It was Jason Diaz’s game from the moment he stepped on the mound at Hofstra’s University Field on Monday.
The Kellenberg sophomore showed poise in the biggest game of his first year on varsity, striking out 10 batters in a four-hitter as the top-seeded Firebirds defeated No. 3 St. John the Baptist, 1-0, in the CHSAA championship game.
The Firebirds (16-4), who won their second consecutive championship, did not allow a run in three playoff games.
Diaz, who walked two batters and threw 95 pitches, said he had goose bumps before the first pitch, but he shook off early nerves to execute his two-seamer, changeup and slider.
“I gave it all in those seven innings,” he said.
The game’s lone run came in the bottom of the first inning. Chris Cappas slapped an 0-and-2 pitch to leftfield for a single that drove in Andrew Russell, who had doubled to right-center to start the inning.
Cappas was 2-for-2 with a walk and was named the CHSAA player of the year and pitcher of the year.
“We didn’t expect that at all,” Cappas said of the first-inning run being the difference. “We had a lot of chances, we just didn’t score. Their pitchers did a great job. So did their defense.”
Read the full story on Newsday.com: http://www.newsday.com/sports/high-school/baseball/jason-diaz-pitches-gem-as-kellenberg-wins-chsaa-title-1.13684020