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St. Raymond stars shine in Mayor’s Cup victory

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Reynaldo Guillen is known for being a rally starter and a terror on the base paths, and he lived up to his reputation one last time in a St. Raymond baseball uniform.

The senior shortstop put his skills on display and he was named the most valuable player of the CHSAA’s 4-3 victory over the PSAL in the senior all-star game at the College of Staten Island June 14. Guillen got the start at shortstop, recorded two hits and score twice, including the winning run in the ninth inning.

“When you have Reynaldo as a leadoff guy, he always starts something up,” said Adam Delacruz, Guillen’s Ravens and Mayor’s Cup teammate. “It’s up to us to drive him in and that’s what we did today. With him on base, easy runs.”

Guillen returned as a pinch runner in the top of the ninth for Fordham Prep catcher Kevin Nolan, who singled off Monroe ace Dariel Checo. He went to third on single by Archbishop Molloy’s Dylan Lanigan, but was initially held up from scoring by Xaverian and CHSAA coach Frank Del George. The relay throw got past the catcher, allowing him to come home with the winning run.

“I just wanted to go halfway and make him throw and see what happens after that,” said Guillen, who was on base three times and also scored the game’s fist run.

The contest was a fitting way for Guillen and Delacruz to end their careers in the Bronx. The St. Raymond players, who have known each other since they were children growing up, helped the Ravens to the school’s first CHSAA Class AA title since 1989 as juniors last year. Their senior campaign didn’t conclude as happily. The Ravens were inconsistent during the regular season and were swept out of the CHSAA playoffs by St. Francis Prep. Getting a victory in the Mayor’s Cup allowed them to go out as winners.

“We represented St. Ray’s the way we wanted to, the way we wanted to leave our names at St. Ray’s,” Guillen said.

They enjoyed getting a chance to suit up next to fellow CHSAA senior stars they battled over the years. Delacruz, who added a hit and walk, got a kick out of being in centerfield with Iona Prep’s Villanova-bound ace Ryan Doty on the mound in front of him.

He and Guillen were proud to leave with bragging rights for their league.

And they weren’t the only CHSAA players who contributed to the victory. Cardinal Spellman pitchers Nick Padilla and Jason Polgano combined to allow two runs over four innings and struck out six.

“I know a lot of kids from the public schools. Just going out and saying we beat the best in public schools is something you can brag about,” Delacruz said.

Getting to share the experience with his childhood friend and high school teammate made it sweeter.

“Coming here and being one of the best in the city together, we can look back on it and say, ‘Wow we did it.’” Delacruz said.

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewski@cnglocal.com. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
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