English coach Ricardo Figueroa believes that the quality of Boston City League baseball needs to be “lifted” to that of football and basketball. With English winning the league baseball championship over Latin Academy for a second straight year, his state tournament-bound team is making a good case that it is happening.
“This is going to make a difference for some kids that are watching the game and want to be in the same position that we are in now,” Figueroa said after Tuesday's 4-3 win over Latin Academy at Madison Park. “I hope that we will see more inner-city kids playing baseball.”
One hero for English was junior Miguel Calderon, who hit a solo home run over the left-field fence leading off the bottom of the fifth to tie the game, 3-3.
“I was confident and I think it was a good piece of hitting and it came at the right time,” Calderon said. “We tied the game and I was confident we could come back.”
His confidence was justified. Just two batters later, freshman Stanley Vargas doubled off junior Osvarhele Guerrero, then senior Nelson Barreiro brought home the go-ahead run with a triple.
Barreiro was also the starting pitcher for English, going all seven innings, allowing 2 earned runs with 11 strikeouts.
“He’s tremendous at pitching,” Calderon said. “He always has that motivation to win and win and win.”
Calderon’s homer came after Latin Academy junior Mark Guerard appeared to have halted English’s championship run. With runners on first and third in the top of the fifth, Guerard hit a home run to left-center for a 3-2 lead.
“I was proud of the way our guys played,” coach Anthony Bernazzani said. “We didn’t give them the game. We played a clean game just like they did, and they just had one more run and one more big hit than us.”
In the top of the seventh, Latin Academy had one more chance to match those clutch hits, with the top of its lineup set to bat. However, Barreiro ended the game by striking out senior Nick Hicks and junior Jesse Miller and getting senior Vincent Lopriore to ground out.
Sophomore Joymer Rosario and junior Miguel Lorenzo came up big for English early, each recording an RBI for the first two runs of the game.
“I’m so glad and happy for these guys,” Figueroa said. “They sacrificed everything for this and I have to give them all the credit.”
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