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Raekwon's Monster Blast Powers SLA to Walk-Off Victory

Fresh off handily beating their arch rival and divisional nemesis Randolph for the first time last week by a final count of 14-4, SLA Baseball stepped foot onto some unlikely hallowed ground at  35th and Oxford  Fairmount Park. In the final game of the 2011 season the Rockets were heavy underdogs against a strong Strawberry Mansion team. But SLA was surging as well in recent "must win" games, and crushing Freire 16-1 in just 3 innings of no-hit ball by All-Star senior Brandon Williams helped set up the "win and you're in" contest. In the end, that game- a nail-biting, see-saw, war of attrition- ended in dramatic fashion with Williams forcing Mansion's best hitter to pop up with the based loaded to secure the 14-12 victory. The win gave SLA an 8-4 overall record, completing a lightning-quick turnaround from the previous 4-8 inaugural campaign, and shockingly propelled SLA into the city playoffs for the first time in school history. Had they lost the game they would have been knocked out by way of head-to-head tie breaker with their bitter rival Randolph, but in beating Mansion they leap frogged them and secured the #2 seed in the playoffs. That team would go onto hold toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia Charter Academy, a B Division powerhouse with a stacked lineup- for five innings before finally relenting. The season ended, but the magic was just beginning. While SLA lost a talented core of seniors- namely John Desalis, Marshall Johnston, Anthony Seeley and Brandon Williams- the team retained it's young core of underclassmen who played pivotal roles in creating a team that believed in itself.  CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY