August 31 - Two talented young players, James Triantos and Jack O’Connor, will not return to St. John’s next spring as the Washington, D.C. power seeks an unprecedented seventh consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship.
The two Northern Virginia natives helped the Cadets go 30-3 and win the WCAC and D.C. city championships in their first prep seasons, and Triantos became the first freshman ever to earn first-team All-Met honors by The Washington Post. O’Connor has enrolled at Bishop O’Connell and Triantos plans to transfer prior to the spring semester, his father confirmed earlier this week. It’s undecided where he will enroll.
O’Connor, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander and first baseman who resides in Arlington, committed last fall to play at the University of Virginia. He was 1-1 with a 0.54 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 13 innings and went 6-for-12 with eight RBI while serving mostly as a pinch hitter for a deep Cadets lineup.
Triantos, a North Carolina recruit who resides in McLean, quickly became a two-way threat on the mound and in the middle of the order as coach Mark Gibbs’ club became the first to win six straight WCAC titles. He hit .495 with a .576 on-base percentage, 49 hits - including 22 that went for extra bases - along with 12 steals and 39 RBI. On the mound, he was 6-0 with a 0.44 ERA and 41 strikeouts to eight walks in 32 innings.
Both players are rated among Prep Baseball Report’s top Class of 2022 recruits in D.C. and Virginia, Triantos ranked at No. 3 and O’Connor at No. 5. Two others on that list - left-hander Bradley Gagen (No. 6) and catcher Mason Balsis (No. 8) - also transferred over the summer in what was a busy offseason for player movement. Gagen, who recently decommitted from Virginia, transferred from Paul VI Catholic to Independence, Loudoun County’s newest school. Balsis, a Virginia recruit, has moved over from Osbourn Park to Patriot.
Other area Division I recruits who transferred over the summer include: sophomore right-hander Bryce Dolby (Virginia Tech), who went from Paul VI to Independence; sophomore outfielder Elijah Lambros (Virginia Tech), who left defending VHSL Class 5 state champion Stafford to attend Fredericksburg Christian Academy, a small VISAA Division II private school; and left-hander Brandon Clarke (Alabama), who left Rock Ridge to attend Independence.
Photos of James Triantos, left, and Jack O’Connor, right, by Mark Seal