Ledesma leads Norman Thomas past Beacon
Jeffrey Ledesma just got his bragging rights.
Not only did the senior pitcher get a win against the top team in the PSAL Manhattan A West division, he did it, perhaps more importantly, against his current roommate of two years, Isaiah Sakany.
"We've been talking about this match-up since the beginning of the year,” said Ledesma. “I knew he was going to come out and go hard and the win definitely gives me bragging rights."
“I've played baseball with him since we were 12,” said Sakany. “I'm going to hear from all of these kids all summer long.”
Ledesma was consistent enough to get the win for Norman Thomas as he shut down the Beacon offense in a 4-2 victory at DeWitt Clinton Park in Manhattan in a PSAL Manhattan Class A crossover game Friday afternoon.
After hitting a triple in the top of the third, senior Paul Garcia put Norman Thomas on the board off a sacrifice fly from Ledesma.
Junior Kenneth Guichardo followed on the next at-bat with an RBI single to right field that put the Tigers up 2-0.
With Sakany on the mound in the bottom of the fourth and the bases loaded, Garcia hit his own sacrifice fly that allowed sophomore outfielder Arturo Cotto to advance home for the 3-0 lead.
When faced with a similar bases loaded situation in the top of the fifth inning, Ledesma fared a little better. Following two walks and a run, Ledesma held on with a strikeout on a 3-2 count to advance to bottom of the sixth inning. He finished the game with three strikeouts, four walks, one run, and three hits.
"He walked a couple of hitters and he got into a little jam with the bases loaded and two outs,” said Norman Thomas head coach Luis Monell. “It shows the kind of heart that he has and the kind of confidence he has to perform through a situation like that."
Senior outfielder William Mora hit an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to increase Norman Thomas' lead to 4-0.
The Blue Demons first run of the game came when sophomore outfielder Giovanni Dingcong hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning.
Beacon’s (7-3) final run came off a sacrifice fly from junior catcher Avery Perez that saw sophomore second baseman Caleb Kerbs advance home.
After the game, both Ledesma and Sakany acknowledged how great it was for them to live together. The two have been under the same roof with Lois Sakany, Isaiah’s mother, ever since Jeffrey and his family (who live in Yonkers) made the decision that he would find better opportunities for exposure if he lived in Manhattan.
“I knew Lois [Sakany] when she was the president of the Gothams summer teams,” Ledesma said. “I played for the team for three years and I used to sleep over at her house to go to tournaments. She got me into Norman Thomas and said I could live in her house so I could have a shorter commute."
“I knew I was going to miss my parents, but I was getting a great opportunity to play for a good school and have a better chance to get college looks,” Ledesma added. “So far it's worked out pretty well."
Pretty well for both young pitchers as Ledesma is slated to attend Franklin Pierce University in the fall, while Sakany signed a letter of intent with Rollins College last week.
"It worked out in my favor," Ledesma said. "Everything I did was worth it. Lois, my legal guardian, motivates me to do better."
With a victory over a good Beacon team, the Tigers (10-1) could not help but look ahead to their big end-of-season match-ups against Manhattan A rival George Washington.
"Our whole motto here is to take it one game at a time, but you can see the vibe stir up as the George Washington games gets closer and closer," Monell said.
"We're really excited to play George Washington,” Ledesma said. “We're pumped up. If we both keep winning then that game will decide who wins the division."