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Loss in Small Schools Tourney Ends Cavs' Season

Varsity baseball action

Harvey baseball’s HVAL championship season came to an end Wednesday, May 25, with a heartbreaking 5-3 loss to Hamden Hall on the road in the semifinals of the Small Prep Schools Invitational Tournament.

Two Harvey pitchers, starter MJ Diaz and his reliever Chris Marlin combined to allow Hall only five hits, but the two hurlers also combined to walk 11 batters which the host team took advantage of. In his 4 ⅓ innings, Diaz allowed four earned runs on four hits and nine walks. Marlin pitched an inning and a third, allowing just one hit and no earned runs. He walked two. “Walks as a staff was our Achilles heel all year, but our staff still proved to have grit all season,” Harvey coach Luis Lopez said. “We will learn from this and come back better next season,” he added..

The Cavaliers actually out-hit the Hall, 8-5. Marlin and catcher Kirk Ortega went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases each. Justin Polanco hit a triple and went 1-for-2. Also collecting a hit were Jorge Caraballo, Jake Hellinger, a double, and Nolan Dunn as a pinch-hitter.

Harvey’s best chance to forge a tie or go ahead came In the sixth inning as the Cavs loaded the bases with two outs. The Hall changed pitchers to face Hellinger who battled and worked the count to three and two before striking out swinging to end the threat.

Dunn came in to pinch-hit in the seventh inning with two outs and got a clutch single to keep the inning alive, Jose Vasquez hit a line shot into right center field that the Hamden Hall center fielder ran down and caught to end the game.

With the final out of the 2022 season recorded, Coach Lopez and assistant Gary Dunn called the team together for their final post-game meeting. “We had to speak with the boys to dismiss them like we always do, and Gary and I knew this was going to be the hardest part of the season by far,” Coach Lopez said. “There were no dry eyes in that circle, including the coaches,” said the coach. “We are proud of these young men because, like we told them before the game, they are winners and we love them.”

Coach Lopez looks forward to next spring when he prepares the 2023 team for another run at a third consecutive league championship. “All I can say is that next season we will be back, because at Harvey our motto is that we reload, we don’t rebuild!”

Athletics

Harvey varsity hockey team celebrates goal at FAA Championships as fans cheer them on.