With a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning of the championship game, Nick Rodriguez stepped to the plate with a runner on first.
The Jesuit High School (Tampa, Florida) hit a double that drove home an insurance run that ended up being vital as the Tigers held on with a 4-3 victory.
“It’s crazy,” he said to the Tampa Bay Times after the game. “I didn’t even start the season on the team and now I had one of the winning RBIs in the state championship game.”
For his performance on the biggest stage, Rodriguez was voted the Week 12 Super 25 Top Star.
He amassed 11,403 votes, 52.85% of the total.
FINAL TALLY: Week 12 Top Star voting results
In second place was Kyle Beller, who did it on both sides of the ball for Mentor (Ohio).
He went three-for-three with three RBI, and then, when the lead was cut to 7-5, he stepped to the mound and closed it out.
Mentor plays for the championship Sunday.
Beller’s 6,238 votes was 28.91% of the final vote this week.
The third place finisher was Gabriel Dermott, a catcher for Appoquinimink (West Middletown, Delaware).
His defense was pivotal in the championship game. Dermott heleped the team escape early damage by nabbing a stolen base attempt in the first and then picking a runner off second base in the second and third innings.
Appoquinimink completed its undefeated season with a 3-0 championship win.
Dermott had 14.08% of the poll with his 3,038 votes.
The winner of the Top Star poll, Rodriguez, joined Jesuit’s varsity team midway through the season after hitting .462 in 15 games for the junior varsity team, according to MaxPreps.
Over 19 games on varsity, he hit .375 with eight RBI and 13 runs scored.
The biggest RBI came in the championship. He helped Jesuit complete the 27-5 season and win the title.
The Tigers are currently ranked No. 25 in the Super 25.