Crusaders set themselves up for big NCS run next spring

Ray Hamill/ – St. Bernard’s junior Nick Dugan delivers a pitch against Fortuna this season.

By Ray Hamill — It was a phenomenal season on the mound for St. Bernard’s, and it should only get better.

And that means the Crusaders are setting themselves up for a serious run at a North Coast Section championship when the playoffs return next spring.

“We had a couple of guys with an ERA of zero, and that was some of the best pitching I’ve ever seen,” head coach Matt Tomlin said. “And it wasn’t just one or two guys. We went six deep, and five of those six will be back next season.”

Leading the way were juniors Nick Dugan and Aidan Dorsch, while the lone senior on the staff was Bode Joyner.

The team ERA was a ridiculous 0.72 going into the final games of the season this past weekend.

“The numbers from our pitching staff, I’ve just never seen that in high school baseball,” Tomlin said. 

Brody Tomlin, Cayden Lee and Jason Meyer each also saw plenty of innings on the mound this season and the quality didn’t drop.

And in large part because of that, the Crusaders closed out the short season with a perfect 12-0 record against Little 4 teams, and 12-2 overall.

They capped an impressive spring with two wins over Hoopa over the weekend, winning 11-1 and 10-0, both in five innings.

“Everybody got a chance to play, which was a great way to end,” Matt Tomlin said.

Freshman Dylan Jimenez capped his debut season with a big two-RBI double to end game one.

The St. Bernard’s head coach also had words of praise for Hoopa’s lone senior Daniel Minton, who had an outstanding season despite his team’s struggles.

“He really is a good ball player,” Matt Tomlin said. “He was just a bright spot for Hoopa and he really had a good season.”

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