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Team chemistry helps Gloucester Catholic baseball capture 20th state title in program history

HAMILTON (N.J.) - The class of 2023 was in eighth grade the last time Gloucester Catholic baseball made an appearance in a state final in 2019.


The Rams were stunned by St. Mary's Rutherford in the 2019 New Jersey Non-Public B state final, 4-3. Gloucester Catholic started current Greensboro Grasshoppers pitcher Anthony Solometo on the mound as a sophomore. The lineup also featured Rider's Luke Lesch, Rowan's Tyler Cannon, and many more potent bats.


Four years later with a completely new roster and under a new regime, Gloucester Catholic secured its 20th state crown in program history by a score of 10-0 in six innings, avenging its 2019 loss to St. Mary's.


Southpaw Tanner Nolan earned the start on the rubber for the Rams and did not disappoint. The Crowder College commit tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout on just 77 pitches. The senior pitched six innings, tallied seven strikeouts and walked two batters.

Gloucester Catholic's Tanner Nolan hurled a complete game shutout in a 10-0 win over St. Mary's in the New Jersey Non-Public B state final at Bob DeMeo Field at Veterans Park in Hamilton Township, New Jersey on Friday, June 9, 2023. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network


"The bond we've created as a team this year is much stronger than the other teams we've had the past few years," Nolan said. "You could see it on the field today. We communicate well and we're always on the same page."


Immaculata commit Sal Serici barreled an RBI double in the top of the first inning. Gloucester Catholic was held scoreless until the top of the third inning in which the Rams plated four runs. Tyler Bunting hit a sacrifice fly and Jake Terranova cleared the bases with a triple.

Gloucester Catholic's Sal Serici went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored in a 10-0 win over St. Mary's in the New Jersey Non-Public B state final at Bob DeMeo Field at Veterans Park in Hamilton Township, New Jersey on Friday, June 9, 2023. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network


After a St. Mary's throwing error plated a Gloucester Catholic run in the top of the fifth, Bunting drove in two more runs with a single and freshman Guy Lynam ripped a ball over the right field fence to putt a dagger into the hearts of the Gaels.


Nolan recorded three strikeouts in the home half of the sixth inning.


"You just don't want it that bad if you're not hyped up when you're three outs away from a state title," Nolan said. "I got a little too excited, so I had to bring myself back down to Earth and just pitch."

Bridge-year senior Serici admitted he took a different approach to the plate in his final high school game.


"With Matt Leahy going down, I knew that I had to step up behind him in the order," Serici said. "I wanted to be aggressive and find the first pitch to hit and get on base to let the guys behind me drive me in."


The core of this year's state championship team featured key contributors from the past two teams who fell short in back-to-back sectional title games. Chemistry was the key this year to getting the Rams over the hump.


"These kids do everything together," Gloucester Catholic coach Dennis Barth said. "Whether it's on the field or off it, they're always together and it's been the foundation of our success this year."



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