minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees, from 2001-2020.
A total of 32 high schools from across all five boroughs of New York City participated in the PSAL AA Division tournament. The finals were initially scheduled to be played at Yankee Stadium, but a scheduling conflict caused the championship game to be moved to Staten Island University Hospital, Community Park.