Madison Park makes it 3-peat

By Tom Layman / City Baseball  |   Tuesday, May 31, 2011  | |


Photo by Angela Rowlings

The “MP Breakdown” has become synonymous with any significant win by Madison Park teams.
And yesterday that animated celebration took place on the baseball diamond.

Behind the powerful left arm of Manny Garcia and a late-arriving offense, the Cardinals staked claim to their third straight Boston City League title with a 7-2 victory against West Roxbury at Boston English High in Jamaica Plain.

“To my knowledge it’s the first time any Boston public school baseball team has won it three times in a row,” Cardinals fourth-year coach Mike Viggiano said. “What’s special is that they never gave up their resilience.”
Garcia struck out 10 and scattered three hits in his seven solid innings of work for MP (8-12), but had to overcome a bout of wildness with runners on third on two separate occasions.

West Roxbury (11-9) never hit the ball hard with runners in scoring position as the tall left-hander allowed both runs to come home on wild pitches in the third and fourth innings.

“I told him that we don’t need the funny stuff when we are ahead in the count,” Viggiano said. “That’s all I said, and he took care of the rest.”

Garcia settled in to get the final nine outs without breaking a sweat. When West Roxbury did put a runner on to lead off the seventh, the Cardinals defense was there to back up their pitcher with a game-ending double play.

“I had to calm myself. I was getting frustrated because I’m usually not like that,” Garcia said. “I usually control my pitches, but everyone told me as soon as I got to the dugout to not worry about it because we got your back.”

The offense picked up its starter with six runs in the fifth inning and beyond.

Frank Polanco (2-for-4, RBI) and Kevin Arroyo (2-for-3, RBI) began the fifth with hits. A wild pitch moved the two into scoring position, and Joan Figueroa tied the game at 2 with a sacrifice fly to right.

Alfred Santana came up with runners on second and third and his hot shot past third brought in the go-ahead run. William Miranda hustled around from second to score on the play after the ball was mishandled in the outfield for the 4-2 lead.

The Cardinals tacked on three more runs in the sixth.

Madison Park opened with four straight hits with Polanco narrowly missing a home run as he sent an RBI double deep to left.

“Top to bottom, these kids can play the game,” Viggiano said.

West Roxbury’s Jordan Matos went the first five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) and striking out five.

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