18 Jun Unforgettable 2023 Baseball Season For Father Judge Ends With Gold [Archdiocese of Philadelphia]
(Originally posted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by June 17, 2023)
PCL Championship. District XII Championship. And now State Championship.
Catcher Anthony Jakeman’s double in the fifth inning scored a pair of runs and junior David Rodriguez delivered a masterful performance on the mound as Father Judge concluded its unforgettable 2023 campaign with a 4-1 win over Mt. Lebanan in the finals of the 2023 PIAA 6A Baseball Championship on a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on the campus of Penn State University.
The victory secured the Crusaders’ first state title in program history and capped off their season with a 25-2 overall record.
Trailing 1-0 after four innings, FJ rallied in the fifth as Declan Foy drew a leadoff walk and senior Brooks Henderson reached on an error. With one out, Jakeman cracked a double to left-centerfield off Mt. Lebanon’s terrific lefty starter David Shields (8 strikeouts) to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead. After Rodriguez retired the side in order for the third consecutive inning, Father Judge tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh as Henderson collected his third hit of the afternoon, advanced to second following a walk to second baseman Nick Shiffler and came around to score on first baseman Sean Moore’s RBI single. Shiffler then pushed the Crusaders’ lead to 4-1 as he raced home on a wild pitch.
Mt. Lebanon rallied in the bottom of the seventh with two consecutive hits, but with the bases loaded and two outs Richie Lee snared a liner to centerfield to end the game before a jubilant celebration ensued in the infield. Rodriguez scattered seven hits and fanned eight without a walk as he registered his second complete-game victory of the PIAA playoffs. Father Judge allowed a total of just four runs in its four PIAA victories.
Congratulations to head coach Mike Metzger and the student-athletes on a truly memorable 2023 season!
Father Judge’s Road To The State Title
Father Judge 6, Plymouth Whitemarsh 2
Father Judge 1, Central Bucks West 0 (9 innings)
Father Judge 4, North Penn 1
Father Judge 4, Mt. Lebanon 1