The 2022-23 Varsity Baseball Team: A Team to Remember


The 2023 DeMatha varsity baseball team is a baseball team to remember. Led by a 29-man entourage (14 seniors, 10 juniors, and 5 sophomores), this team bonded together to produce one of the best seasons DeMatha baseball has had in a long time. Being a member of the team, I was in awe of the influx of talent on the roster.

This season we had two players make 1st team all-WCAC, three players make 2nd team all-WCAC, and three be selected as honorable mention. In addition, all the players on the team are capable of playing college baseball, as illustrated by the multitude of Division I, II, and III commits on the roster. What I also loved about our team was the camaraderie and brotherhood that we possessed. It didn’t matter if you were a full-time starter or a bench player, you were considered a valuable member of the team and would be treated with love and respect.

Although we endured some rough patches, and had a disappointing ending, the overall journey of this season was a success and should be thought of as such. From a personal standpoint, I believe that this was an overall great season that should be fully recapped from start to finish.

The Start

The baseball team warmed up with two scrimmage games against Bullis and Annapolis Area Christian High School. After soundly defeating both teams (17-8 and 6-0, respectfully), we had immense confidence going into the regular season. Our start to the season was both good and bad, as we possessed a 5-2 record after our first seven games. The good part about our start to the season was the amount of wins, as this was the best start to a season in a couple years. When asked about our first seven games, junior 1st-team all-WCAC pitcher John DiMarsico stated that the team was “playing well” and reasoned due to the fact that our bats were “coming around.” This statement corresponded with our home-opener against Northern High School, as behind a multitude of hits and quality ABs, we were able to demolish Northern 13-2.

The bad part about DeMatha baseball’s start to the season was the losses against our rival WCAC opponents. On March 15, in the second game of the season, we were out-executed in a 7-2 defeat against St. John’s. Four days later, in the fourth game of the season, we lost a 3-1 nail-biter against Gonzaga. Despite conceding both games, DiMarisco expressed optimism when reflecting back on them as he was happy that DeMatha was “able to compete” against “the two best teams in the league.” Although we had two unfortunate losses, the energy of the team was positive after the first seven games.

The Rough Stretch

What followed was the team’s worst stretch of the season. In the next five games, we went a mediocre 2-3 and dropped our season record to 7-5. When asked about these five games, junior all-WCAC honorable mention first baseman Charley Magoulick stated that “everybody seemed dead” and that the team was “playing poorly.”

On March 31th, in the Stags’ eighth game of the season, the offense only got two hits in a 2-0 shutout against St. Albans. Despite this, our demeanor wasn’t flustered after the game We credited their pitcher, a Maryland commit, for pitching a great game, and we were confident that we would bounce back against lowly Bishop Ireton. However, against Ireton, we played our worst game of the season and lost 6-5 on a walk off single. Coming into the game, Magoulick stated that “nobody was prepared” as we were under the impression that this was a “pushover game.” After the game, we were berated heavily by our coaches, as our will to win as a team was questioned. Looking back on that Ireton game, and this five-game stretch as a whole, Magoulick stated that “we needed to believe again that we could win.”

The South Carolina Trip, and the Turnaround

After the first 12 games, the team traveled to Hartsville, South Carolina for the 2023 Southeastern Baseball Classic. This tournament compiles eight of the best southeast region teams in the country in a two bracket, four team format. Each team is given two guaranteed pool games, and the top two teams from each bracket play each other in a one-game semifinal. After those games, the winners of the semifinals play each other in a one-game championship.

The Southeastern Baseball Classic was the climax of the baseball season. In South Carolina, DeMatha went 2-1 (pushing our season record to 9-6) and finished 3rd place in the tournament. Those two wins included a two-homerun performance by senior 2nd team all-WCAC third baseman Jonny Hughes, and an epic walk-off to cap off a four-run comeback by Charley Magoulick.

Despite not winning the tournament, the team viewed the trip with a positive outlook. When asked to reflect on the South Carolina trip, junior 2nd-team all-WCAC outfielder Jalen Jackson stated that it was a “great experience” due to the whole team “buying in’.’ The term “buying in” (or “brought in”) refers to the motto used by our coaches throughout the whole season. Its meaning is that us players need to learn from what the coaches teach us and contribute to the game in any way possible. This was most evident in the comeback game. When we were trailing in the final inning, our coach instructed Jackson and all-WCAC 1st-team outfielder Bud Coombs, the second and third hitters in the lineup, to attempt a “butcher boy” (showing a bunt then pulling back to hit) and push bunt.

Both guys executed their tasks perfectly and set up Magoulick to hit the walk-off. In addition, Jackson also believed that the trip was good because of the bonding experience, as he stated that the team’s “camaraderie rose” while in South Carolina. The trip forced us to live amongst each other, as we had to share hotel rooms with at least three players in each one. Because of this, we all got together and did activities such as wiffle ball, football, video games, and more. These endeavors ultimately brought us together, and made us want to win for each other. Coming back from South Carolina, the team was full of confidence, and possessed the determination to win.

After South Carolina, DeMatha ended the regular season on an eight-game winning streak, the longest winning streak in a while for the varsity team. Some of these wins included a contiguous 2-0 pictures duel at Calvert Hall, and an 18-0 throttling on Senior Night against Archbishop Carroll. During this streak, we ascended to the number one ranked team in Maryland, and adopted the infamous “Stags are Hot” moniker. When reflecting back on the winning streak, Jackson stated that we had to focus on “one game at a time” in order to “be in the moment.” In addition, Jackson inadvertently noted how remarkable the streak was, as he stated that DeMatha baseball was facing “formidable opponents” that “(the team) couldn’t overlook.”

The greatest win of the streak (and arguably of the year) was our 1-0 bloodbath victory in a rematch against Gonzaga. Led by seven shutout innings from John DiMarsico, DeMatha only needed to score one run, and did so with a walk-off RBI single by Jonny Hughes. Looking back on DeMatha’s first win against Gonzaga in three years, Jackson stated that the game and experience was “fun” and that he “wouldn’t have changed it for the world.” That win, along with the other seven in the streak, concluded our regular season with a record of 17-6, and gave us the confidence that we were going to win the WCAC Championship.

The Playoffs, and the Ending

Behind our 11-4 regular season conference record, DeMatha slotted in as the 3rd seed in the WCAC playoffs and were set to play 6th seeded Bishop O’Connell in the quarterfinals. With our great regular season, including two wins against O’Connell, we believed that this was a game we were guaranteed to win. Junior shortstop Niko Long summarized his thoughts pregame as he stated that he thought the team “had (the game)” and believed that there was “no way” the team was going to lose.

This game was a pitcher’s duel, as both team’s aces (John DiMarsico and an ECU commit, respectively) each pitched five innings of shutout ball. DeMatha’s best chance of scoring came in the bottom of the third inning; where with bases loaded and two outs, we hit an infield popup that ended the scoring chance.

In the top of the sixth inning, O’Connell threatened to score with a man on third and only one out. The next batter hit a fly ball to left field and the runner on third positioned himself to tag up. Junior left fielder Manny Hall caught the ball and made a great throw, but the runner still scored and O’Connell took a 1-0 lead on the sacrifice fly. After that half-inning, O’Connell took out their starter and inserted a Yale commit to close the final two innings.

As that happened, third baseman Jonny Hughes gave a passionate speech and we were all adamant that we were not losing this game. However, with three quick outs in the 6th, and three straight strikeouts in the 7th, we conceded the heartbreaking game 1-0. As O’Connell erupted in jubilation, we brimmed profusely in sadness as this was the final game of the season, and the final game of all the seniors’ high school careers.

Long reflected back on this moment as “sad” due to the fact he had been friends with most of the seniors “since freshman year,” and was heartbroken that their high school careers “[were] now gone.” As multiple players held back tears, our coaches gave us a heartfelt speech stating that this was a great season despite the sad ending. After the speech, our emotions were released as we all embraced each other as teammates one final time. As everybody walked off the field, the 2022-2023 varsity baseball team became etched in history.

Final Thoughts

This year’s varsity baseball team was amazing. Characterized by a lot of winning and a lot more fun, this team was a special bunch that endured a lot in order to become successful. From my personal standpoint, I loved this team immensely, and I will always remember this team as I progress through life.