On a pitching staff led by two Division I-bound prospects in Alex Robinson (Maryland) and Anthony Rosati (St. John's), Holy Trinity's third starter Tyler Kapela sometimes gets overlooked.
And even with his four-hit shutout Friday in No. 2 Holy Trinity's 1-0 Game 3 victory in its CHSAA semifinal series against No. 3 St. John the Baptist (12-9), Kapela still wasn't the player mobbed at the end of the game.
That was Darien Poveda, who scored the winning run from third base on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, giving Trinity (15-8) a 2-1 series victory to set up a date with No. 1 St. Anthony's in the CHSAA championship series Monday at 11 a.m. at Farmingdale State.
Kapela was fine to not get the attention in the end.
"You know what, it's all right," Kapela said. "We do it for the team and I'm just happy we won."
Facing relief pitcher Chris Lemorocco in his first inning of work in the bottom of the eighth, Trinity catcher Chris Hardardt led off with single, and was replaced by Poveda at first base. Poveda moved to second on Donald Crispyn's sacrifice bunt and went to third on Peter Scacco's single to center. Scacco went to second on the throw to the plate, prompting Lemorocco to intentionally walk Jack Parenty to load the bases.
After Kapela struck out, Anthony Rosati came to the plate and didn't have to do much as the wild pitch early in the at-bat allowed Poveda to score.
"I can't even describe how it feels," Poveda said. "I saw it go and I knew I had a shot. It just feels amazing."
Kapela struck out six in the win but was matched by SJB starter Joseph Palumbo, who allowed just one hit in seven innings with 16 strikeouts. Palumbo allowed his only hit with one out in the first.
"This is one of the greatest games we've been in." Trinity coach Bob Malandro said. "The two pitchers were outstanding."