Holy Trinity's Jaden Alvarez (1) drives in two runs in...

Holy Trinity's Jaden Alvarez (1) drives in two runs in the fifth inning during the CHSAA High School baseball game between St. John the Baptist and Holy Trinity on Tuesday April 23, 2024 at St John the Baptist High School Credit: Bob Sorensen

Jaden Alvarez doubled to the leftfield fence in the top of the fifth inning, but it provided more momentum than a traditional extra-base hit.

With Holy Trinity down by two runs, Alvarez drove in Aidan Annello and Jalen Josey to tie the score at 3.

From there, the runs didn’t stop.

The program's sophomore leadoff hitter and shortstop, who advanced to third after Tyler Cook’s single drove in Alex Waye, stood just 90 feet away from home plate before senior catcher Andrew Heppner scored him via an infield single.

“We just kept passing the baton so once I came up, I knew what I had to do,” Alvarez said. “I was thrilled to bring the energy up for the team and help us come back.”

Sinclair singled down the leftfield line to drive in Cook to cap the five-run rally and defeat host St. John the Baptist, 6-3, in a CHSAA matchup on Tuesday.

Alvarez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and Sinclair went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, including the Titans’ first score to cut St. John the Baptist’s two-run lead in the fourth inning.

“In that high-leverage moment, we had some of our more seasoned players in those moments and it doesn’t always happen like that, but they came through,” coach Dan Luisi said. “[Alvarez] has one of the most important roles and he puts us in a really great position offensively.”

Starting pitcher Sean Atkinson, who typically closes for the Titans, struck out eight batters over 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory. John Perino struck out five in 2 1/3 innings of relief for Holy Trinity (3-4).

“I wasn’t expecting to start today, so I struggled a little bit to get my mentality started but it came quickly,” said Atkinson, who closed NSCHSAA and CHSAA state championship games last season. “The fifth inning was also a huge confidence boost not only for the batters but for me as well.”

St. John the Baptist (6-5, 5-5 CHSAA) built a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Aidan Casey led off with a double to the rightfield fence. He advanced to third on an outfield single by Thomas Rorick, who stole second before Joseph Gubitosi’s outfield single scored both runners.

Kyle Cahill hit a double before Casey’s triple drove in pinch-runner John Cullinan to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth.

“We’ve made some adjustments to our team and put some younger, more athletic players in our starting lineup so there’s always a few growing pains, but myself, our entire coaching staff and all of the players have full trust in [Alvarez],” Luisi said.

Added Alvarez: “This win is a big confidence boost, but we have more work to do to make it back where we finished last season.”


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