Jason Pineda has experienced plenty of highs in the last 72 hours before taking part in his final high school game on Thursday night.
The James Monroe Campus slugger was on the losing end, as the PSAL all-stars would fall to their CHSAA counterparts, 7-3, in the New York City Mayor’s Cup held at St. John’s University. But the defeat won’t overshadow what the Bronx native has accomplished over the last few days.
Monsignor McClancy shortstop Ryan Neuweiler hit a two run single in the bottom of the first inning and went on to earn MVP honors for the CHSAA all-stars. The CHSAA also got an RBI single by Xaverian first baseman Xavier Vargas in the first inning and the team scored three more times in the bottom of the second to take a 6-0 lead.
First thing was helping the Eagles win the PSAL Class AAA city championship on Monday as Pineda provided an electric performance with two home runs at Yankee Stadium while also pitching a complete game to clinch the 13-2 victory. Just 36 hours later, the 6-1, 220-pound infielder heard his name selected in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the San Diego Padres.
“I was still thinking of the city championship we just won,” Pineda said. ”Definitely was hoping to be called in the draft whether it was earlier or later.”
Pineda was one of a few locals who experienced being drafted. Mayor’s Cup all-star and Monsignor McClancy’s Quentin Holmes drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Indians while his teammate Charlie Neuweiler was selected in the fifth round by Kansas City.
The Eagles star only concentrated on a winning a city championship for his teammates instead of focusing on his status in the draft. Pineda has relied on a strong bond with his mother Valencia, who helped the Monroe player get through some pressure filled moments.
“I can tell her anything. She can tell me anything. There is no one like her,” Pineda said. “My mom has been there 17 years of my life going on 18 and she is always been there and she is always my best friend.”
Alfonzo gets drafted by the New York Mets
Daniel Alfonzo has established himself as a dangerous hitter over the last few years at Bayside High School. Alfonzo would hear his name picked by a quite familiar organization as the New York Mets picked him in the 38th round near the end of the third day of the MLB Draft.
Daniel’s father, Edgardo Alfonzo, was an all-star second baseman for the Mets in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
“It’s been pretty good especially with everything going on and the draft. When I seen my name in there, I took it as motivation,” Alfonzo said. “I told my coach at Adelphi that’s its motivation and it gives me time to improve on and off the field.”
Alfonzo appreciated being selected by the team that his father spent most of his major league career with. But Daniel will honor his commitment at Adelphi University and vows to improve as a player in all facets in the next few years.
Daniel will spend some quality time with his father this summer as Edgardo takes over the managerial job with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He appreciates everything that baseball has afforded him, especially with the opportunity to represent Bayside.
“All of the struggle we been through and all of the success we been through. We put in the work every single day 24-7. It’s paid off when we won the championship last year,” Alfonzo said. “It was a great moment for me and the whole Bayside community. I don’t have any regrets. I left everything on the field.”
Lepre remembers his big hit in the Bronx
Nick Lepre welcomed the opportunity to head to Yankee Stadium on Monday morning to take part of the CHSAA Class AA Senior Classic. The Monsignor Farrell pitcher had recently celebrated his team’s second Intersectional title win last weekend in a 3-1 victory over Iona Prep at St. John’s University.
The Wagner College bound pitcher focused solely on his duties on the mound this season with a 9-1 record and earning a 1.58 ERA in 57.1 innings. But since Lepre could not pitched since had started on June 7, the senior had to do something to get into the game.
“The Regis coach was like grab a bat. I got up there and I was like coach I haven’t batted in probably four years,” Lepre said. “I haven’t seen a pitch in a long time. He said I have to get you into a game and I’ll said, ok Ill do it.”
Lepre promptly ripped a double down the left field to the joy, yet amusement from his friends in the stands as they captured everything on video. It was another memory for the Lions pitcher to remember, as he gets ready for the next stage in his career.
“I think going out with a bang is bittersweet. Especially two titles and it was a great four years, great career,” Lepre said. “I’m going to take all the memories and all the friends I made going to college. I’ll treasure it all.”