The state final will be a rematch of a May 6 game in which Don Bosco beat Gloucester Catholic, 5-3, in 10 innings on a walk-off, three-run homer by Dartmouth-bound Joe Purritano in an instant classic played in Provident Bank Park in Pomona, N.Y.
"They got us the last time, but we look forward to playing them again," said Santone, a senior rightfielder who got the Rams started with a three-run double in the second inning.
Alessandrine, a senior shortstop, scored three runs and stole two bases. Theckston, a junior catcher known more for his defense, reached base three times and delivered a two-run single at the end of a nine-pitch at-bat in the fifth.
"We can hit, one through nine, and we've got guys on the bench who can hit, too," said Gloucester Catholic coach Dennis Barth, whose top-ranked team has won 10 in a row.
Senior centerfielder Elliott McCummings, who bats fifth, was 2 for 3 with two runs. Junior leftfielder Giovanni Gussen, the No. 6 hitter, was 1 for 2 with a pair of walks and two runs.
The Rams got six hits, nine runs, six walks, and six RBIs from the bottom five batters in their lineup before a buzzing crowd of around 1,000 spectators that ringed Rowan's manicured field. A few fans even watched the game from the top of a parking garage behind the center-field fence.
"We all work so hard all year long," Alessandrine said. "There's not going to be any easy outs in this lineup."
Kyle Lindsay, Barry Buchowski, and Christian Carmolingo delivered two-out RBI hits as third-ranked St. Augustine (19-10) took a 4-3 lead in the top of the third.
But the Hermits were hurt by 10 walks and a hit batter as well as wild pitches that scored two runs and a balk that scored another.
"They bunt. They run. They put so much pressure on you," St. Augustine coach Mike Bylone said.
Gloucester Catholic tied the score at 4-4 on John Brue's RBI single in the third. The Rams broke the game open with four runs in the fourth.
Alessandrine started the rally with a walk and stolen base. Santone walked. Theckston was hit by a pitch.
Pat Kane rapped an RBI single, and another run scored on an error. The next two crossed on wild pitches, sandwiched around a triple by Joe Brooks.
Theckston's two-run single, which scored Gussen and Alessandrine, both of whom had reached on singles, made it 10-4 in the fifth. The relentless Rams made it 12-4 in the sixth on a run-scoring balk and Alessandrine's sacrifice fly.
"We're going to fight to get runs all the way through the lineup," Theckston said.
St. Augustine 0040000 - 4103
Gloucester Catholic 031422x - 12101
WP: Mike Mercer. LP: Kevin Baxter. 2B: SA-Barry Buchowski, Christian Carmolingo; GC-Joe Santone. 3B: GC-Joe Brooks.
Contact Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, email@example.com, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports