BROOKLAWN (N.J.) - Gloucester Catholic ace Tanner Nolan was averaging close to12 strikeouts per game heading into a Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic quarterfinal matchup with Cherokee.
Nolan felt generous and allowed the defense behind him to make a majority of the plays as every position besides the third baseman and catcher recorded at least one assist or putout in the field in the Rams' latest outing.
The Crowder College commit delivered a complete game allowing only four hits, one earned run and a walk with seven strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Cherokee in the Diamond Classic quarterfinals on Tuesday.
"I have to give credit to the guys behind me today," Nolan said. "I'm genuinely convinced they're the best defense in the state. They're always making plays when needed and they always have the pitcher's back."
Gloucester Catholic's Tanner Nolan throws a pitch during the Rams' 3-1 win over Cherokee in the quarterfinals of the 49th Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic at Joe Barth Field in Brooklawn, New Jersey on May 9, 2023. Jake Girnius/D2 Sports Network
Jake Terranova drove in a pair of runs for Gloucester Catholic and Miami commit Tate DeRias went 3-for-3 with two singles, a double, and a run scored.
Coming up in a clutch situation, Terranova's mindset was straightforward.
"I just tried to put the ball in play," Terranova said. "It wasn't a hard hit, but it got the job done which was the goal."
Navy commit Evan Brown drove in his younger brother Jason Brown in the top of the third inning for Cherokee's only run of the contest.
The quest for a Diamond Classic title has been a battle for Gloucester Catholic as it has had to muscle out wins against the Chiefs and Paul VI so far. The Rams have no doubts in their minds though as they continue to take things one game at a time.
Gloucester Catholic will face Bishop Eustace in the 49th annual Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic semifinals at Deptford High School on Saturday. But the Rams know they can't look too far ahead with matchups against Tri-County Conference foes Gloucester Tech and Triton on the schedule.
"We'll think about Bishop Eustace when the time comes," Gloucester Catholic coach Dennis Barth said. "Obviously they're a very good team, but right now we have two more games this week before we start looking ahead."