Ben Kravitz felt helpless in centerfield as East Harlem Pride rallied to erase Bronx Science’s seven-run lead in the top of the seventh inning.
Bronx Science’s dream of reaching the city championship game appeared on hold, at least for the moment. Things felt better with teammate David King on third and Michael McLaughlin on first with one out in the bottom of the frame. Kravitz ensured things stayed that way.
“I just felt in the moment that I really wanted to be the hero,” the junior said. “I really wanted to get that big hit. I wanted to be aggressive in the at bat and it ended up working out.”
Kravitz lined a walk-off single to left centerfield to give No. 5 Bronx Science a wild 12-11 victory over No. 24 East Harlem Pride in the PSAL Class B baseball semifinals on June 1 at Lafayette. It earned the Wolverines their first championship game appearance against No. 10 Beach Channel on June 12 at Yankee Stadium.
“This is the big stage,” Kravitz said. “A lot of people who end up playing professionally in the minor leagues, even high level don’t get to play at Yankee Stadium. For us in high school to get that opportunity is amazing. It’s a dream.”
There was a buzz around the school all week leading up to the game. Bronx Science coach Michael McGrath said around a 1,000 people responded on social media to try to attend the final. News about the contest has been broadcast all over school’s Wolverine TV.
“I have students coming up to me in the hall saying, ‘Good luck Glen we will be at the game,’ and I don’t even know them,” junior ace Glen Price said.
Getting this far was a goal this group was itching to fulfill after losing in the semifinals last season to eventual champion A.P. Randolph at Lafayette. This team was deeper and more experienced. They wanted to make a more positive memory on the same field its season ended on a year ago.
“All the stuff they learned from last year and the year before, it’s all carried down,” McGrath said.
Price, the Bronx Science starter in the title game, allowed two runs on six hits over five innings of work in the semifinals before reaching the maximum pitch count. It took three relievers to get through the next two innings. The Wolverines had the upmost confidence with Price on the hill. His performance could be the difference against Beach Channel.
“He’s pretty incredible,” Kravitz said. “It’s great to have a real ace for the team to build around. A lot of teams don’t have that. He’s really led the team with his pitching this year.
Daniel Bonfiglio, Kyle Shultz and King were the hitting stars in the semifinals. They went a combined 8 for 10 with seven RBI and six runs score. Bonfiglio added a home run and Rodrigo Duluc had two hits, two runs score and an RBI. Sawyer Stettin and Alex Grun have also been keys to the offense. A balanced attack was indicative of the type of production Bronx Science has received all season.
“It’s not all one guy trying to put all the weight on his back,” McGrath said. “Everyone is confident. They have a lot of innings under their belt.”
He expects his kids to need some time to settle into the big stage at Yankees Stadium. It’s still an experience he knows this group has earned.
“It’s going to take a few innings to realize how lucky we are,” McGrath said. “We are looking forward to it.”