Get our newsletters

Faith freshman: “That was the biggest hit of my life”


It was a lot of pressure for anyone.

It was an incredible amount of pressure for a freshman.

But Faith Christian’s Jagger Verbit came through with flying colors, getting what proved to be the game-winning hit as the Lions defeated Eden Christian, 4-1, to claim the PIAA Class 1A baseball title on Friday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at Penn State University.

Faith had fallen behind early in the game, 1-0, and trailed until the bottom of the fifth. Eden Christian pitcher Noah Emswiler balked with the bases loaded to tie the game, setting up Verbit to come to the plate with runners on second and third and one out.

Verbit delivered a decisive base hit to score both runners and give the Lions a lead they would never relinquish.

“Definitely, that was the biggest hit of my life,” Verbit said. “By far. That at-bat, I just prayed to God and he delivered for me.

“This is the biggest game I’ve ever played in. There was a lot going on. It’s at Penn State, it’s in a big stadium. It’s fun, but it’s pressure, too.”

Earlier in the day, Verbit hit a big fly ball to right center that was caught by Eden right fielder Carter Cropper.

“I got a good piece of it, that was a pretty good hit, so I felt confident I could do it,” said Verbit, who also plays basketball for the Lions. “Honestly, I didn’t think I would be the one with the winning RBI but I was ready.”

The Lions ended the year a perfect 23-0, capturing the District One title on the road to the state crown.

“There was a lot of pressure with that, with being undefeated,” Verbit said. “We were not the underdogs here, and that’s not always the best position to be in. But we just took each play as it came.

“This year, I’ve grown so much as a player. These coaches (head coach Nick Koffel and assistants Philip Nathan, Dan Koffel and Ben Vawter) have been the best coaches I’ve ever had in my life. They know baseball.

“My teammates are behind me. This is the best team I’ve ever been on. They’re always there for me, picking me up when I’m down.

“I’m ready to celebrate this win, but I’m so excited and looking forward to the next three years.”

Winning pitcher Reid Miller couldn’t have been more relieved.

“It was pretty exciting to see Jagger’s hit,” Miller said. “He’s special. A freshman coming in here and starting varsity, hitting second, that’s a lot on him. But he’s done very, very well and he could not have come through at a better time.”

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.