Brooklyn's Blue Pride baseball, softball squads roll into playoffs
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
There's nothing quite like a near-flawless pitching performance, except maybe a dramatic walk-off win ... or two.
In a whirlwind week that saw both their varsity baseball and softball teams qualify for the postseason, the Brooklyn Friends School had plenty of Blue Pride to go around.
On Monday, the boys' baseball team, anchored by reigning Private School Athletic Association Most Valuable Player Misha Holzman, rolled to a playoff-clinching 7-0 victory over Friends Seminary at Brooklyn's Red Hook Field.
Holzman, a hard-throwing right-hander, took a no-hitter into the seventh and final inning before surrendering a one-out bloop single into shallow right field. He quickly recovered to fan the final two batters, paving the way for BFS to return to the PSAA Tournament, which it nearly won a season ago.
Not limited to heroics on the mound, Holzman also played a big role in the Blue Pride's offensive showing Monday, delivering a two-run double in the top of the second inning that staked BFS, and himself, to an early 5-0 cushion.
At 8-6 overall, the Blue Pride will finish up its regular-season slate Thursday against the Garden School in a non-league affair. Holzman's effort locked up the team's fourth consecutive winning campaign as they gear up for a strong playoff push.
The BFS girls' varsity softball squad is also playoff bound, thanks to a pair of dramatic victories in each of its last two contests.
Coach David Gardella's young squad, which does not have a single senior on the roster, pulled out a wild 15-14 win over the United Nations School last Friday as junior Julia Greenwald delivered a two-run homer with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the Blue Pride home happy.
On Monday, BFS once again found itself down a run heading into its final at-bat. Only this time, it was junior Sarah Murray's turn to provide the big hit. After Greenwald ripped a ground-rule double to knot the contest at 5-5, Murray connected for a two-out game-winning single for a 6-5 triumph.
"The younger players grew into a tight knit group," noted Gardella when asked to explain his team's resilience in pressure situations. "Once again, we have no seniors and we have a great balance of freshmen, sophomores and juniors, who are providing leadership on and off the field. We continue to encourage each other's play from the field and the dugout. We are growing together on a field in Brooklyn."
Bidding for a potential No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming New York State Independent School Tournament, the Berkeley Carroll school's varsity baseball team continues to roll.
Senior ace Ian Miller struck out nine while tossing a two-hitter and also drove in a pair of runs Monday as BCS beat Long Island Lutheran, 4-1, to improve to a perfect 17-0 on the season.
The Lions, who will be the No. 1 seed in this weekend's Athletic Conference of Independent Schools Tournament as defending league champions, were not charged with a defeat for their game with PSAL rival Telecommunications back on April 30, as originally reported in the Eagle. The game was ruled a no-contest due to a severe player injury suffered prior to the completion of four innings of play.
Coach Walter Paller's team, which captured the NYSAISS title in 2009, also swept a doubleheader from the Dwight School on Saturday by a combined score of 24-1 after blanking neighborhood rival St. Ann's, 10-0, last Thursday behind a solid pitching effort from Chris Harper and three RBIs by Chris Baumann.