Da Vinci, which rolled through its first season in the New York Middle School Baseball League, completed its perfect season with an 11-1 mercy rule victory over IS 235 New Americans Academy Monday afternoon in Sunnyside.
The co-ed baseball league, in its second season, expanded from 12 schools in Manhattan in 2008 to 19 schools this season, including 10 in Brooklyn and five in Queens.
Da Vinci wasted no time grabbing the inaugural crown. Led by the incredible pitching performance of Albert Ramirez, Da Vinci throttled the Astoria based New Americans.
New Americans struck first, as Felix Reynoso led off with a single, and then, in an impressive show of speed, stole second and third. Reynoso came around to score on a single by Leider Coronel, giving New Americans a 1-0 lead.
However, Ramirez settled down after that, and while Da Vinci’s bats were cold in the bottom of the first inning, Ramirez kept them close, retiring New Americans in order in the second.
Da Vinci broke through in the bottom of the second, scoring six runs on the inexperienced New Americans team, a team composed of recent immigrants (hence the name).
From there, Da Vinci was in control, adding one run in the third.
In the top of the fourth, New Americans threatened, loading the bases with two outs, but Ramirez calmly struck out Carlos Correia to end the threat, prompting coach Joseph Didomenico to exclaim: “he’s our ace. He’s been doing that all year for us.”
In total, Ramirez finished with an impressive seven strikeouts.
For New Americans, the team was in good spirits despite the loss. Coach Jeff Cohen said after the game: “We did our best. I’m proud of the kids.” And most of the players, like Sajib Salam, who were used to playing cricket rather than baseball, were just happy to step on the baseball diamond.”
“I like baseball,” Salam said. “It was a lot of fun.”
With the win, Da Vinci, which celebrated by dousing Didomenico and coach Jose Guzman with a bucket of ice water, advances to face the Bronx division champion on June 11 in the Bronx.