The St. John’s baseball players stormed out of their dugout, flung their gray and scarlet hats into the air and formed a dogpile near first base. A few minutes later, those players danced around the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference trophy on Nationals Youth Baseball Academy’s field before pouring Gatorade on Coach Mark Gibbs.
This has become a familiar scene in the WCAC. With a 9-1 win over DeMatha on Saturday afternoon following a 10-0 victory Friday night in Southeast Washington, No. 1 St. John’s won its sixth consecutive league title and 21st overall.
“Every one is special because we have guys who haven’t experienced this yet,” said Gibbs, who graduated from St. John’s in 1996. “I enjoy the Gatorade. I enjoy seeing the kids run on the field.”
While St. John’s (27-3) dominated most of Saturday, it struggled to drive in runners through three innings, resulting in a one-run deficit. Freshman James Triantos provided the Cadets energy in the fourth inning.
With the bases loaded, Triantos knocked a three-RBI double. When the North Carolina commit reached second base, he turned toward his dugout and pumped both fists three times. Players and coaches, rushing to the top of the dugout, mimicked Triantos and let out a collective yell.
“I was just like, ‘Wow, I just did that. This is amazing. This is so fun,’ ” said Triantos, who finished with four RBI.
Triantos transferred from IMG Academy in Florida this year and is one of a handful of underclassman contributors for St. John’s after it graduated perhaps its top three players from last season.
St. John’s rode Triantos’s momentum to score five runs the next inning. After waiting out a half-hour rain delay, the Cadets sealed their victory.
Four of the past five years, St. John’s has beaten DeMatha (18-13) in the WCAC championship. The Cadets’ path to the title game didn’t come easy, though.