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Boston English High School baseball captures first State Championship

First BPS school to claim title in 53 years

Jimmy Myers
Boston English High  School baseball captures first State Championship
Boston English High School baseball team — MIAA Division Five State Champions. PHOTO: Joe Allen

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It took a long year, coupled with growth, maturity and dedication to hard work by a group of young men to complete a historical milestone for Boston English High School’s first city team to win the MIAA Baseball title, since 1971. (South Boston prior to the creation of the MIAA in 1978.)

Rusbert Martinez swings away. PHOTO: JOE ALLEN

Coach Christian Ortiz said the groundwork for this achievement occurred last year following English’s state semi-final game loss to Seekonk.

“I remember how down my players were at the end of that game,” said Ortiz. “There were a lot of tears shed that day. I felt so bad for them. But I also noticed a look of determination in the eyes of each of my players, a look that told me that they were ready to take the next step to win a state baseball title.”

Sebastion Garcia bunts a runner over. PHOTO: JOE ALLEN

“My coaches and I saw that the returning members of the team had gained enough experience for us to build on the success we had last season,” Ortiz said.

Following an undefeated conference record, which produced a run to the state semi-final playoff game last year, Ortiz’s returning players knew they would have their work cut out for them this season if they wanted to take the final and ultimate step to win a championship.

“I could see that this team was closer than last year’s squad,” Ortiz said. “Last year, we had more power-hitting and power-pitching, but this year’s team played together — doing the little things (bunting, sacrificing at-bats to move runners along, etc.) that produces winning baseball. We practiced and prepared to go the distance this time around. The players put in the work. They made baseball a 7-day-a-week priority — not relaxing for a moment. My coaches and I felt their commitment would produce positive results.”

Pitcher David Castillo delivers to home plate. PHOTO: JOE ALLEN

And the proof was evidenced in another undefeated regular season conference record, a Boston City League title, a 23-2 overall mark, the only losses coming against Division 1 schools, and the ultimate prize — the first state baseball title in the school’s history. “I remember a loss to Lincoln Sudbury earlier this season,” said Ortiz. “We trailed 8-2 and came back to tie the game before losing 10-8. I knew right then that we had a tough, no-quit squad. Lincoln-Sudbury is a top baseball program that has had major success over the years. By being able to hang tough with them, I knew we had improved from last year.”

Ortiz spoke about his coach growth: “So much of my success as a head coach came with just knowing and understanding my players — working on their strengths and improving their weaknesses. My coaches and I saw a level of maturity from our players this year, as well as a commitment by them to sacrifice for each other. When I spoke to the Banner last year, I said that we would be tough to beat over the next five years. Reaching our goal of a state baseball championship, just one year later, puts us on track for continued success.”

Boston English baseball coach Chris Ortiz. PHOTO: JOE ALLEN

The third-ranked Boston English Eagles historical championship run concluded with a 7-1 triumph over top-seeded Georgetown at Polar Park in Worcester on June 23. The Eagles fell behind 1-0 on an unearned run in the first inning before their offense exploded for seven runs to provide the margin of victory. “We started out a little tight,” said Coach Ortiz. “But our players stayed confident, constantly saying, ‘It’s going to take more than one run to beat us.” Senior David Castillo pitched six strong innings, giving up only three hits while striking out seven. He was later quoted as saying, “When we started the state tournament, we were playing for the city, not just for us.”

Edward Peña celebrates his second hit. PHOTOS: JOE ALLEN

Robert Martinez had a big two-run double in the third inning, the key hit in a four-run rally, as the Eagles took charge of the game and never looked back.

“With leaders like Armanis Romero, Alonzo Garcia, Matthew Guerrero, Edward Pena, Manny DeJesus and others making solid contributions all year, this team played as a tight-knit unit. And the results are there for all to see,” said a jubilant Coach Ortiz.

After surviving a first-round scare from 30th-ranked Rockport, the English Eagles outscored their opponents 27-4 over the final four games of their historic playoff run. “We knew we had to do this for the City of Boston,” said Coach Ortiz. “This is where all our kids are from. This is where we were born and raised. This is for the city of Boston.”

A City Hall reception, trips to Red Sox games, and championship rings highlight the upcoming schedule for the Boston English High School Baseball Team, the MIAA Division Five State Champions.