Making History: NC High School’s First-ever State Baseball Championship


Anthony Miller , Author

Chasing History

The New Castle High School baseball team fared well on the ballfield this past season.  The Canes finished 20-9 and capped off their season’s first-ever State Championship in school history.  Aside from the state championship, the canes also won their first-ever WPIAL championship in school history.

The Canes were led by star pitcher Rocco Bernadina.  Bernadina became the ace of the staff very quickly, but he was not the only key senior on the team.  He was accompanied by senior first baseman Logan Gibson, senior outfielder Donny Cade, and senior third baseman George Joseph.  These players played a huge role in the state championship run and will be huge losses for the Running Red Hurricanes next season.  The Canes are coached by Bill Cook, who is in his third year as head coach. 

I, Anthony Miller, who was on the team, decided to catch up with Coach Cook and senior infielder Dante Micaletti about this past season and the plans for next season.

Coach Cook

Q: Before the season started did you think you would win a state title?

A: Yes, I was very confident with my team and their abilities.


Q: When did you realize this team had a legit shot at winning the title?

A: They worked hard during winter and got hot during playoffs so sometime in between then it all started to click.


Q: On a scale of 1-10 how nervous were you before the state championship?

A: All of the pressure and fans make it nerve-racking, but there is no team better than ours.


Q: Who was the best team you played this year?

A: Montour


Q: Do you believe you can repeat the title this year?

A: Yes, I have full faith in my returning players and believe we have a good shot.


Q: What was your favorite game this year and why?

A: The game against Montour in the state semis.  The game was basically played in our backyard.  The number of fans and atmosphere made it electric.


Q: Describe the feeling you get when you think about the state championship team and why.

A: Emotional.  I get choked up thinking about how much fun we had.  Everything we did was together.  It’s sad to see all these seniors go, but man did they leave their mark.


Dante Micaletti

Q: Did you believe you were going to win a state championship before the season?

A: Yes.  I had full confidence in my guys and knew we were going to win it.


Q: Who was the best player you played against this year and why?

A: I’d have to go with JJ Hood.  He pitched against us in the championship game.  He threw hard and had good offspeed.


Q: On a scale of 1-10 how nervous were you before the state championship game?

A: Everybody in the city was coming and we wanted to make history.  It was very nerve-racking before the game, but I was excited to get out there and make it happen.


Q: What was your favorite memory from this year besides winning the title?

A: Definitely the Florida trip.  We all got closer and learned how to play as a team.


Q: What are you going to miss most about the seniors who left?

A: Always being able to hang out.  Even if we didn’t have baseball, we were always with each other.  There was never a dull moment with those guys.


Q: Do you think you can repeat the title this year?

A: Yes.  We are returning a couple of core starters and have a lot of talent coming up through the program.  I’m 100% confident that we will win the state championship.


Q: What was your favorite game of the year and why?

A: The WPIAL semi-final game against Blackhawk.  Everyone in the city came and we beat them to advance to the school’s first-ever WPIAL championship game.  I also had a good game.


Q: Describe the feeling you get looking back on this team.

A: Just overcome with happiness.  Those guys were my brothers and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  This is one season I’ll never forget.


We would like to thank Coach Cook and Dante for their time.  We also would like to wish the Canes the best of luck this upcoming baseball season! Go Canes!!