Heading into the baseball postseason, there were many doubts about how far the Madison Knights could advance in the playoffs, even though they held the only undefeated record in the city and had the top seed in the “A” Division playoff bracket. But the Knights silenced the critics, last weekend, as they defeated 13th seeded Gompers, two games to one in the three-game semifinals series to advance to the championship game.
In that title match, slated for Friday, June 7 at Shea Stadium, the top-seeded Knights will slug it out against the 6th seeded George Washington Trojans. The road for the Knights has been a series of close calls as they have won their previous three postseason matchups by a margin of only a deuce. In the opening round against 32nd seeded Evander Childs, Knights hurler Jonathan Farina tossed seven shutout innings to beat Tigers, 3-0.
While in the second round, the score got too close for comfort as Cardozo was able to scrap up three scores but Madison held on to hand the Judges, a 4-3 loss. In the quarterfinals round, Madison was able to knock off eighth seeded Wagner 4-2 to face a tough 13th seeded Gompers squad that stretched the semifinals series to three games.
The doubts have been placed away, but only momentarily, as Madison will take the field of Shea Stadium on June 6, where they will vie for their first title in the program’s history.
Sunday, June 2
Game three in the PSAL semifinals is practically equivalent to game seven of the league championship series in Major League Baseball. Everything is basically on the line – the one shot to get into the title game and that one shot to prolong the regular season for, at least, another seven innings.
After winning game one by the count of 9-7, Madison faltered in game two by entering the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead and giving it away by surrendering two Gompers scores to lose 3-2. But in game three, the Knights had full and complete command of Gompers as they crushed the Panthers, 7-1.
Leading the Knights into battle was senior backstop Eric Gutierrez, who went 2-for-3 with two singles that brought home two runs.
But the biggest and most clutch hit of the game was shortstop James Wong’s fifth inning two bagger that drove in two scores to blow the game open from a 2-1 Madison lead to a 4-1 Knights advantage. Wong went 1-for-4 on the afternoon.
On the rubber, Madison pitcher Jonathan Farina was dominant as the senior hurler tossed seven complete innings, allowing one unearned run on seven hits while striking out nine.