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BY DANIEL JEAN-LUBIN | After splitting a long, hard-fought doubleheader against Brookdale Community College with a 2-1 win Sunday afternoon, the ASA Avengers found themselves with a 12-4 record, the best start in the program’s history.
When ASA’s baseball program launched at Pier 40, at W. Houston St., five years ago there was some thought that the program wouldn’t be able to succeed. Those feelings were dismissed for good last season as the Avengers’ baseball program capped off their second 30-win season in three years with their third straight Region XV Division I championship, sweeping Globe Institute in a best-of-three series. Avengers Head Coach Francisco Perez would also go on to win his third Coach of the Year award in four years in ASA’s banner year. ASA also had six student-athletes named to the All-Region Team.
Years of success like that will earn you a lot of acclaim and attention as ASA is finding out. Last week, for the first time in the program’s short history, the ASA College baseball program received votes for a top 25 ranking in the NJCAA poll, an impressive feat for the small, for-profit college. Coach Perez told an ASA correspondent, “This is great recognition for our program considering how many strong teams there are around the nation. We will work on getting better from here.”
The program’s dominance has also made it a big attraction for young, hungry youths chasing their big league baseball dreams. The Avengers have already graduated two former players to the pro ranks.
The first was pitcher Isaac Gil. Selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 31st round of the 2011 draft, Gil became the first player in school history to be drafted in any sport and last year finished his second pro year in the Rookie Gulf Coast League with a record of 4-1.
The school’s most recent prospect is Andrickson Zorrilla, who signed with the Baltimore Orioles in early January. During his sophomore season, Zorrilla was named an All-Region XV player.
ASA hosts the Borough of Manhattan Community College Panthers in a matinee game Mon., April 1. On April 10, the Avengers begin conference play against fierce rivals, Monroe College.
ASA was started in 1985 in a small Brooklyn classroom with 12 students and one professor. Known then as Associated Software Analysis, it focused on computer programming at a time when New York City had a shortage of mainframe programmers.