Both DeMatha and St. John’s have had their own forms of success this season. St. John’s came out the gates strong which lead to them having the best record in the WCAC. DeMatha on the other hand had to work their way up to being one of the top three teams in the conference. Today these two teams will play each other in-game 1 of the WCAC Championship.
St. John’s has been dominant since the beginning of the season. They are 23-5 and have a 14-2 conference record. After losing their first game of the season to Calvert Hall on March, 12, the Cadets went on an eight game winning streak. Later in the season St. John’s went on a six game win streak then won their last three games of the season.
In the playoffs, the Cadets took on Bishop McNamara in the Quarterfinals and won by the score of 7-2. Cam Remalia threw five shutout innings and only allowed three hits while striking out four batters. On the offensive side, St. John’s had five different players to drive in runs.
Their next matchup was against Bishop O’Connell, a team that beat them twice in the regular season. But what happens in the regular season doesn’t define what happens in the postseason. In game one, St. John’s beat Bishop O’Connell 3-0. AJ Lee threw six shutout innings and tallied two hits. In game 2, the score was tied at 1 going into the top of the 7th. That all changed when the Cadets scored four runs in the innings which led them to a 5-1 victory.
The way DeMatha started the season; they didn’t look like a team that had a chance to play for a championship. In the first ten games of the season, the Stags went 4-6. After the win against Riverdale Baptist on April 13th, DeMatha started to get the hang of things. DeMatha went on to win 10 of their last 12 games of the season. In the playoffs, the Stags beat St. Mary’s Ryken in the Quarterfinals 4-1. They moved on to play Gonzaga in the semis.
In game 1, DeMatha won the game 4-3. Senior Andrew Keith ran home on a wild pitch to win the game. Game 2 would probably go down as one of the biggest comebacks in DeMatha baseball history. Gonzaga was up 7-0 through five innings, but the Stags didn’t let that faze them. They scored 13 runs in the sixth inning to give them a 13-6 lead. The Stags added one more run while Gonzaga put up three more runs but in the end DeMatha won 14-10.
St. John’s and DeMatha have met twice this season and the Cadets have won both matchups. In the first game, the Stags lost 2-0. St. John’s pitching limited DeMatha to one hit in that game. The second game, St. John’s bats hurt DeMatha as they won 12-7. DeMatha senior Andy Rozylowicz was the losing pitcher in that game. He pitched 4 innings and gave up 6 runs on 8 base hits.
DeMatha is going into this championship series looking for revenge but most importantly trying to get that 25th WCAC championship. The way the team has played as of late, they have a real shot at doing so. One of their biggest reasons is solid pitching. This season, the pitching staff have supported a 2.54 ERA. The team’s biggest stand out on the mound has been senior Jack Alkire. Jack has 1.50 ERA and strikeout 84 total batters. Brad Thaxton and Andy Rozylowicz have also been good on the mound this year. Brad has an ERA of 2.00 while Andy’s ERA is 2.23.
The Stags have been a little shaky at the plate this year as the team’s batting average is .237. The team’s top hitters are Andrew Keith, and Christopher Jeletic. In the 23 games Keith has played, he has a .367 batting average and 8 RBI’s. Christopher Jeletic has played in 17 games this season and hit for a .413 batting average. Other players that have been good with the bat this season is Jack Alkire and Brad Thaxton. Jack has a .273 BA and 2 home runs. Brad on the other has a .265 BA, 2 home runs, and 18 RBI’s. If DeMatha’s pitching can be consistent and they are aggressive at the plate, the Stags would make St. John’s job hard.
St. John’s has won four WCAC Championships and their last one was in 2014. The last time DeMatha won a WCAC Championship was back in 2013. If they win this series, it would be their 25th time winning a WCAC championship. Both teams are seeking for the gold and it’s going to be exciting to see who gets it.
Ryan McFadden is a senior at DeMatha and President of Inside The Locker Room. He is the sports writer on the DeMatha Stagline and commentator on DeMatha TV. Ryan is an advent DC sports fan that covers mostly high school sports for Inside The Locker Room. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15
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