Baseball, softball teams fall short of winning seasons

Sophomore+Joshua+Leonardo+pitches+against+as+sophomore+Derek+Santiago+looks+on+from+first+base.+Underclassmen+have+had+to+step+up+this+season%2C+after+the+departure+of+several+potential+starters.+Photo+by+Brandyn+Rampersad
Sophomore Joshua Leonardo pitches against as sophomore Derek Santiago looks on from first base. Underclassmen have had to step up this season, after the departure of several potential starters. Photo by Brandyn Rampersad

Sophomore Joshua Leonardo pitches against as sophomore Derek Santiago looks on from first base. Underclassmen have had to step up this season, after the departure of several potential starters. Photo by Brandyn Rampersad

Sophomore Joshua Leonardo pitches against as sophomore Derek Santiago looks on from first base. Underclassmen have had to step up this season, after the departure of several potential starters. Photo by Brandyn Rampersad

Angel Guzman

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Sophomore Joshua Leonardo pitches against as sophomore Derek Santiago looks on from first base. Underclassmen have had to step up this season, after the departure of several potential starters. Photo by Brandyn Rampersad

The Generals lost many seniors, leaving the team full of underclassmen and unable to defend its division title, while the softball team fell short of the improvement it made last season.

Baseball

The team qualified for the state tournament but lost its first game against Shabazz 8-5, May 23. This is the sixth year that the baseball team has qualified for the state tournament.

Coach Joshua Aronowitz said he began the season with high expectations.

“I wanted to win that fifth [division] banner, win a county game and go deeper in the state tournament,” Aronowitz said.

Before the season started, the team lost many potential starters, according to Aronowitz,  leaving the team with one senior, Elvin Soto, and many young players who took on the roles left behind.

“Being the only senior feels good. I feel more pressure because I have to step up and set a good example for the other team members,” Soto said.

Sophomore Joshua Leonardo, who started off as a second baseman and then moved to shortstop and sometimes pitching, is an example of the team’s individual progress throughout the season, Aronowitz said.

“I liked my team, we were full of good players, but there was no bond in the team.  If the bond wasn’t there, we weren’t winning,” Leonardo said.

Freshman Julian Moosh is a promising player with lots of speed and a great arm who usually hits the strike zone, according to Aronowitz.

“When [Moosh is] focused, he can be one of the best players out there,” Aronowitz said.

Although the team’s record for the season was 4-16, they are a team with much potential, according to Aronowitz.

“The team is considerably young, lacks maturity and needs to grow up,” Aronowitz said.

At the beginning of the season, six seniors left the team, leaving the responsibilities to the junior members.

“We did lose a lot of potential returning starters; some didn’t want to play anymore, and some just had bigger plans with others following,” Aronowitz said.

Senior Dishawn Gates said that some of the players left the team due to other priorities.

“By the time the season started, I already had a job, and I didn’t want to give it up since I worked on it for a while,” Gates said.

With the season ending, Aronowitz said the team “just needs more experience.”

“We need to make more routine plays. We aren’t holding the division title for the first time in four years, but we will try harder from here on out,” Aronowitz said.

 

IMG_0928

Senior Angel Rodriguez pitches against Harrison with a runner on third. Senior Jamilet Leonardo plays third while senior Mariah Bermudez looks on from shortstop. Photo by Brandyn Rampersad

Softball

The softball team finished the season 6-14, down from last year’s record of 10-12. The Lady Generals qualified for the state tournament but did not get past the first round, losing to Lincoln 0-7.

Junior Noel Roundtree-Vargas, who has been the team’s catcher for three years, said she has mixed feelings about the team’s standing.

“I feel that we [were] not doing so good as in terms of winning, but I feel that at least we [were] trying, but you know you are gonna have your wins and you are gonna have your losses,” Roundtree-Vargas said.

Senior Angel Rodriguez, pitcher, said that senior night was good, despite losing to Lincoln.

“After the sixth inning, a lot of errors occurred. We did have a tight defense, enough to keep the score even till the sixth inning,” Rodriguez said.

Junior Kayla Diaz said this year was her best year, although there are some things that she would like to change. Diaz finished the season with a .280 batting average.

“Kayla improved over the year; she has the mind of wanting to get better, so she definitely got better over the year,” senior Jamilet Leonardo said.

Diaz also said that she would like the coaches to have more confidence in the team because she feels like they often want to give up on the team at times.

The team finished the season with athletic director Michele Bruce as coach and social studies teacher Aldo Grullon and gym teacher Nicholas Morris serving as assistant coaches.

Bruce took over when former coach David Yura decided to step down from the position.

“The girls successfully worked hard this season, developing and improving their own skills,” Bruce said. “It was evident that the older girls were taking a leadership role with the newer players.”

Leonardo said she feels sad to leave the team.

“I grew a bond with the teammates and became more of a family than just teammates,” said Leonardo, who played third base and often pitched. “We could have done better.”

Leonardo said that many of the younger players have grown and matured throughout the year.

“All of the freshman who tried out, they are very dedicated and they tried their best,” Leonardo said. “They can definitely have potential for getting better for next year and they will be prepared for next season.”

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