Tag Archives: high school baseball

Local high school sluggers look to rack up ‘WINS for Cancer’


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Mary Louis Academy

Like good siblings, the sports teams at Holy Cross High School in Flushing and The Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica have long supported each other, and this spring they’re taking that partnership to a new level for a good cause.

Holy Cross’ varsity and junior varsity baseball teams, along with their softball counterparts at Mary Louis, officially launched their joint “WINS for Cancer” campaign in Jamaica Estates Thursday afternoon.

The athletic programs at the all-boys Holy Cross and all-girls Mary Louis developed a strong bond over the years. Mary Louis cheerleaders rally the crowds at Holy Cross football games. Holy Cross, in turn, opened its gym to Mary Louis for their girls CHSAA basketball games.

With CHSAA baseball and softball seasons on the horizon, the two schools launched “WINS for Cancer,” hoping that their teams’ performance on the field would raise big bucks for the Sunrise Day Camp, a Suffolk County summer escape for children battling cancer and their siblings.

For Joe Lewinger, Mary Louis’ athletic director, “WINS for Cancer” is a personal cause, as his twin son and daughter are cancer survivors.  Diagnosed at age 2, they attended Sunrise Day Camp during and after treatment, and got to enjoy outdoor summer activities that the isolation of cancer treatment deprived them.

“It’s the opportunity for kids who are forced to live an isolated life to feel like a normal kid,” Lewinger said. The experience at Sunrise proved wonderful for his children, both of whom are now 9 and in remission.

Sunrise Day Camp is the only camp of its kind in the U.S. dedicated to cancer survivors and their siblings from 3 1/2 to 16 years of age. It is equipped with specialized services and facilities to allow all children to have fun in safety, including an on-call medical staff.

The camp is offered free to parents and relies solely on donations.

According to Lewinger, Holy Cross’ baseball teams pledged to contribute $10 per league win, while Mary Louis’ softball will pitch in $20 per league victory; Holy Cross has 16 league games on schedule, while Mary Louis has eight.

Lewinger is hoping for a perfect campaign so Holy Cross and Mary Louis can deliver at least $640 to Sunrise Day Camp. Parents are also invited to sponsor their sons or daughters on the teams and contribute per batting achievement, such as a hit, run, home run or stolen base.

“We got the two teams together, hope to win a lot of games and help a good cause,” Holy Cross Assistant Athletic Director Tim Gilvary added.

Click here for more information about Sunrise Day Camp.

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Sports Star: Joseph Calandra, infielder, Channel View High School baseball team


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Joseph Calandra

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Name: Joseph Calandra
School: Channel View High School
Grade: Sophomore
Sport: Baseball
Position: infielder, catcher

Joseph Calandra is a sophomore baseball player at Channel View High School, and was a big reason why the team was division champs last season. Last year, Calandra led the Queens B South Division in batting with a .444 average (16-for-36), and was his team’s co-MVP. Calandra was also fourth in hits in the league, and finished third in stolen bases with 20. He plays shortstop, second base and catcher.

Besides his skills on the field, Calandra is a model student. He maintains a 94 percent average, and is one of nearly a dozen students chosen as part of the exclusive Crewlympics mentoring program in the high school. As part of the program, Calandra helps give academic and sports-related advice to students in the sixth through eighth grade, ensuring that they stay on the right track and succeed in middle school.

Calandra hasn’t thought much about which college he would like to attend, but believes that he will major in sports management, in case baseball doesn’t work out.

What are you able to accomplish as part of the Crewlympics program?
“I am able to work with other people and share my talents with others.”

Why is it important to you to help others?
“It feels good when you help someone succeed.”

Why is it significant to be good both on and off the field?
“Because good character off the field is what helped me with my game. If I’m not finishing my classes, I can’t play baseball, so I figure, let me get everything done and I’ll have no worries on the field.”

Why do you want to major in sports management?
“You’ve got to have a backup plan and I figure I could use my grades in a good way to stay around sports.”

 

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St. Francis Prep goes for first baseball championship since 2007


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BASEBALL PHOTO

With a strong starting rotation and a solid bullpen, St. Francis Prep is eyeing its first baseball championship since 2007.

Senior captain Nick LoPrinzi has been a major asset to the Terriers. LoPrinzi, a four-year varsity standout, has played behind the plate, on the mound and at first base in his young career.

This season he is focusing on catching and calling a competitive game for star pitchers Taso Stathopolous and Dylan Lawrence.

LoPrinzi will attend Saint Joseph’s College in Brooklyn next year, where he has a chance to start as a freshman. For now, he is focused on bringing a championship home to Fresh Meadows.

“I think we have gotten better and better every year and we built a team this year that can win a championship,” LoPrinzi said.

While the players are confident in their team, they will need to stay healthy and remain consistent throughout the season.

Pitching and defense have been steady, but the offense has been the backbone of the team.

“If we hit, in my opinion, no one can stop us,” LoPrinzi said. “This is definitely the best team I’ve played on [during] my years at Prep.”

-BY NEIL A. CAROUSSO

 

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Queens Vocational falls short in city championship


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

When the championship game was over and the Queens Vocational Tech Tigers had lost, head baseball coach Robert Schimenz gathered his team of teary-eyed teens.

He wasn’t angry, but wasn’t sad either.

He simply pointed above the dugout and said “Go say thank you to those fans,” referring to the more than 300 students, teachers and family members that traveled to MCU Park in Brooklyn and witnessed the team lose, 2-1, to South Bronx H.S. in the PSAL Division B baseball championship on June 8.

“Today was career day at the school, but the focus of the school was baseball and I like that,” Schimenz said, adding that the supporters behaved similarly in 2007 when the Queens school won the crown.

Although the Tigers clawed and growled, they couldn’t get past the blazing fastball and tricky curveball of South Bronx Phoenix pitcher Kevin Victoriano, who hurled a complete game with 11 strikeouts, while allowing just two hits.

“He’s [Victoriano] a great pitcher and he’s going to make it far in life if he continues playing baseball,” Queens Vocational infielder Jose Monegro said.

On the other hand, Queens’ starting pitcher Daniel Corona almost matched Victoriano, collecting seven strikeouts in six innings while allowing six hits.

“Danny [Corona] pitched great. He pitched better than usual,” Schimenz said of his starting pitcher. “His pitch count was low and he didn’t put a lot of guys on.”

Corona ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when he allowed two runs off back-to-back doubles and a triple by Victoriano.

Victoriano, who had a shutout through the fifth frame, was good enough to protect the lead for the rest of the game.

“It was mostly striking out to outside pitches,” senior Queens catcher Jason Perez said. “We really weren’t in the zone at the plate.”

But in the sixth, the Tigers showed their teeth.

With the bases empty, Monegro smacked a double deep to center that flew over the Bronx outfielders and landed just in front the warning track.

After Monegro moved to third base on a ground out, Victoriano threw a wild pitch high over the catcher’s reach, allowing Monegro to score the only run for the Tigers.

“I was excited and trying to get my team momentum,” he said about scoring. “But unfortunately we came up short.”

Victoriano walked the next batter, but recovered and got the two remaining outs to end the inning.

The dominant pitcher came back after a quiet sixth inning by the Phoenix and finished the game with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the final batter.

Despite the loss, Queens fans clapped and cheered for each Tigers player during the ensuing ceremony as his name was called to receive a silver medal.

“It was a long, tiring season that there was so much positive in,” Schimenz said. “I’m glad they [the Tigers] got here. I would’ve liked to have seen them win because they’re dynamite baseball players.”