By MICHAEL ALEXANDER | Published May 16, 2019
ROSWELL— It took a second day of competition, but on May 9, Blessed Trinity High School earned a spot in the Class AAAA state semifinal game by defeating College Park’s Woodward Academy, 2-1, for its second victory of a three-game series.
In the first game, May 8, Blessed Trinity defeated Woodward Academy 7-2.
Woodward jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when center fielder D.A. Allen hit a double, and he came around to score on a RBI single by first baseman Wesley Maxey.
In the second inning, Blessed Trinity designated hitter Jake Smith led off with a double and left fielder Trey Baker followed that up with a single, allowing Smith to score and tie up the game at one run apiece.
In the third inning, Blessed Trinity’s C. J. Abrams managed a base hit, and he came in to score after center fielder Ryan Davis tripled off Woodward Academy starting pitcher Will Sanders, giving Blessed Trinity its first lead. Davis scored the third run two batters later after another single by Baker.
With Blessed Trinity ahead 3-1, both teams went scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings.
Woodward’s Tyler Neely led off the top of the sixth inning with a ground rule double and eventually scored the team’s second run after a teammate’s sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, Blessed Trinity would add four more runs before the third out was recorded.
Blessed Trinity starting pitcher Eric Moore completed the seventh and final inning with two strikeouts, a walk and a pop up to the second baseman, Ben Hamacher, to end the game.
In the second game, 30 minutes later, Woodward Academy beat Blessed Trinity 3-1. A second inning triple by Woodward Academy’s Allen brought in two of their three runs. Allen was able to score the third run when Reid Christensen, the team’s second baseman, hit a single.
In the third game, May 9, Abrams, Blessed Trinity’s leadoff hitter, scored the team’s first two runs after he doubled in the first inning and singled in the third inning.
Woodward Academy trailed through five innings, until they scored on a Blessed Trinity error in the top of the sixth inning to draw within one run. After Woodward’s third out, the game was suspended for rain.
Following a one hour plus rain delay, play resumed. Blessed Trinity went scoreless in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, relief pitcher Dominick Marcoccio, who replaced starting pitcher Joseph Chambers midway in the sixth inning, returned to the mound. It came down to Woodward’s fifth at-bat. Woodward had two outs, and after a double steal, they had runners on second and third base, representing the tying and go-ahead runs.
The batter drove the count to three balls and two strikes. Blessed Trinity fans shouted phrases of encouragement and support to the pitcher and Woodward fans did the same for the batter.
A hushed silence came over the ballpark. Marcoccio looks down to the catcher, winds up and throws a four-seam fastball. The batter swings, but doesn’t make contact. The ball reaches the catcher’s mitt with the sound that indicates strike three. Game over.
“There’s lots of pressure in a situation like that,” said Marcoccio after the game. “I was just trying to focus and keep the ball down in the strike zone, so my defense could make a play.”
At press time for The Georgia Bulletin, Blessed Trinity (30-7) and Alpharetta’s Denmark High School (18-16) were playing their first semifinal game.