Monroe falls to George Washington in semifinals

Leandy Cabrera was making plays in the field all day in centerfield for George Washing, but it was his bat that ultimately did in James Monroe.

The senior’s two-run single in the top of the sixth to break the tie and put an end to Monroe’s dreams of playing for the city championship at Yankee Stadium.

“Their center fielder I tip my hat off to him,” Eagles coach Mike Turo said. “He made two or three great plays,”

The second-seeded and host Eagles fell 5¬–2 to Cabrera and the No. 3 Trojans in the decisive Game 3 of the PSAL baseball semifinals on May 30. Though they fell a game short of the final, Toro was proud of his team’s season. The Eagles lost to GW in the Monroe tournament final, but won the regular season meeting. The Trojans took the series opener 5-2 in eight inning before Monroe evened things up with a 14-10 victory in Game 2.

“I told him every other school in New York City wished they were in your position,” he said. “We played them [George Washington) five times this year. They won three games to two.”

George Washington wasted no time getting on the board against Monroe starter Yohn Zapata, who only faced three batters and gave up two runs in the first inning. Turo was hoping for a better effort.

“I was a little disappointed the pitcher who started the game today. He was coming off injury, threw 50 pitches before this and he came out very flat,” Toro said.

The Eagles (19-3) were able to get a run back in the bottom of the third on a RBI single from Frankel Pilier. That gave Toro confidence that his team had a chance to score off of the Trojans ace Wesley Rodriguez, who didn’t have his best stuff.

“I knew we were going to get to Wesley, he wasn’t throwing hard at all,” the coach said. “He was only throwing 86 or 87, which it is still hard for high school, but it wasn’t 97 like the last time. So I told the guys we were going to hit him.”

The Bronx-native Rodriguez allowed two runs and struck out seven batters in four innings of work for George Washington (21-1). Kelvin Tapia got the final out in three innings of relief In the top of the fourth, Monroe reliever Jason Pineda helped his cause with an RBI-double to tie the score at 2-2. Pineda just want to help his teal get back into the game. Pineda was impressive in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up three runs and struck out three batters in just his second outing of the season.

“I came in ready to work,” Pineda said. “I had my boys right behind me. I felt comfortable out there.”

Cabrera’s double ruined Pineda’s great overall game and Monroe’s chance to win. Though the loss hurts now the sophomore knows this experience will help the Eagles in the future.

“I love my boys and we’re going to fight through it,” Pineda said. “We just got to keep building. If we keep building we can make it far.”

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