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Impossible dream comes true for Midwood

Hornets Sting Tottenville, Take PSAL Crown at Yankee Stadium

June 14, 2016 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
For the first time ever, Brooklyn’s Midwood High School captured the PSAL AAA Baseball Championship at Yankee Stadium on Monday night, stunning previously unbeaten Tottenville with a 3-0 shutout in the title game. Photo courtesy of Beth Vershleiser/Midwood High School
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For a first-year hurler, Gregory Dorfman displayed the poise and courage of a grizzled veteran on the mound at Yankee Stadium on Monday night.

The freshman sensation worked in and out of trouble over 5 1/3 brilliant innings and senior Michael Gonzalez drove in all three runs as 10th-seeded Midwood shocked Staten Island powerhouse Tottenville, 3-0, en route to its first-ever Public School Athletic League AAA Baseball Championship.

After finishing the regular season with a 10-7 record, the Hornets hit their stride when the games mattered most, knocking off No. 2 seed James Monroe, Brooklyn rival Fort Hamilton and the previously undefeated Pirates, who suffered their third consecutive championship game defeat in the Bronx, over the past three weeks.

The storied playoff run needed a fantastic finish, however, and Dorfman provided it by helping the Hornets avenge a 7-0 blanking at the hands of Tottenville here in Brooklyn’s McGuire Park back on May 2.

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Staked to an early lead on Gonzalez’s bases-loaded walk in the top of the first, Dorfman jammed the bases himself with one out in the bottom of the frame, but escaped any damage by inducing an inning-ending 1-4-3 double play.

Things got even stickier for the freshman in the fourth as Tottenville, trailing 3-0 thanks to Gonzalez’s clutch, two-out, two-run single in the third, filled the sacks with none out.

But three consecutive fly outs kept the frustrated Pirates off the scoreboard, and put Midwood in position to pull off one of the great upsets in recent PSAL history.

Senior Thomas Scarpaci relieved Dorfman with two on and one out in the sixth as Midwood skipper Saverio Nardone sensed it was time to pull his starter.

After hitting the first batter he faced, Scarpaci got a 6-4-3 double play to snuff out the threat. He also stranded a pair of runners in the seventh, completing the combined shutout and sending Midwood players, and their proud parents and faculty members, into hysteria at the fabled ballpark.

“We came in confident,” Nardone told after watching his players pull off the ultimate upset on the same field that Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada celebrated the Yankees’ 2009 World Series triumph to cap the new stadium’s inaugural campaign.

“We’re an in-the-now team,” added Nardone. “Anything in the past doesn’t matter. I knew we would come here and fight and battle.”

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Earlier this month, Bay Ridge’s Poly Prep Country Day School secured its 10th consecutive Ivy League baseball crown with an 8-1 triumph over Rye Country Day, completing a 22-2 campaign, including a perfect mark in league play.

Blue Devils third baseman Daniel Bakst, New York state’s Player of the Year, was subsequently selected in the 27th round of this month’s MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.

The Blue Devils’ girls’ softball team captured its record ninth NYSAIS title with a 5-4 win over Fieldston.

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In other local sports news, the Barclays Center, which will host the much-anticipated welterweight title fight between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter on June 25, has already lined up its next big headline bout.

On July 30, Downtown’s home for boxing will feature a matchup between fellow unbeaten Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton in a SHOWTIME televised event.

“I’ve never been to New York before and I’m looking forward to this big opportunity to put on a show for new fans in a new city,” said Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs). “I always fight for the fans and I’m excited to be able to do that somewhere I haven’t been before.

“Frampton is a good fighter. He has power and skills and he moves when he has to, but he has a weak chin,” Santa Cruz added. “When he gets caught with a good punch, he goes down. He doesn’t like pressure and I have that. I’m looking forward to putting on an exciting show at Barclays Center and I hope I leave with lots of new fans.”  

“I am in terrific shape, I feel fantastic in the gym and I am ready for the biggest fight of my career,” said Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs). “On July 30 I will become a two weight world champion. I respect Leo Santa Cruz, he is a great fighter and person, but I am preparing meticulously to overcome any challenge he brings on July 30. I cannot wait to hear the crowd at Barclays Center.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Cyclone Promotions, start at $38 and go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.


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