Miami-Dade High School Baseball
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HSBN Game Of The Week: Curley at Country Day

The Knights need their seniors to lead the team.

Few coaches would turn down an opportunity to get their program all the recognized in an HSBN Miami Game of the Week.

HSBN certainly didn’t have to twist Miami Country Day Manager Paul Barriors’ arm when we came knocking.

“I was honored that HSBN was considering us,” Barrios said. “I am honored that we could have this game at the school.”

The two 1-10 teams face off at 7 p.m. Friday at Country Day.

The Game of the Week concept was created by HSBN with the intention of raising money for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, while also giving fans something to get excited about each week.

Archbishop Curley Manager Jerry Yeash expects the matchup to bring out the best among the players.

“Win or lose, it will be a great experience and something that they will remember as a highlight of the season and their high school career,” he said. “We are very excited about the opportunity. Many of our sports teams see their games against Country Day as the biggest games of the season. The baseball rivalry has been very intense. The game results have been fairly even over the years. This game being the game of the week makes it even more special.”

The matchup already is big because it’s a district game. The fact that the game is being designated as a Game of the Week is gravy on top for his players.

“Now they have a little added motivation,” Barrios said. “They’re pumped and excited to be a part of this. The kids know each other, so this is for bragging rights.”

Over the years, often the game between the schools have come down to a couple of plays.

“We once won a game on an illegal slide call at second base that resulted in a double play that took the tying run off the board,” Yeash said. “Country Day won a game three years ago when their freshmen shortstop made a great catch and throw that keep us from tying the game. Back in 1999, our third basemen made a diving backhand catch with the bases loaded that helped us split our regular season games.”

That’s just a handful of of the number of stories Yeash can tell you. Many of the Curley players have been teammates for a while, and everyone involved with these programs knows each other.

Miami Country Day is off to a slow start but looking for a better second half of the season.

“The last two summers, I coached a summer team made up of Curley, Country Day, and Miami Beach players,” Yeash said. “Many of the years before, Country Day ran the summer team and my players, including my older son (2008) played with them. My older son Michael is coaching with me and two of his friends are assistant coaches with Country Day. My youngest son is a senior and this is his last scheduled game against Country Day. As a young player he used to watch his brother play and dream about playing in this rivalry.”

Yeash says his “big four” have been carrying the team. His three- and four-year starters have been really good. Catcher, pitcher, shortstop Nick Salow is batting .472, pitching well, running the bases well and playing great defense. Top outfielder Ezequiel Araujo has also been the starting shortstop and has played very well, Yeash said.

“He has a great arm and is hitting .351 and has been driving the ball as he has six extra-base hits,” Yeash said.

The top pitcher has been Tony Yeash, with 43 strikeouts in 30 innings, using a variety of pitches and throwing strikes. He is batting .343 and playing well defensively at second base.

Jethro Galeano has played third, second, short, catcher and has pitched. His position is determined by whoever is pitching. Despite all the position changes, he has been very consistent defensively and has been a very productive number four hitter, Yeash said.

“We don’t have the number of wins that we want, but we have been working very hard at being competitive on the field. Our lack of baseball experience with our other players has been hurting us at times. The whole team has been improving and I expect to have a solid second half of the season. Our two freshmen starters have shown good promise and are getting better very game.”

Each team participating in an HSBN Game of the Week will have someone throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. Curley will be going with its 70-year-old assistant coach, Marvin Chatman, who has been with Yeash for about 15 years. He has always been in the background and he spends practices working with developing players on their fundamentals.

Country Day is still deciding who will be throwing out their first pitch.

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