- Last Updated: 3:16 AM, April 21, 2012
- Posted: 3:16 AM, April 21, 2012
Wesley Rodriguez hit a pair of line drives that went an estimated 700 feet between them, mammoth blasts that caromed high off the wall and would make most freshmen beam with pride.
George Washington’s young infielder was happy with the two long balls, one hit to dead center field and the other to right-center, but not as pleased as the first time he put bat on ball, even if that one went about five feet.
With the bases loaded in the first inning and two runs already in, the freshman was called upon to lay down a suicide squeeze, which he executed to a tee.
“Coach called it before and I missed – I had that on my mind,” he said. “The squeeze is a big play in baseball. Bombs will come and go, but a squeeze is mental."
George Washington’s big three-run first inning set the tone for an impressive 8-3 victory over Beacon on Friday in a battle of unbeaten PSAL Manhattan division leaders. Rodriguez helped put the game away in the second when he crushed a single off the wall in center, extending the Trojans (6-0, Manhattan A East) lead to 8-0.
“I can’t wait to watch him for four years, I can’t imagine what he’s gonna do,” GW coach Steve Mandl said. “He can play all nine positions. We’re not sure what we’re gonna do with him.”
It was more than enough cushion for senior righthander Aneuris Rodriguez (no relation), who went 5-2/3 for the win despite a blister on his middle finger. He scattered nine hits – all singles – stranded nine base runners and struck out five. Aneuris Rodriguez came to George Washington in the fall when his family moved from Yonkers to Washington Heights.
“This is a completely different experience for me,” said Aneuris Rodriguez, who attended Palisades Prep last year. “I never had a team like this, where you treat each other like family.”
He’s fit in well at GW, as one of the Trojans’ four aces along with Reynaldo Hernandez, Edwin Corniel and Kevin Torres.
“You never have to worry when he’s on the mound,” Mandl said of Aneuris Rodriguez. “He’s a tough kid, he’s a bulldog.”
After a pair of uneven performances against Manhattan Center – a 6-5, eight-inning win on Monday and a suspended game on Wednesday in which the two teams’ were tied at three after nine innings – Mandl was pleased with his team’s performance. George Washington was solid defensively for the most part, took advantage of its opportunities early and received solid pitching.
“We came in with more confidence,” Aneuris Rodriguez said. “We wanted to beat this team.”
Beacon coach Tom Covotsos left feeling positive himself. After spotting the powerhouse Trojans eight runs, his team came storming back, scoring two runs in the third and one in the fifth.
Starter Omar Longi, thrust into the No. 1 spot with Juan Adorno undergoing season-ending surgery for torn labrums in each thigh, struggled mightily with his control. In an inning plus, he hit three batters, walked two and allowed six runs. Giovanni Dingcong was brilliant in relief, tossing six innings of six-hit, two-run ball to keep the Blue Demons (5-1, Manhattan A West) within striking distance.
“We didn’t lose to the better team, we lost the game ourselves,” Covotsos said. “They hit the ball well, but we had them under control. I like our fight. We did outplay them for the last five innings, but it’s hard to come back when you’re down eight runs against a good team.”Follow @NYPostsports