By Jerry Del Priore
The Chiefs kicked off the season with a successful 1-0-1 week, with a five-inning, 12-0 mercy victory over George Westinghouse Tuesday at Canarsie/Seaview Park. Then, in an uneven performance against FDR last week, Canarsie managed to come from behind, and leave Six Diamonds Field with a 9-9 tie to open their 2016 Class A baseball campaign.
The game, which the umpires called due to darkness, will be played at a later date if playoff positioning needs to be determined.
Down by six runs after four innings, the Chiefs battled back to knot the game, providing the team with a sense of relief in a contest it could’ve easily lost, according to head coach Daniel Paradis.
“I do consider this a moral victory, because we were down 8-2,” Paradis said after last Thursday’s game. “They saw we had a chance, got emotional, and came back. This could have been an easy loss. These kids fought back. There’s a little heart in them. It’s the first game, and they’re fighting, so hopefully this will be the beginning of a good thing for them.”
Behind by two runs in the top of the seventh, Canarsie senior Amet Maxwell got things going when he reached base on a walk. He proceeded to steal second and third, and scored when the catcher threw the ball away to cut the Cougars’ deficit to a run.
With two outs, sophomore first baseman Zaire Phillip worked out a bases on balls, and moved to second on a balk. Junior Jovany Mendez provided the game-tying heroics with a bad hop base hit passed the second baseman, and into right field.
Star sophomore player Justin Garcia, out of the lineup with an injured non-throwing hand, pinched hit. But his hard liner to second was caught to end the offensive threat.
However, Garcia would get the chance to make a major contribution on the defensive side in the bottom of the seventh. With a runner on at first, a FDR hitter smacked a double to the outfield. Garcia had the wherewithal to have centerfielder Ralph Foreste toss the ball to him. Garcia proceeded to gun the ball to an infielder, who proceeded to cut the runner down at home.
After an intentional walk and runners advancing to second and third on a wild pitch, sophomore reliever Jason Tavarez struck out the batter for the second out of the inning. Paradis decided to have his pitcher issue another intentional walk to load the bases.
It paid off as Tavarez struck out the next hitter to end the inning and preserve the tie.
Tavarez, who started the tilt at shortstop, led the Chiefs with a three hits (a single, double and triple) and three RBI.
Canarsie will take on George Westinghouse Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.