Holy Trinity celebrates winning the CHSAA baseball finals at Hofstra...

Holy Trinity celebrates winning the CHSAA baseball finals at Hofstra on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Tyler Cook tracked the ball off the bat and realized the moment he had been wishing for just moments earlier was about to unfold. He savored the moment as he watched its descent toward his glove.

The Holy Trinity junior had taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Tuesday’s deciding Game 3 of the NSCHSAA Championship Series against Chaminade before moving to leftfield after reaching his pitch limit two outs into the frame. And now he would get to punctuate the Titans’ 6-0 victory at Hofstra’s University Field by catching the final out.

The ball disappeared into his glove and he extended both arms into the air as he began a sprint into the celebration scrum behind the pitcher’s mound.

“I don’t usually start [pitching] but I was looking forward to this,” said Cook, who usually starts behind the plate and closes. “But I am confident in these situations. I like the adrenaline. . . . [catching] the last out was the best way to wrap this up.”

Cook, the series MVP, had eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings and Sean Atkinson got the final four outs around a hit-by-pitch to complete the one-hit shutout. Chaminade’s Evan Baschnagel broke up Cook’s no-hit bid with a one-out infield hit in the sixth.

Holy Trinity (19-8) shrugged off its No. 5 seeding in the tournament and beat top-seeded St. Anthony’s twice to reach the championship series before taking two of three from the second-seeded Flyers (19-7). The Titans are diocesan champion for the eighth time and first time since 2012.

Holy Trinity, which won just two games in 2021 with a nucleus of freshmen, will play in a state Catholic semifinal against Archdiocese of New York champion St. Peter’s of Staten Island on June 9 at St. John’s University.

“From winning two games two years ago when so many of these guys were freshmen to winning a championship has been such an incredible road,” Titans coach Dan Luisi said. “I am so happy and excited for these guys. To win the championship in the toughest league on Long Island and beat a great team like Chaminade, you have to play your best at the end. They played great in this moment and I am so proud of them.”

“Since a bunch of us got on varsity [as freshmen], we’ve been thinking this would be our year,” Cook said. “We thought we had what it takes: from a lineup that battles and competes and drives in runs to the pitching and defense we would need. . . . We put it all together.”

The Titans gave Cook a lot to work with by scoring five runs in the second and third innings. The three-run second included a run-scoring double by Sean Maddi and run-scoring singles by Nick DelVecchio and Cook. They got a run on a bases-loaded walk by Nico Quiroz and another when Atkinson followed with a bunt single.

“We knew exactly what we had in [Cook],” said catcher Andrew Heppner, who had two hits among Holy Trinity’s 11 and was one of six Titans to score a run. “He’s been the kind of player that makes you expect a [performance] like he had today. He’s our leader and his pitching was ‘on.’”

“We hit a few balls on the button, but we didn’t get baserunners and we didn’t even threaten,” Chaminade coach Mike Pienkos said.

The three-time defending champion Flyers appeared thin on pitching but kept getting enough to win until this series.

“We pieced things together most of the season and it worked until today,” Pienkos said. “We gave up a bunch of hits. We ran out of steam.”

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