- Last Updated: 3:17 AM, June 7, 2012
- Posted: 3:16 AM, June 7, 2012
PSAL baseball beat writer Zach Braziller breaks down the second-seeded Grand Street Campus Wolves in advance of Friday’s Class A championship game at MCU Park in Coney Island.
Grand Street Campus
Head coach: Melvin Martinez
Record: 20-1, Brooklyn A East
Batting order: CF Basael (Ralphy) McDonald, 2B Eli Rodriguez, SS Jose Cuas, C Kevin Martir, 3B Ernesto Lopez, 1B Kelvin Flores, P Gerry Gonzalez, RF Santo Duran, LF Charlie Garcia
Key reserves/pitchers: P Alex Cuas, P Miguel Rodriguez, IF/OF Dari Rodriguez and P/IF Justin Liriano
Team notes: Making its first finals appearance in program history. … Won Brooklyn A East division crown for second straight year after being moved from Queens A West as part of realignment … Alma mater of New York Yankees Triple-A pitcher Dellin Betances and Boston Red Sox minor league Willams Jerez.…. Swept No. 6 John Adams, 13-4 and 8-4, in the PSAL Class A semifinals, knocked off No. 7 James Monroe, 4-2, in the quarterfinals, No. 15 Taft, 4-1 in the second round, and No. 31 Environmental Studies, 7-2, in the first round.
(from league coach under condition of anonymity)
“Those guys are playing with a lot of confidence. Every year it was something else, but they finally got past [the semifinals]. ... The top seven [in their lineup] is really tough. The Xaverian guy [transfer Kevin] Martir, I would stay away from him. He killed Adams. You can pitch to some of the other guys. ... You better get the first kid [Basael McDonald out]. He's an automatic triple. ... [Gerry] Gonzalez can do well against [George Washington]. He mixes his pitches up and he throws harder than you think."
Basael (Ralphy) McDonald
Position: Center fielder
Notes: Third-year starter. … Blazing-fast with surprising power – as his nine extra-base hits illustrate – he stole 42 bases this year, six more than his total a year ago. … Moved to center field this spring and has anchored the Grand Street outfield.
Martinez’s take: “He is the sparkplug of the team. He’s just unbelievable. He’s like a Jose Reyes. He steals bases, hits line drives in the gaps. He takes over the game with his speed. Defensively, he can rob you. He’ll definitely be the No. 1 player in the city next year.”
Position: Second baseman
Notes: Son of former Major League pitcher Frank Rodriguez. … One of the better sophomores in the city, Rodriguez has surprising pop for his size. … Has struggled in the playoffs, batting just .250, but drove in 21 runs, scored 22 times and stole 22 bases during a surprisingly productive regular season. … Selfless player happy to move runners over but also capable of knocking them in.Follow @NYPostsports