Inconsistent Wolves fall in semis, look toward next year

Grand Street Campus took advantage of errors, got hit after hit and put five runs on the board. The crowd behind the Wolves dugout was going crazy.

There was just one problem: All of that happened in the seventh inning when they were down 10 runs.

“I think if we would have had that momentum in the first couple innings, things would have been different,” junior catcher Ernesto Lopez said.

Much like the quarterfinals and first game of the series last Friday, No. 2 Grand Street Campus had a flair for the dramatic with an exciting inning or two. No. 3 Tottenville just outplayed the Wolves for the majority of the series sweep, especially in a 10-5 win Saturday in Game 2 of the PSAL Class A baseball best-of-three semifinals series at MCU Park in Coney Island.

“I wish that came a little earlier,” Grand Street coach Melvin Martinez said of the five-run, seventh-inning explosion.

The Wolves (18-3) played with fire in the quarters against Telecommunications, falling behind 5-1 before a spirited comeback in the sixth inning resulted in a 7-5 victory. They scored two runs right away in the first inning in Game 1, but produced nothing afterward. It was an odd, disjointed playoff run for talented Grand Street, which showed flashes of brilliance.

“The hitting wasn’t on point,” Lopez said of the Tottenville series. “We weren’t executing bunts. We weren’t bringing people in.”

And in the field there were entirely too many errors and mental miscues. Tottenville (22-1) seemed to take advantage of each and every one. The Pirates scored four times in the very first inning and twice more in the second against starter Luis Hiraldo and at that point Martinez said his youthful team went into a shell.

“It took me about three innings to get their spirits back up,” said Martinez, who was visibly trying to get the Wolves supporters in the stands into the game.

This was Grand Street’s first time in the semis in five years and the Wolves had never played before at the Coney Island stadium, Martinez was careful to note. But the majority of his core – Lopez, Jose and Alex Cuas, Willy Santana and Basael McDonald – returns next year and they will all have this experience under their belts.

“I just hope that we bounce back and come back next year,” Martinez said. “We should be back in the mix of things. I’m really excited about next year.”

Grand Street will once again be one of the most talented teams in the PSAL in 2011. Only the Wolves will be seasoned as well.

“Next year I’m hoping we take it,” Lopez said.

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