Baseball Team Clinches State Sectional Championship
Posted on 06/01/2024
What a day it was for the St. Thomas Aquinas baseball team! While the senior class was enjoying the twists and turns of the rollercoasters on their senior trip, the spectators at STA were on a rollercoaster of their own as they watched the jaw-dropping, come-from-behind win that earned the Trojans the state sectional championship.

It all boiled down to one magical moment in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hearts were pounding as senior Gavin Sansone stepped up to the plate. The score was tied and, with two runners on, Sansone swung the bat and sent the ball clear over the center field fence. The three-run homerun didn't just break the tie; it electrified the St. Thomas Aquinas players and fans and sealed the fate of the game against Rutgers Prep.

“It just felt great, and I don’t think I would want to celebrate it with anybody else but the guys on this team,” Sansone said after the game. As head Coach Tom D’Agostino would comment during the post-game huddle, these moments will be talked about by the players and fans for years to come.

The game began with a promising performance from freshman pitcher Nikash Patel, who took the mound and delivered four solid innings, keeping Rutgers Prep’s offense in check and surrendering just two runs. When he handed the ball over to junior Louis Rizzolo in the fourth, Rizzolo held up to the pressure, pitching two crucial innings and allowing just one run to secure the win.

This was, of course, a team effort. Declan DiCarlo and Louis Rizzolo were crucial to the offense, each racking up two hits and one RBI. Their bats helped build the foundation for Sansone's game-winning swing, proving that it takes a team to win a championship.

After the game, head coach Tom D'Agostino couldn’t contain his pride. “Getting here took hard work, dedication, and sacrifice from these 18 teammates and the entire coaching staff,” he said. “This win is especially meaningful for me as a graduate of this school, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

As the final out was made and the celebration erupted, it was clear that this victory was more than just another plaque for the Trojan athletes. It was a testament to the spirit and unyielding teamwork that defines St. Thomas Aquinas High School and the culmination of a season of sweat, determination, and brotherhood that began all the way back in March. And as the sun set on the ballpark, one thing was clear: the Trojans had written a new chapter in their history, one run at a time.