Brooklyn’s Blue Pride grabs ISAL title
Friends pulls out dramatic 5-4 victory at Maimonides Park
Sophomore James McDonald delivered a walk-off two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning Monday at Maimonides Park. lifting the Brooklyn Friends School to the Independent School Athletic League championship with a 5-4 victory over York Prep.
With the game knotted and the Blue Pride desperate to settle matters before extra innings, eighth-grader Toby Harris got things going with a single.
Senior Charlie Bertoldo drew a walk before McDonald came through to send the crowd of BFS fans into a frenzy as Harris touched the plate.
“Best experience of my athletic career,” said Bertoldo.
“The atmosphere was amazing. We loved the support from our family and friends. What a way to end league play,” added fellow fourth-year player Alex Basner.
None of it would have been possible without the pitching efforts of freshman Joshua Dunn, who started and went 4 2/3 innings with six strikeouts.
Harris, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate, worked the final 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win as well as the title-game Most Valuable Player award.
Sophomore Theo Schwed finished 2-for-4 with two steals and two runs scored and Bertoldo went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored a run for BFS, which went 6-1 in league play topping Elizabeth Irwin, 9-6, in the ISAL semifinals.
But Monday’s victory thrust the Blue Pride into the NYSAS State Tournament, which gets underway May 21.
“It was a great day to play baseball and, of course, having the championship game played in Brooklyn at such a fantastic facility was truly awesome for all involved,” said BFS athletic director David Gardella.
“We want to thank everyone who took part in this extraordinary day.”
In local pro sports news, the New York Liberty were unable to build on Saturday’s season-opening win at Barclays Center, suffering an 83-50 loss to the Chicago Sky Wednesday in front of 4,935 fans at Wintrust Arena.
Han Xu, who towers over the competition at 6-foot-10, scored 10 points and Natasha Howard and Betnijah Laney added eight apiece for the Liberty (1-1), who were held to 20 percent shooting in the first half as they fell behind, 36-17 at intermission.
Dana Evans scored 15 points for the Sky (1-1), who bounced back nicely from an overtime loss to defending WNBA champion Los Angeles in their season opener over the weekend.
Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu, who scored 25 points in her season debut, managed just two points on free throws while going 0-for-5 from the field.
New York, which shot 33 percent overall, will be back in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday to host Indiana in the opener of a three-game homestand.
GIVE ME LIBERTY: The Liberty announced last week that SNIPES, the biggest sneaker and streetwear retailer in the US, has agreed to a long-term partnership with the team, one of the three remaining original franchises in the longest-running professional women’s sports league. The two organizations will use their combined platforms to bring people together around a shared commitment to inclusiveness, justice and equal opportunity. This will include empowering young athletes at training camps, tournaments and other community events through the lens of fashion, according to a team-issued release. The Liberty are SNIPES’ first women’s sports partner and SNIPES is one of the first sneaker retailers to sponsor a WNBA team.
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