In the St. John’s dugout in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday night, Cadets coaches asked right-hander Ian Remalia whether he wanted to throw the final inning.
“Hell, yeah,” Remalia responded.
“They don’t want to mess me up for college,” he said later, “but I wanted that one.”
The D.C. State Athletic Association championship was Remalia’s final high school game, and the senior wanted to secure the Cadets’ second title this season. Remalia completed the shutout to lead No. 1 St. John’s to a 1-0 win over Wilson at Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Southeast Washington.
“That’s kind of what he’s done all year,” St. John’s Coach Mark Gibbs said. “He’s been a rock on the mound all year. He was just fantastic and done a lot of great things for us in his career.”
St. John’s (30-3) has won six consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles, but it hadn’t participated in the DCSAA tournament since the state’s inaugural postseason in 2014, which the Cadets won. Gibbs wanted to showcase his team this season.
St. John’s, which beat St. Albans in the semifinals Thursday, got on the board in the third inning when DM Jefferson scored on a passed ball. Remalia took control from there, relying on his two-seam fastball against Wilson (23-8), the defending DCSAA champion.
This is the first season St. John’s has reached 30 wins.
“Winning any championship is awesome, no matter how many times you do it,” Gibbs said. “To finish this year this way is very special. What I would think is wire-to-wire No. 1 in The Washington Post is a heavy burden. Teams get excited to play us.”
Remalia is 6-0, but Gibbs believes the Liberty signee’s biggest development came off the field.
After St. John’s graduated 17 seniors from last season, Remalia took on a leadership role for a young squad, helping his teammates become comfortable in their positions and classes. Players know if they see Remalia at school, he will remind them to tuck in their shirts.
“Ian has been amazing all year,” Jefferson said, “especially coming from a senior standpoint with his leadership on the mound and off the field.”
After the game, Remalia accepted the DCSAA championship plaque for St. John’s. Then, for the first time in five years, Cadets players danced around a second trophy.