Holy Trinity’s #23 Sebastian Velasquez during the CHSAA state championship...

Holy Trinity’s #23 Sebastian Velasquez during the CHSAA state championship tournament semifinals where Holy Trinity defeated St. Peter's of Staten Island 5-1 at St. John's on June 9, 2023. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The Holy Trinity baseball team was molded in the furnace that is the NSCHSAA. In this postseason it has cooled into steel, and that was apparent on Friday as the state Catholic championships opened at St. John’s Kaiser Field.

The Titans shrugged off some late adversity, scored four times in the bottom of the sixth inning and dispatched Archdiocese of New York champion St. Peter’s of Staten Island, 5-1, in the first semifinal.

Sebastian Velasquez lost his shutout in the top of the sixth, in part because of his two-base throwing error on a sacrifice bunt. The senior got sweet redemption in the bottom of the inning when his bases-loaded flare to left drove in the go-ahead run. Velasquez closed it out by retiring St. Peter’s in order in the seventh to finish a  two-hitter with three walks and three strikeouts.

“Baseball is about riding out ups-and-downs and getting a chance to redeem yourself when it comes around,” he said.

Sean Atkinson drove in the Titans' last two runs in the four-run sixth with a  two-run triple to the gap in left-center.

Holy Trinity (20-8)  will face the winner of the late semifinal between Diocese of Brooklyn champ St. Francis Prep and Diocese of Buffalo champ St. Francis High in Saturday's 1 p.m. state title game.

“Our division is extremely difficult and [packed] with good teams that really helped prepare us to play at this level and be able to win games and a state championship,” Titans coach Dan Luisi said. “We don’t know these teams, but we know who we are and what type of team we are.”

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