April 14 - Centreville’s Thomas Trinca clubbed 18 home runs over three rounds and out-slugged Chantilly’s Dylan Siesky in the championship round to win last night’s D.C. Baseball Classic Home Run Derby at Westfield.
The derby featured a field of 12 players from teams participating in the tournament, and produced a total of 44 homers. Trinca seemed to grow stronger as the event went on, increasing his total in each round and at one point hitting four straight in the final round. The Wildcats’ junior outfielder hit 10 out over the first two rounds, then clubbed eight in the championship round to claim the derby title.
“[I was] just taking the exact same swing every time, looking for the same pitch and put everything I have into it,” he said afterwards.
Trinca beat Siesky, his Concorde District rival who entered the event as one of Northern Virginia’s hottest hitters and with five homers this season after hitting two in yesterday’s 9-7 win over W.T. Woodson, including a two-run walk-off shot in the bottom of the seventh inning. Using an inside-out approach, each of Trinca’s 18 homers went to center or right field, a handful clearing the large scoreboard in right-center field. He lined several others off the tall fence in center field that features banners with the numbers of former Westfield sluggers such as Justin Bour, who participated in the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby two years ago in Miami.
Trinca, a two-time all-region selection, credits his work during the offseason with his hitting instructor, Chad Carroll, and time spent over the past two years with Centreville head coach Scott Rowland and hitting coach Mick Hanson for refining his powerful swing.
“I take a little bit from each coach … my approach, bat angle and just staying behind the ball,” he said. “The past few months of practice, we’ve been working solely on working opposite field. And with my hitting coach, Chad, this offseason we worked in the cage a whole bunch keeping everything nice and level to the opposite field.
“And tonight I just put on a little show.”
Siesky, meanwhile, tied with three others - Dominion’s Cortland Lawson, South County’s Tyler Gauthier and Gonzaga’s Nicholas Morabito - with two homers in the opening round. Those four hitters advanced along with Trinca and Westfield’s Joe Clancy, who hit six in his opening round at his home field.
In the second round, Siesky caught fire. The senior infielder and right-handed pitcher, who will play next year at Lafayette College, put pressure on the six semifinalists by leading off the round with eight homers. At one point, he hit five straight, and even balls that did not leave the ballpark seemed to scream off his barrel. Trinca later followed with his six homers to clinch the second spot in the championship round as Clancy cooled off with a round of two and the other three semifinalists were shut out.
Other highlights from the derby included Morabito, the lone freshman participant, advancing with his father, former Bishop O’Connell and James Madison University standout Brian Morabito, serving as his pitcher. Stonewall Jackson’s Cecil Bruce received one of the larger cheers from the crowd when he shed his jersey for his final swing in the opening round.
Other players participating were Falls Church’s Cameron Karicher, W.T. Woodson’s Jacob Perdue, George Mason’s Aiden Clark, Washington-Lee’s Trey Haley and Grace (MD) Academy’s Riley Jackson. Three teams entered in the tournament - Lake Braddock, Narbonne (CA) and Archbishop Spalding (MD) - did not enter a contestant.
Photo of Centreville’s Thomas Trinca, left, and coach Scott Rowland, right, by Joey Kamide