DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Dante Santos has always had a love for the game of baseball.

“I love the fact that you could fail and then find ways and pick yourself up. You just always keep going and it really is just a mental sport. I just love that it is different from everything else,” said Santos. 

Santos has been playing for Ryan Dera and the J-D varsity baseball team for three years. But he and his coach go way back.  

“I’ve seen Dante since he was in Kindergarten. I’ve seen him grow up and evolve into a baseball player but a great person,” said head coach Ryan Dera. 

“I look back and it’s something to really just smile about and be happy about because I’ve grown so much and I feel like there is so much more to come,” added Santos. 

Like winning a state title. That’s the next goal Santos along with his team want to accomplish. J-D won its first section three title on Monday, the team’s first in nine years. 

“It was amazing. I think these group of guys worked so hard over the past season and in the off season and I think it meant so much to the community seeing everyone there — all the fans, all the alumni, it just was an amazing event,” said Santos. 

Santos has been a big key to this team’s season success.  He’s been batting .800.

“Without his bat in the lineup right now who knows where we’d be,” added Dera.