Forest Hills High School has had a successful baseball season. The Rangers finished 9-7 and qualified for the PSAL playoffs. The Rangers were seeded 20th in the city, a ranking that Head coach Marty Finkelstein considered an honor. The Rangers play good baseball with talent that the coach works hard to bring out.
On Wednesday, the Rangers faced the 13th seeded John F. Kennedy Knights (12-5) from The Bronx who have players with terrific baseball skills. Pedro Tavares, team captain, has been cited by the Daily News as one of the top baseball players in the PSAL. He hits .378 and has a high on base percentage. JFK also has other talented hitters.
The Knights also got a complete game from senior Raviel De Jesus, who weathered a three run third inning by the Rangers. De Jesus calmed down, kept Forest Hills off balance, and pitched seven strong innings.
The Knights collected six extra base hits, including two long home runs to defeat
Forest Hills, 10-3, in a first round matchup at John F. Kennedy.
Forest Hills showed its mettle by taking a 3-1 lead in the top of third inning.
Jeff Naham got a solid base hit to drive in a run in the inning. The three runs
quieted the often exuberant JFK team bench, which broke out into loud chants when one of their teammates got a base hit. The Knights used three doubles to take a 5-3 lead in the 5th inning. Rav De Jesus settled down and got stronger and pitched a solid game in hot weather.
Phille Guzman hit a towering home run to deep centerfield to tie the game in the 4th inning for JFK. When Guzman crossed the plate, the Knights gathered and met him at home plate as if he had won the game.
JFK hit 3 doubles and roughed up relief pitcher Anauris Santana for two runs in the bottom of the 5th inning to take a 5-3 lead. The Knights also got to Forest Hills pitchers in the 6th inning for 5 quick runs to extend their lead. Tavares hit a 2 run homer in the 6th inning to ice the game for JFK.
Finkelstein went with lefty junior Brett Wisner to start the game. The gamble seemed to pay off. He held JFK down for three innings until their bats woke up.
Defensive Play of the Game:
In the JFK half of the third inning, Williams Martinez hit a blast past a diving first baseman Brian Scileppi. The ball went to right field where Frank Duffy threw back to Scileppi who threw a perfect strike to catcher Dan Spilke to cut down the runner at home plate which would have tied the game.
“These kids are little more advanced than in Queens,” Finkelstein said of JFK’s team.
“When you lose with the best we have, then we have no complaints,” he added. “You gotta give the other team credit.... I am very satisfied with our season,”
De Jesus settled down to pitch a fine game for JFK. “I mixed in my pitches to get them off balance,” said De Jesus. “(Got) command of my pitches and got ahead on counts.
Knights Head coach Alex Torres thought his power hitters came through in the game.
“Our big guys did a great job for us,” Torres said.
Box Score:Teams 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Final