Tigers Walk Off With Championship
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
It wasn’t just the Private School Athletic Association Division II title on the line for the Bay Ridge Prep varsity baseball team Tuesday afternoon at sunny MCU Park.
It was absolute perfection at stake as well.
Trailing by a run with their dream season in peril, the Tigers clawed their way back with a dramatic 5-4 victory to capture the PSAA crown and their rightful place in history.
Championship Game MVP Stephen Scala delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh and final inning, snapping a 4-4 tie against Lawrence Woodmere and signaling the Tigers to come pouring out of the dugout for a well-deserved celebration on the home field of Coney Island’s Brooklyn Cyclones.
"These students really exemplify what teamwork is about,” said Bay Ridge Prep baseball coach Lou Rossi, who helped guide the Tigers to a 10-0 record and their first PSAA title since 2008.
“You don't go undefeated without the desire and the drive they displayed all season,” he added.
Conor McGouran delivered the game-tying sacrifice fly, his second of the tightly played contest, in the seventh before Scala’s big hit capped the first-ever perfect campaign by any team in Bay Ridge Prep athletics history.
BRP Athletic Director Tony Campbell, a champion during his own playing days in the NBA as a member of the 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers, attributed the momentous triumph to the consistency the team built and maintained all season.
“Momentum carried us into the playoffs and a championship finish with a perfect record,” noted Campbell, who has overseen the athletics department at the Bay Ridge K-12 college preparatory school since September 2007.
Four Tigers were also honored on the field by the PSAA for their individual accomplishments this season.
Along with Scala’s title-game MVP award, Gabe Bassil, Will Carley and McGouran joined their teammate in being named to the All-Conference squad by the league.
At a previous Bay Ridge Prep sports awards ceremony on May 16, all four also shared in the baseball MVP honors for the season from the school’s athletics department.