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St. Mary’s Crowned Georgetown Cup Champions

Less than 24 hours prior to the conclusion Game 3 of the Georgetown Cup Finals, the St. Mary’s Lancers were distraught after a heartbreaking Game 2 loss in extra innings to St. Joe’s.

What a difference a day makes.

The Lancers defeated the Marauders 5-3 on Thursday at Canisius College to become Georgetown Cup champions for the first time since 1980 and the second time in school history.

“I was talking to Kevin Kelleher, the chancellor of our school, last night and we were bumming. We were disappointed. I said you know what Kevin, 24 hours from now, what a difference a day makes, we’re going to be holding that cup,” said St. Mary’s coach Mike Wagner. “To bounce back just says a lot about the team.”

After the teams traded runs in the first and second innings that left the score knotted at 1-1, Lancers pitcher Brady O’Brien got some run support from none other than himself.

An RBI triple from O’Brien scored Chris Nieno, and St. Mary’s took a 2-1 lead in the third inning, and that wasn’t all the help he would receive.

After a few scoreless innings, in the sixth, after Nieno walked with the bases loaded to make it 3-1, sophomore Tyler Kerl (2 for 3) delivered arguably the biggest hit of his young high school career.

Kerl singled to right field to drive in two runs, which extended the Lancer lead to 5-1 and gave them the cushion they would need later in the ballgame.

“I didn’t know where the ball was going, I just ran my hardest. Putting the ball in play is the most important part, strikeouts don’t move the runners,” said Kerl. “We used that big loss to fuel us and get us all fired up. The most important thing was to keep composure.”

After blowing a four-run lead in the seventh inning of Game 2, the Lancers knew they weren’t out of the woods yet, and the Marauders did too.

In the sixth inning, senior Vince Capolupo tallied a two-run double to pull St. Joe’s within two runs, 5-3, but that was all they could muster in their attempt to rally.

“Our kids didn’t lose a baseball game, [St. Mary’s] won a baseball game. They played hard and this was a tremendous series,” said Marauders coach Paul Nasca. “I’m extremely proud of the effort of our kids. They showed a lot of resiliency throughout.”

At the end of the day, it was the curveball of O’Brien that stumped the Marauders all game.

After finishing with a complete game shutout in Game 3 of the semifinals against Canisius to get the Lancers to the finals, the senior went the distance once again versus St. Joe’s, ending with four strikeouts and the biggest win of his career.

While the NHL has Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams, aka Mr. Game 7, O’Brien’s heroics for St. Mary’s in the 2019 postseason may just have earned him the nickname Mr. Game 3.

“I’m on the verge of tears right now, it means so much for the school, the community, and all the fans. It hasn’t been done since 1980,” said O’Brien. “This was our number one goal, and after beating Canisius we knew we had to do this. This was the only time, we had to do it.”

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