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High School | General | 2/10/2022

Senior-Led Gorman Looking For Repeat

Blake Dowson     
Photo: Justin Crawford (Perfect Game)
2022 High School Baseball Preview Index

Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas is one of the more high-profile schools in the country.
Last year, the team ended the season on a 16-game winning streak and took home the school’s eighth state championship. They ended the season ranked inside the top-20 of Perfect Game’s final high school team rankings and graduated several players who are now in Division-I programs.
Although it will take some time to figure out how to fill those holes left by graduation, this year they might be better, according to Head Coach Gino DiMaria.
“We’re finding guys who are stepping up,” DiMaria said. “We’re a team that’s going to be looking to score a lot of runs. Last year, we averaged almost 10 runs per game. This year, we have a great pitching staff. That’s going to keep games closer, so we need to find a way to manufacture some runs and let our pitchers dictate the outcome of the game.”
One way to manufacture runs is to let the team’s best player, Justin Crawford, do his thing.
Crawford is a Perfect Game All-American, ranked as the No. 12 overall player in the 2022 class. He’s an LSU commit and a first round draft prospect. He’s the son of Carl Crawford, the 15-year MLB veteran, and plays a similar game to his dad.
Last season, Crawford hit .492 in 18 games for Bishop Gorman. During the Perfect Game summer circuit, he hit .415 over 71 plate appearances with a 1.080 OPS, while also impressing at PG National and earning himself a spot on that Top Prospect Team, and ultimately receiving an invite to the PG All-American Classic.
Crawford really is that dude. But he doesn’t carry himself that way, which DiMaria loves about him.
“The most impressive thing is just how he is as a teammate. That’s the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen,” DiMaria said. “He has the tools at every facet of the game. He’s only getting bigger, getting stronger. We all know how fast he is. But it’s his presence on the team. He knows he’s a high-profile player and they’re talking first, second round for him, but he doesn’t show that. He wants to play and win with his teammates.
“I’ve talked to a lot of scouts this year about him, and they all want to know about his character. He’s unbelievable. He’s a team player, he’s a teammate. He’s one of them. He’s a high school senior playing baseball, and that’s how he approaches it.”
The senior group at Bishop Gorman is equal parts close and impressive. The group was integral in the state championship a year ago, and want nothing more than to go back-to-back.
Senior Tai Nguyen will play first base and hit a ridiculous .508 last year. Demitri Diamant is a Georgia Tech shortstop commit. Diamant is the No. 124 overall player in the 2022 class. He will also serve as the team’s closer this year.
Tyler Avery, Lucas Boesen, and Raffael Chiarella are all senior arms who will make an impact on the mound. Joey Randazzo, the No. 3-ranked catcher in Nevada, is a Cal Baptist commit. He’ll be put in charge of those arms.
“Since I’ve been at Bishop Gorman, and I got here in 2015, this is the most senior-heavy team that we’ve had,” DiMaria said. “The experience is there, the camaraderie is there because they’ve played together for so many years. It’s a mature team now, they come to work and handle their business. Sometimes that can be a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes seniors come in and it’s their last year and go ‘I just want to get this over with and move on.’ But these guys want to repeat as state champions.”
There’s talent in the underclass group, as well. Kamdyn Perry, a St. Mary’s commit, is the No. 2 right-handed pitcher in Nevada in the 2023 class. Anthony Marnell, IV is a catching prospect committed to Oregon State. Gunnar Myro, a UNLV commit, will be a bopper in the lineup and an important relief pitcher.
And there’s James Whitaker, a freshman right-handed pitcher who is already committed to pitch for LSU. Whitaker is knocking on the door of top-100 prospect status in the 2025 class, and is currently the No. 23 righty in the class.
It’s not often that freshmen get a chance to contribute at Bishop Gorman. DiMaria said only a few have done it, and the ones that do are special types of players.
There’s an acknowledgement among the team that it will take everyone from Crawford to Whitaker to repeat as state champs. DiMaria said it creates an environment of accountability which isn’t all that common.
“Everybody treats each other like they’re on the same level,” he said. “They’re not really looking up to one leader. They all hold each other accountable. Sometimes in baseball, that’s a hard thing to do.”
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