Peglegs Defeat Beacon, Clinch Playoff Spot

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Issue 16, Volume 109

By Rudolph Merlin 

The Stuyvesant boys’ varsity baseball team was gearing up to play against their rival, Beacon High School, in front of a home crowd on May 1. Beacon, a team that has dominated the AAA Western division for years, was ranked the fourth best team in the city last year and was undefeated coming into the game. However, on this day, the Stuyvesant Peglegs were able to do what few other teams could do in the PSAL Baseball League. They not only defeated Beacon High School, but they also shut out one of the best teams in all of New York City by a score of 3-0.

Senior and captain Jared Asch was on the mound preparing to pitch against Beacon. There were two primary sluggers that Asch had to prevent from getting into a grove: senior and first baseman Daniel Workman and senior center-fielder Harper Bell. Workman, who held the number two spot in the lineup and led Beacon with a total of 15 RBI’s, boasts a .419 batting average. Meanwhile Bell, who was in the number five spot, held a solid .333 batting average and led Beacon with 10 hits coming into the game. Asch was able to make quick work of these two, though, striking out Bell and leaving him hitless while only letting up one hit (a single) out of Workman’s three at-bats. “I was getting a nice inside cut on my two-seam fastball, and my curveball was also working nicely,” commented Asch after his performance.

On the other hand, the Peglegs relied on the bottom half of their lineup for all of their run support. The bottom half of the Peglegs lineup consists of hitters such as junior Maximillian Mah, junior Owen Potter, and senior Malcolm Hubbell. They have, throughout the season, been the key to breaking games open for the Peglegs. After senior Copper Nissenbaum took the walk and junior Franklin Liou got hit by a pitch, Asch made a single, bringing Nissenbaum home. Senior Jeremy Rubin responded with a single of his own, scoring Liou (who pinch ran for Asch). Sophomore Luca Bielski then singled alongside junior Owen Potter, who scored and gave Stuyvesant a 3-0 lead. That was all Asch needed, and he would go on to throw a complete game, allowing six hits, walking two, and striking out six, all the while throwing only 99 pitches.

Despite this impressive victory, the Peglegs fell in their next three games, losing two of them to (now second place) Franklin K. Lane campus 7-3. Despite a plentiful number of walks in both games, the Peglegs were unable to capitalize on these opportunities, producing just a combined total of eight hits in those two outings. Their most recent game was also against Beacon, but this time they lost in a close 4-1 game.

With the season nearly over, what comes to mind is the Peglegs’ streak of playoff appearances. The team has made the playoffs in the past five years and has, since 1997, appeared 21 times. One thing remains essential when it comes to breaking the barrier that has kept them from advancing further these past few years: winning that all-important first playoff game. Their win against Newton High School will likely give the Peglegs a higher seed, but nevertheless, the victory against Beacon is sure to do much for the Peglegs’ morale. “The win against Beacon was huge for our team. Beacon was undefeated before we handed them their first loss, and they haven’t been shutout in almost two years. Being able to land such a solid win against a team which will likely be seeded top five in the city was a massive confidence booster,” Asch concluded.