Tommy Rorick after his two-run homer gave St. John the...

Tommy Rorick after his two-run homer gave St. John the Baptist an 8-5 lead over Chaminade in the ninth on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Credit: James Escher

St. John the Baptist’s baseball season is just four games old, but it has shown the resilience needed to win.

The Cougars surrendered a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning as host Chaminade stormed back with small ball to force extras. Neither team recorded a baserunner in the eighth, but St. John the Baptist broke through in the ninth.

Sophomore Ethan Schmutz hit a leadoff infield single and scored following an errant throw on Lucas Christman’s ensuing sac bunt. Junior Jacob Schmutz hit a two-out single, sending Tommy Rorick to the plate.

The senior third baseman blasted a two-run homer to rightfield, giving the Cougars a three-run lead and the ultimate winning runs in an 8-6 win over Chaminade in an CHSAA game Tuesday at Cantiague Park in Hicksville.

“This is a great group,” Rorick said. “We’re a bunch of dawgs, and everyone just plays for one another. We really come here to the field every day, put the work in and we want to win.”

Rorick went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBIs, including a seventh-inning single that gave St. John the Baptist (4-0, 3-0 CHSAA) a necessary insurance run.

“He means so much to the team, on and off the field,” St. John the Baptist coach Ryan Dalton said. “As a leader, he means a lot to the team, and then his ability. He’s an unbelievable third baseman, doing real well at the plate. Really proud of him, couldn’t happen to a better guy.”

Daniel Czeczotka (2-0) struck out five in 2 1/3 innings of relief to seal the victory.

Raymond Ferguson III put the Cougars up 2-0 in the first with a two-run moonshot over the leftfield fence.

Chaminade (2-4, 2-3) cut it to 2-1 in the third. Collin Anderson drove in Michael Gardner, who hit a triple, on a groundout.

Ferguson and Aidan Casey added fourth-inning runs — Ferguson on a double steal and Casey taking advantage of an error following a dropped third strike — to make it 4-1. Chaminade’s Michael Cervoni had an RBI sac fly to bring it to 4-2 in the fifth.

Anderson and Sean Sweeney hit consecutive singles with one out in the bottom of the seventh, and the Flyers evened the score without putting the ball past the infield.

The Cougars picked up back-to-back 5-4 wins over Kellenberg to start league play on March 26 and March 27 — the latter via a walk-off single. It may be early, but they are proving to have a knack for clutch moments.

“It’s been the most fun I’ve had playing baseball,” Rorick said. “I’m really excited for the rest of the year.”


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months