On Sunday, May 21 at Nationals Park, Gonzaga Baseball claimed the District of Columbia State Athletic Association championship for the second time in three years after defeating Wilson High School 9-1. Coach Bradley’s team exploded for a dominating win on the big stage. The Eagles had won two close games to advance to the final.
Here is great coverage of the game, written by Washington Post reporter Jacob Bogage:
“It bears repeating almost weekly this time of year: This is it for most high school baseball players, and all high school athletes. We’re closing down playoff season, which means even the seniors who walk away with championships may not be walking on to another baseball field again.
Take Gonzaga’s Will Thomas, who for most of the season was among the area’s leaders in strikeouts. His curveball and change-up struggling, he fought through six innings at Nationals Park on Saturday and earned the win in the Eagles’ 9-1 victory over Wilson in the DCSAA championship.
And next year? He’s headed to University of Virginia and is mulling trying to walk-on the Cavaliers’ baseball team. Coach Andy Bradley went to visit him on the mound with one out in the sixth Sunday after a balk call. Thomas responded by throttling the next two batters with chest-high fastballs.
“It was sort of a wake-up call,” Thomas said. “I had been cruising. I wasn’t thinking about it. So I decided to throw the ball as hard as I could.”
When he reached the top step of the dugout after the half inning, Bradley was waiting with a handshake and a hug. Teammates followed suit. Thomas’s outing was over, and so was his high school career.
“To be honest, It hasn’t really set in,” he said. “I feel like I’m still going to practice tomorrow. I don’t know if I’m ready to be done throwing the ball yet.”
He scattered four hits over those six innings and struck out three. The Eagles (16-9), who won their second DCSAA title in three years, gave him plenty of run support. They piled in four runs in a crucial fifth inning that buried the Tigers (18-5).
“We were all dialed in at the plate today,” Bradley said.
The Eagles, who finished fifth in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC champion St. John’s chose to sit out the DCSAA tournament), graduate seven seniors, four of whom started Sunday. Southpaw Teddy Blumenauer was unavailable after pitching the semifinal game. Right-hander Daniel Agate entered in relief of Thomas.
Every member of Gonzaga’s roster, save for one junior varsity call-up, appeared in the game.
Here are some more photos from the day:
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