Juan Diego completed its improbable 3A state baseball championship run Saturday afternoon with an 8-1 victory over American Leadership Academy.

It marked the second time in three days that the Soaring Eagle knocked off ALA, handing the Eagles both of their tournament losses.

Juan Diego senior pitcher Sam Silversmith was brilliant, keeping ALA batters perplexed all afternoon. Silversmith threw a complete game, ending the day with 11 strikeouts while giving up only three hits.

“Sam Silversmith threw heck of a game,” Juan Diego head coach Taylor Berg said. “Sam has been one of our best pitchers all year. … He’s very composed. He’s competitive, but he’s very composed with his emotions.

“He had a very calm, relaxed, sharp bullpen. From there I just felt really confident for him. He’s faced them before and done really well, so we knew going in he was going to be great.”

Silversmith got better as the game progressed, turning things on in the third inning when he struck out the side.

His impressive performance helped lead the Soaring Eagle to its first state championship since 2011.

“I’ve been thinking about this for a while,” Silversmith said about winning the state final. “Just to say that I brought one back for the school, it means a lot.”

The Juan Diego offense backed up its pitcher, scoring in all but one inning to give Silversmith a game-long cushion.

The Soaring Eagle scored one run in each of the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead, and then it added two more runs in the fourth, pulling away 5-0 midway through the top half of the inning.

That’s when ALA finally got on the board, scoring its lone run after senior infielder Daysun Cuthill got on base with the Eagles’ second hit of the game.

ALA made a pitching change to start the fifth and held Juan Diego to its only scoreless inning of the game.

The Soaring Eagle ended the day with just three extra base hits but did everything else to bring baserunners home, scoring three of its first five runs on sacrifice flies.

“We (stuck) to our game plan,” Berg said. “Big hits when they come, we’re grateful for them, but we’re really trying to scrape and claw and get runs every inning and keep the pressure on them.”

A big hit came for the Soaring Eagle in the seventh inning when sophomore designated hitter Andrew Lombana hit a home run over the right field wall for the second day in a row.

Saturday’s bomb was a two-run homer that extended the Juan Diego lead to 8-1.

Despite leading 3A in home runs with nine, the left-handed hitting Lombana bats ninth for the Soaring Eagle.

“It just goes to show it doesn’t matter where you hit in the lineup,” Berg said. “You can produce from anywhere. He bought into that and never let his power feel like he needed to be somewhere else in the lineup.

“Just kept buying in and doing his thing from there. He never quit on his swing and continued to work, and that’s just a pure product of a kid setting a goal and going out and achieving it.”

ALA came just shy of achieving its goal, but ends the season with the school’s best finish to date. The Eagles defeated Carbon 14-11 earlier in the day to advance to their first ever state final where Juan Diego quickly turned ALA’s remarkable season bittersweet.

For the Soaring Eagle, it is all sweet.

“It feels like the beginning of something,” Silversmith said.

Only time will tell.