The Trinity Catholic baseball team came into Thursday’s FHSAA Class 4A, Region 1 final against Clearwater Calvary Christian looking to make its first trip to the state semifinals since the Celtics won the 4A state championship back in 2014.
Unfortunately for Trinity Catholic — in order to do so — it was going to have to go up against two days of rain cancellations, and a 2 ½-hour rain delay resulting in a 9:30 p.m. first pitch before finally taking on the No. 1 team in the state.
The Celtics managed to hold things close until the fifth and stay within a run, but it was Calvary Christian that pulled away with a four-run sixth and eventually going on to win 6-1.
With the win, Calvary Christian (29-0), the defending Class 4A champions, will now take on Jacksonville Trinity Christian on Wednesday in the Class 4A state semis. Calvary came into Thursday’s game, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, ranked No. 1 in the state, according to USA Today, Perfect Game, Collegiate Baseball and the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 sports writers poll.
Calvary got on the board first with a first-inning sacrifice fly by Matheu Nelson off of Trinity starter Mac Gibas.
Then in the bottom of the opening frame, University of Florida commit Jud Fabian hit his 11th home run of the season, a solo shot to straight-away center field off of TCU commit Nolan Hudi to tie the game at 1-1.
Trinity Catholic head coach Tommy Bond made a pitching change in the fifth inning and went to Bryce Boone, who was coming off a solid outing against Berkeley Prep in last week’s regional semifinal. Boone was greeted with a double by Eric Kennedy with one out in the fifth, setting things up for the meat of the Warriors’ lineup. Nelson was then intentionally walked, Boone then hit Justin Bench and walked Tommy White to force in a run making it 2-1 Calvary.
The Warriors opened the game up with a four-run sixth inning on a bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch, and a wild third-strike throw to first that scored two runs.
Hudi (12-0, entered Thursday with a 0.31 ERA) threw six innings of two-hit ball with nine strikeouts and two walks. Penn State commit Braden Halladay, the son of late former Major League pitcher Roy Halladay, pitched a scoreless seventh.
Gibas went 4.1 innings, giving up one earned run on five hits with two strikeouts.
Tyler Owens came on to pitch in the sixth after being injured for most of the season. The junior Florida State commitment registered one inning with four walks and two strikeouts. The Celtics walked a total of eight batters on the evening.
Trinity Catholic ends its season at 17-6.