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St. Augustine baseball uses 11-run third inning to win first Non-Public A state title since 2018

St. Augustine’s Joe Erace is congratulated by his first base coach as he reaches base against Delbarton in the Non-Public A baseball state championship played at Veterans Park in Hamilton, New Jersey on Thursday, June 6, 2024. Collin Conway/D2 Sports Network


HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - The St. Augustine Preparatory School baseball team sent 10 batters to the plate in the third inning before its opponent could register an out.


15 batters were sent to the plate in total. The result was 11 unanswered runs.


The Hermits’ 11-run third inning outburst propelled them to a 12-5 triumph over Delbarton in the Non-Public A state championship at Veterans Park on Friday afternoon. St. Augustine captured its first state title since 2018.


The game began on Thursday and was postponed due to unplayable field conditions at Bob DeMeo Field after a rain delay.


Alex Bersani blasted a grand slam over the left field fence to give St. Augustine a 9-1 advantage during the 11-run explosion. Gabe Gillespie and Joe Erace followed up with RBI doubles before Alex Weingartner drove in Joe Peacock on a single.


The scoring rally began when Peacock laced a bases loaded single to left field to plate Erace. Brady Jackson and Jake Meyers both scored on wild pitches. Erace scored three runs in the win.

The Green Wave responded with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Sal Garcia drove in a pair of runs on a double in the frame. Garcia finished with three RBIs in the setback. Delbarton concluded its campaign with a 30-3 record.


Villanova commit John Podgorski earned the win on the mound for the Hermits. The senior pitched four innings and fanned five batters. Podgorski allowed a walk, five hits, four runs and three earned runs. Matt Kouser allowed one run in three innings of relief for St. Augustine.

St. Augustine pitcher John Podgorski celebrates after his defense records an out to end an inning against Delbarton in the Non-Public A baseball state championship played at Veterans Park in Hamilton, New Jersey on Thursday, June 6, 2024. Collin Conway/D2 Sports Network


The Hermits concluded their season with a 20-9 record. The Richland program has faced Delbarton in the Non-Public A state final four times since 2013. The Hermits emerged victorious against the Green Wave twice. St. Augustine, led by first-year coach Mike Ney, captured its third state title (2011, 2018, 2024) in program history on Friday.

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