The crowd of 500 was excited at MCU Park last night as the Kingsborough Community College Wave and the Bronx Community College Broncos were facing off to see who would be named the City University of New York’s Athletic Conference Community College Baseball champion. The games was sponsored by the Municipal Credit Union of New York.
The Kingsborough Wave had a chance to score early in the Top of the 1st, but blew it. With righty Ruben Gomez on the hill for the Broncos, Derek Jentz hit a one-out single to left-center. Louis Liberta singled to center, moving Jentz to 2nd. Nicholas Manzione was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Benny Pena went down swinging to make it 2 away. Kely Aponte came up looking for a chance to do damage, but he never got the chance as Jentz was caught trying to steal home by Bronx C Jose Marte.
The Bronx Broncos made sure to not make the mistakes their opponents did of wasting a 1st inning opportunity. With southpaw Joseph Burgund getting the start for the Wave, Christian Disla led off with a walk. Justin Soto was hit by a pitch and Jose Marte walked to load the bases. Edwin Hidalgo went down swinging, but a walk to Francisco Ogando made it 1-0 Broncos, with Disla scoring. Gregory Perd struck out swinging, but Yasser Mendez singled to right, scoring Marte and Soto and moving Ogando to 2nd. Juan Melendez walked to load the bases, which brought up Elvis Hernandez, making all those scoring wondering if they would need to redo the innings box on the scorecard as he was the 9th batter of the inning. However, Hernandez went down swinging to save the scorecards, but the damage was done, as the Broncos led 3-0.
The top of the 2nd inning had a baseball rarity. With one out, Nicholas Liberta struck out swinging, but the catcher dropped it. Not realizing he had to throw to 1st or tag out the batter, he threw to the 3rd Baseman, which allowed Liberta to reach 1B.
The Broncos threatened in the bottom of the 2nd, with Soto and Hidalgo reaching on singles, but they were both left stranded.
The 4th inning had some excitement, as the Wave got 2 into scoring position, but were left stranded. In the bottom of the inning, Disla walked, then went to 2nd on a wild pitch. 2 batters later, Marte reached on an error and went to 2nd. Disla ran home, but got thrown out on a 9-4-2 play.
The Wave finally got on the board in the Top of the 5th. Ricardo led off with a double to center. Jentz flew out and Louis Liberta grounded out to short, but Ricardo went to third. Manzione doubled down the RF line, scoring Ricardo. Pena singled to right, scoring Manzione scored. A passed ball sent Pena to second, where he would be left, as Aponte struck out swinging to end the inning, but they made the score 3-2.
Kingsborough had a chance to go ahead in the Top of the 7th. Jentz led off with a double, which knocked Gomez out of the game for righty Lutty Santiago. Louis Liberta grounded out to second, moving Jentz to third. Manzione hit the ball to Broncos 3B Gregory Perdomo, who gunned down Jentz at home. With Pena up, Manzione was caught trying to steal 2nd to end the inning.
With the score 3-2 going in to the Top of the 9th, with 1 out, Vazquez reached on an error by Broncos 2B Disla and went to 2nd. Eric Ricardo hit a liner that would have sent Disla to 3rd, had Ricardo not jumped to catch it. That amazing catch got the Broncos fans all chanting “MVP! MVP!” Jentz singled to score Vazquez and went to 2nd on an error by LF Hidalgo, to tie the game up at 3 apiece and get the Wave fans chanting “MVP! MVP!” for Jentz. The rally came to an end when Louis Liberta grounded out 1B.
The Broncos entered the bottom of the 9th with lefty Austin Cordero on the hill. Hernandez led off with a double and was removed for PR Orosmar Cuevas. Disla was walked to set up a double play. Benny Pena, who was the DH for the Wave, came in to pitch. Soto walked to load the bases. Marte hit into a game saving double play where Wave 3B Derek Jentz tagged out Cuevas and stepped on the bag to force out Disla. Hidalgo struck out swinging, but reached first on a wild pitch, moving Disla to 3rd and Soto to 2nd. Ogando came up and hit a ball past 3rd where Jentz threw with all his might, but it was not enough, as Ogando reached 1st and Disla scored to give the Broncos the 4-3 win and their 10th CUNYAC Championship. For that big hit, Ogando was named the Tournament MVP.
The CUNYAC 4 Year College Baseball Tournament will take place at MCU Park on May 8th & 9th.