Five Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons honored on the LSWA All-State Team.
Champ Artigues and Alex Egan named to first team.
BATON ROUGE, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons were well represented on the 2018 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 2A All-State Team as Champ Artigues and Alex Egan named to first team,
while Brandon Tallo, Luke Sweeney, and Sam Smith received Honorable Mention honors.
The Falcons collected 30 wins for the second time in four years and finished this season as the Division III State Runner-up.
Falcons earn nine spots on the First Team 9-2A All-District Team.
Senior short stop Champ Artigues named District MVP.
HAMMOND, LA—With a 9-0 record in District play for the third year in a row, it is fitting that the Falcons would place nine players on this year’s 9-2A All-District first team. Headlining the list is senior Champ Artigues. Artigues while playing short stop collected 43 hits this season including 19 extra base hits finishing with a batting average of .453 and a slugging percentage of .716.
Saint Thomas played pitch and catch on the first team list as senior Alex Egan with a 10-1 mark and sophomore John Blanchard with a 5-2 mark earned pitcher honors and junior Sam Smith was named first team catcher.
The Falcons dominated the outfield selections as senior Brandon Tallo and senior Kade Bleakley earned first team honors. Tallo was also the Falcons top base stealer with 41.
Getting the job done wherever they are needed saw juniors Luke Sweeney and Ryan Dawsey earn first team selection as utility players. Sweeney excelled at the played leading the team in RBIs with 40 while Dawsey finished with a .344 average and a .500 on base percentage.
Senior outfielder Jacob Becerra earned second team honors along with freshman Ethan Alston. Becerra posted a .384 batting average collecting 10 extra base hits and 26 RBIs. Alston batted .324 and had 13 stolen bases.
Rounding out the list were three Honorable Mention selections as freshman Casey Artigues, junior Bryce Jones and senior Blaine Jacobs all earned honors.
Falcons headed back to Sulphur!..
Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons win game two of their three-game series with Menard 11-1 to advance to the LHSAA Division III Sem--finals.
HAMMOND, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons are headed back to Sulphur after an 11-1 five inning rule win over visiting Holy Savior Menard in their Division III LHSAA State Quarterfinal contest at Austin Brooks on Saturday. The victory complete a two-game sweep in the best of three series earning the Falcon a showdown with Dunham in the State Semifinals, the team that eliminated Saint Thomas in the quarterfinals last season.
The Falcons took an early 3-1 lead and after an impressive play by senior Champ Artigues to turn a double play and get Saint Thomas out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth, the Falcons took charge plating eight runs to put the contest away in the top of the fifth. Junior Luke Sweeney, Artigues, senior Kade Bleakley, senior Brandon Tallo, and junior Sam Smith all moved runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.
“Our offense is self-explanatory, really dangerous,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “They did a great job in the fifth. When we start getting on a roll with the hit and run it becomes contiguous and all the guys in the line-up start making plays.”
“Champ’s (Artigues) play at first was a huge momentum change taking away their chance to get back in the game,” continued Morgan. “Champ had to make an awkward catch of the ball and then turn to make a good throw. He is a real student of the game and understands the situation.”
“I tell these guys all the time to go play a position that you are not comfortable with and Champ probably had not played first base since he was ten years old. We had him there because he s coming off a shoulder injury and he did a great job fielding a ball that took a weird hop,” added Morgan.
Sweeney was the winning pitcher for Saint Thomas Aquinas. He lasted three and a third innings, allowing zero hits and one run while striking out one. Bleakley threw one and two-thirds innings in relief out of the bullpen. Cade Moreau took the loss for Holy Savior Menard. He lasted four innings, allowing eight hits and seven runs while striking out two and walking one. In all, five different pitchers worked in the game
with some control issues combining to total eight hit batters, four by each team.
Freshman Casey Artigues, and Sweeney led the team in RBIs with each batting in three runs. Smith, Sweeney, Egan, and Becerra all had two hits as the Falcons collected five extra base hits.
Egan delivers in his final game pitched at Austin Brooks..
Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons collect 13 hits as they shutout Menard 8-0! The winner of this three game series will play Dunham who advanced to the Division III Semi-finals with two-game sweep of Calvary Baptist.
HAMMOND, LA—Senior ace Alex Egan made the most of his final appearance on the mound at Austin Brooks delivering an 8-0 shutout of the visiting Holy Savior Menard Eagles as the Falcon won game one of the best of three LHSAA State Division III Quarterfinals.
“Nobody competes as hard as Alex (Egan),” said Falcon head coach Barrett Morgan. “He may walk a guy once in a while or get in some trouble, but he is the true definition of a competitor. He is just the best.”
“We really ran the bases well tonight—a really fantastic job. That is who we are. When we start putting pressure on teams some throws get forced and we can take advantage,” continued Morgan.
Bailey Crowe took the loss for Holy Savior Menard. He surrendered eight runs on 13 hits over six innings, striking out two. ”I thought we prepared really well for their pitcher and except for missing on a couple of bunt tried, the guys responded well at the plate,” added Morgan.
The Falcons nursed a 2-0 lead through three innings but finally broke it open in the bottom of the fourth notching three runs. The offensive onslaught came from singles by Brandon Tallo and Egan and a double by Champ Artigues. “The guys came out excited and were pressing a bit and missed on some pitches early and were just a couple of hits away from breaking it open,” said Morgan. “You could see that they gradually adjusted and got it going at the plate.”
Egan led with three hits while Artigues, Luke Sweeney, and Becerra all added two hits and combined for four RBIs.
Falcons end regular season with a pair of dingers and a 12-4 win over Loranger..
Saint Thomas Aquinas claims the top spot in the power point rankings.
HAMMOND, LA—It was Double Dinger Day at Austin Brooks as the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons closed out the regular season with a 12-4 win over the visiting Loranger Wolves in action Saturday. Junior Luke Sweeney hit a two-run dinger in the first and senior Alex Egan was just grand in the sixth smacking a slam to put the contest a way. The Wolves had a dinger of their own as senior Cole Harper tied the game in the third with a three-run shot.
“We were able to manufacture some runs early and (Luke) Sweeney had a big hit for us, and Alex (Egan) put it away for us with the slam in the sixth,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “It has been a long week with four games and some tough outings so earning a bye in the first round of the playoffs gives us a chance to regroup and refocus and rest up some heading into the second season.”
Senior Brandon Tallo got things started for the Falcons in the bottom of the first with a single and a pair of stolen bases and scored when Egan reached on an error. Junior Sam Smith was next with a double to score Egan, and Sweeney cleared the bases with a two-run shot giving the Wolves a 4-0 lead.
The Loranger bats came alive in the top of the third as senior Luke Colona smacked a double and scored on a single by senior David Smith. Junior BJ Jackson was next with a single and then Harper delivered a home run to plate three and tie the contest at four. The Falcons answered in the bottom half when freshman Ethan Alston walked, stole second and scored on a deep fly ball out by Smith.
The Falcons added some insurance in the bottom of the fifth when Tallo scored on an error to make it six to four, but it was six runs in the sixth that put the contest away as senior Jacob Becerra scored on an error and Egan delivered the slam.
Senior Kade Bleakley got the win on the mound. He surrendered four runs on six hits over four innings, striking out one and walking one. Sweeney threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen. Bryson Faust took the loss for Loranger. He surrendered six runs on six hits over four and two-thirds innings, walking one. Sophomore Jacob Messina led Loranger with two hits in three at bats.
Falcons sweep series with Doyle!.
Saint Thomas defeats the Tiger 7-6. The District win marks the 27th in a row without a league loss over the past three seasons.
DOYLE, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons rallied from 2-0 down to take a 7-2 lead into the final inning and hung on for the win as Doyle mounted a rally of their own that fell just short.
Falcons win a thriller!.
Saint Thomas edges Doyle 4-3 in a hard fought, chippy contest.
DOYLE, LA—In a hard fought contest that was chippy at times the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons escaped with a 4-3 win over District rival Doyle. Colden Newsom of Doyle and Alex Egan of Saint Thomas battled to a 3-3 tie on the mound through six innings with both defenses playing solid behind them. The Falcons won in the seventh when Egan singled on a 2-1 count, scoring one run and senior Jacob Becerra fielded a fly ball in right by Bradin Kun and threw a frozen rope to junior Bryce Jones at third to convert a double play.
“It was a tough night against a well-played game by Doyle and we faced some adversity, but our guys kept grinding and stayed poised and found a way to win,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We had an early injury that forced us to juggle our lineup several times during the game to try and find the right combination, and I was proud of the way the guys responded and kept working it out.”
The contest saw a couple of big blows exchanged as Colden Newsom hit a dinger for the Tigers and Luke Sweeney smacked a four-bagger for the Falcons.
Egan got the win for St. Thomas Aquinas Falcons Varsity. He went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out 11.
Bryce Adams in relief took the loss for Doyle. He went one inning, allowing one run on one hit, striking out one and walking one.
Falcons overpower Tigers in 14-0 shutout.
Smith and Alston combine for seven hits and four RBIs as Falcon total 16 hits including six extra base hits. Senior Alex Egan smacked a pair of doubles and collected three RBIs. FALCONS secure
the DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP with the win.
HAMMOND, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons brought out the big sticks for their showdown with the Doyle Tigers and smacked 16 hits collecting 14 runs while junior Luke Sweeney and senior Jacob Becerra combined to pitch a shutout. Sweeney worked four one-hit innings and Becerra closed working one.
The Doyle Tigers entered the contest in second place chasing the District leading Falcons, but the Falcons slammed the door securing the District Championship improving
to 7-0 as the Tigers dropped to 4-3 in the standings being mathematically eliminated from challenging for the title.
“The guys put it all together today,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “This is the best I have seen us play so far at the plate and on defense.”
The Falcons built and early 4-0 advantage over the first three innings, but a nine-run burst in the fourth put it away as Saint Thomas notched seven hits and took advantage of two batters hit by pitch. Becerra, and fellow seniors Champ Artigues and Alex Egan all doubled in the inning, while junior Sam Smith, senior Kade Bleakley, and freshman Ethan Alston all added a single to the fourth inning hit parade.
Junior Sam Smith led the hit parade going 4-for-4 with three RBIs, while senior Alex Egan had a pair of doubles and three RBIs, and freshman Ethan Alston went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Becerra finished with two hits along with Bleakley, Artigues and fellow senior Brandon Tallo.
The Falcons will square off against the Tigers again today at Doyle.
Falcons celebrate Senior Night with 10-0 shutout of French Settlement.
Sophomore John Blanchard pitched a complete game shutout scattering one hit and fanning three.
HAMMOND, LA—Saint Thomas Aquinas celebrated Senior Night collecting their 101st win in four seasons defeating District rival French Settlement 10-0 to sweep the three-game series and improve to 6-0 in league play. Seniors Champ Artigues, Brandon Tallo, Blaine Jaco, Alex Egan, and Jacob Becerra all had hits as the Falcons notched nine total hits. Tallo and junior Ryan Dawsey led with two hits apiece and Jacob led the team in RBIs with three. Sophomore John Blanchard pitched a complete game shutout scattering one hit and fanning three.
“Well, I will try not to tear up—a lot of emotions tonight and just so proud of all the hard work this group has done,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We have coached these young men, but they have put in hundreds of hours of work when we are not around and that is what makes this group special.”
The Falcons fresh off a 14-3 romp over the Lions on Thursday made quick work of taming them again scoring five runs in each of the first two innings to all but put the contest on ice. Junior Sam Smith got the Falcons started in the first with a double to score Artigues and Tallo. Freshman Ethan Alston, running for Smith, scored on a pickoff attempt, and Jacob doubled to plate Becerra and Dawsey.
Egan got the Falcons going in the second scoring on an error after stealing third. Becerra singled and Alston scored running for Smith. Dawsey doubled scoring Sweeney and Becerra, and Jacob delivered a sac fly to score Dawsey.
The Falcons will be off this weekend and resume District play Tuesday as they begin a three-game series with Doyle.
Falcons bring out the bats to five-run rule the Lions 14-3!!
The victory marks the 100 career win for head coach Barrett Morgan.
FRENCH SETTLEMENT, LA—Win number one hundred was an impressive one for head coach Barrett Morgan as his Falcons brought out the bats collecting 13 hits and a 14-3 road win over district rival French Settlement. Morgan entered his fourth season at the helm needing 22 wins to reach a hundred career victories and the Falcons reached that goal with their victory over the Lions improving to 5-0 in District play. Senior Kade Bleakley tamed the Lions on the mound pitching a complete game fanning two, issuing no walks, giving up six hits and three runs.
“We believe we have done some good things as coaches in building this program over the past four years, but you have to have good players who are also great young men,” said Morgan reflecting on his one hundredth win as the Falcon head coach. “When I first arrived, I had just left coaching college ball in a NCAA Regional and was now at a rec park with a lot of young kids I did not know very well, and I did wonder for a bit if I had made the right decision. We went to work and it got a little better every day and the kids bought in and worked hard and laid a solid foundation that has allow us to reach a hundred wins so fast.”
Win one hundred saw the Falcon fall behind 2-0 after one inning of play, but quickly took command plating five runs in the top of the second taking the lead for good. The Falcons all but dismissed the Lions in the third inning sending seven more runners home to take a 12-2 advantage.
“The guys really swung the bats today and Kade (Bleakley) pitched really well for us,” continued Morgan. “I thought our JV played one of their best game today as well.”
Seniors Alex Egan and Champ Artigues and Luke Sweeney led the Falcon hit parade combining for seven hits and seven RBIs. Egan and Sweeney were sweet on the long ball with each smacking a pair of doubles, and senior Brandon Tallo collected his 24th stolen base.
“Playing at French Settlement has always been a challenge for us most times we play there,” said Morgan. “The field plays big and they generally win most of their home games so I was really proud of our guys for playing well at their place.”
Colin Crane took the loss for French Settlement. He went two innings, allowing two runs on four hits and walking zero.
Falcons take game one from the Lions!
Sweeney pitches complete game and Dawsey smacks three hits to pace 6-1 victory. Seniors Champs Artigues Brandon Tallo, and Kade Bleakley combine for six hits and five RBIs.
HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons took game one of their District series with French Settlement as a pair of juniors led the way. Luke Sweeney pitched complete game and Ryan Dawsey smacked three hits to pace the Falcons 6-1 victory. The win kept the Falcons’ league mark a perfect 4-0.
“It was good to see Sweeney go deep into a game and finish with the win,” said Falcon head coach Barrett Morgan. “Dawsey took full advantage of his opportunity today and gave us some punch at the plate.”
“We got into some jams today and credit French Settlement, but I was proud of the effort to get out of a couple of situations that could have resulted in scoring opportunites for them,”continued Morgan. “Getting out of jams has sort of become something we are known for and do a pretty good job at.”
Senior Brandon Tallo got the Falcons off to a quick start in the bottom of the first hitting a double to score fellow senior Champ Artigues who walked. Sweeney helped himself grounding out to score Tallo giving Saint Thomas a 2-0 lead after one.
Dawsey singled and scored on a single by Artigues in the second inning. The Falcons padded their margin in the fourth plating two more runs as sophomore Tyler Domiano was hit by a pitch and Dawsey singled. Senior Kade Bleakley was next with a fielder’s choice to advance Domiano to third. Artigues then plated Domiano with a deep sac fly, and Tallo doubled to bring home Bleakley who stole second and third.
The Lions got on the board in the top of the fifth as Brice Fruge walked, stole second and scored on a sac fly by Brody Bell. The Falcons answered in the bottom of the sixth when Dawsey collected his third hit and scored on a double by Artigues.
Luke Sweeney lasted seven innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out six. Roman Hodges took the loss for the Lions pitching six inning, allowing nine hits and fanning one.
Falcons earn sweep of Bulldogs!
Saint Thomas wins two in double-header with district rival Springfield
HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons hosted District rival Springfield for a double-header Thursday to finish up their three-game league series and had to put on their rally caps to win the first game 4-3 and survive a pitching duel in the second to take a 3-1 victory.
Falcons 4, Springfield 3
A walk-off fielder’s choice led the Falcons past Springfield 4-3 on Thursday. Saint. Thomas Aquinas trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning when Matt Kruetzer induced Brandon Tallo to hit into a fielder's choice, but two runs scored as junior Ryan Dawsey and senior Kade Bleakley reached home plate. Dawsey was hit by a pitch to get on base and Bleakley singled.
Falcons 3, Springfield 1
In a pitching duel between senior Alex Egan and Springfield’s Collin Hayden the Falcons managed a 3-1 victory getting more out of six hits while the Bulldogs collected ten.
Saint Thomas got the scoring started in the top of the first cashing in a walk by senior Brandon Tallo, who scored on a ground out by junior Sam Smith. The Bulldogs answered in the bottom half plating a run on singles by Keith McKigney and Zach Wild.
The Falcons took the lead in the top of the when senior Champ Artigues smacked a triple and Egan singled to bring him home. Saint Thomas added some insurance in the top of the sixth as Artigues cashed in a walk by junior Ryan Dawsey with a double.
Egan led the Falcons Falcons on the pitcher’s mound lasting four and a third innings, allowing eight hits and one run while striking out five and walking zero, while
Hayden took the loss for Springfield. He lasted six innings, allowing five hits and three runs while striking out three.
Smith hits and Falcons win!
Junior Sam Smith notched four hits including a pair of doubles to pace a 10-4 win over Springfield.
SPRINGFIELD, LA—Sam “THE HIT MAN” Smith paid a visit to Springfield Tuesday night and roughed up the locals with four hits and a 10-4 win over a scrappy Bulldog team. The junior catcher hit a pair of singles and two doubles and collected five RBIs during his visit.
“Sam (Smith) does a great job for us and probably does not get enough credit for the work he does behind the plate as well as his hitting, “ said Saint Thomas Aquinas head baseball coach Barrett Morgan. “Credit Springfield. They came to play and got some solid hits off of us. We struggled running the bases and made too many mistakes, but we played some good defense and pitched well enough to win.”
Smith got things started in the first inning smacking a single to plate two runs, but the Bulldogs answered in the bottom half cashing in a walk by Ty Moran, who scored on a single by Matt Kruetzer, and a single by Travis Freeman who scored on a passed ball.
The two teams traded goose eggs in the second inning, but Smith again got the Falcons going in the top of the third with a lead-off single. Singles by Luke Sweeney and Tyler Domiano advanced Brock Barringer, who ran for Smith, to third and Jacob Becerra grounded out to third base to score Barringer followed by a single by Champ Artigues to score Ryan Dawsey, who ran for Sweeney.
Singles by Zach Wild and Kruetzer and ground out by Freeman produced a run for Springfield in the bottom of the third to cut the Falcon lead to 4-3. However, Smith was not finished doubling in the top of the fourth to score Brandon Tallo, who was hit by a pitch and Alex Egan, who reached on a fielder’s choice. The two-run RBI double by Smith gave the Falcons some much needed breathing room and Springfield would only plate one more run before Saint Thomas broke it open for good with three runs in the top of the seventh.
The Falcons collected 16 hits total including four extra base hits. Domiano had three hits while the Artigue brothers Champ and Casey each had two hits and Sweeney, who got the win on the mound, helped himself with two hits. Kade Bleakley and Egan each pitched in an inning to get key outs and Becerra closed out the contest retiring the side in the bottom of the seventh.
Kruetzer and Freeman led the Bulldogs at the plate with three and two hits respectively and Keith McKigney took the loss on the mound going four innings giving up eight hits and six runs fanning five and walking three.
Falcons finish week 3-0 with 10-0 shutout of Albany.
Blanchard works six in a two-hitter to get the win.
ALBANY, LA—After going 2-2 a week ago, the Falcons stormed back with a 3-0 week finishing it off with a 10-0 shutout of the home-standing Albany Hornets. The Falcons jumped out to a 5-0 lead after just two innings and sophomore John Blanchard kept the Hornet bats quiet giving up just two hits over six innings of work.
Junior Sam Smith carried the big stick at the plate with three hits and seniors Brandon Tallo and Alex Egan each added a pair of hits and the trio combined for four RBIs. Junior Luke Sweeney made the most of a double plating two RBIs. Sophomore Tyler Domiano and seniors Champ Artigues and Kade Bleakley all had a hit for the winners.
The Falcons added three more stolen bases to their total of 66 with Tallo collecting his 18th on the season.
Falcons now wearing a target on their backs ... 20-Game Report.
Saint Thomas boasts a 16-4 record after their first 20 games along with a number one 2A Power Ranking and are now the hunted.
HAMMOND—Success gets you noticed and it also makes you a target for your competition. For the Falcons, they are indeed a big target after twenty games boasting a 16-4 mark and a top ranking in the Class 2A Power Rankings heading into the start of District play next week when they open against Springfield.
Known for good pitching and defense in 2016 when the Falcons won their first State Championship, Saint Thomas has emerged this season with an offensive personality that is rubbing defenses the wrong way. The Falcons are batting .372 as a team and averaging nine hits and nine runs per game. They are also racking up stolen bases with 63.
On the mound the Falcons have remained solid led by senior ace Alex Egan. Eight different pitchers have seen action with the team posting a 2.962 ERA and 144 strikeouts. In the field the Falcons have been steady at .960.
Head Coach Barrett Morgan is collecting some good numbers as well as he is just six wins away from reaching 100 wins in just his fourth season.
Falcons dismiss Wolverines 12-3!
Saint Thomas improves to 14-3 with 12-3 victory over Northlake.
HAMMOND—After dropping a game to Opelousas Catholic on Wednesday, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons returned to their winning ways in impressive fashion dismissing visiting Northlake Christian 12-3. Senior Jacob Becerra worked four innings to earn the win fanning one and giving up five hits and one run. Six Falcons collected a pair of hits as Saint Thomas finished with 14 including five doubles with senior Kade Bleakley and junior Bryce Jones each notching two double baggers.
The Wolverines drew first blood scoring in the top of the first when freshman Josh Dufour singled and scored on a single by junior Cole Bilbo. The lead would be short-lived, however, as the Falcons plated four in the second inning on a groundout by Casey Artigues, a double by Bryce Jones, a groundout by Champ Artigues, and a single by Brandon Tallo.
Saint Thomas padded their margin in fourth adding five more runs tallied five runs as. Bleakley, Artigues, senior Brandon Tallo, and junior Sam Smith all contributed in the big inning with RBIs. In all Bleakley, junior Luke Sweeney, Jones, senior Champ Artigues, Becerra, and Tallo all had multiple hits for the winners. Bilbo went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Northlake Christian in hits.
Sophomore Adam Mosher started the game for Northlake Christian. He allowed 13 hits and 12 runs over four and two-thirds innings, striking out one.
Playmakers! Falcons play error free baseball to earn 4-1 win over Green Wave!
Senior Alex Egan goes the distance fanning seven to earn the win and junior Sam Smith paces the offense with two hits and an RBI.
HAMMOND—The Falcons collected their fourth win over teams in the always tough District 6-5A with a 4-1 win over the Ponchatoula Green Wave at The Pat on the campus of Southeastern in action Monday night. Saint Thomas edged Covington in a pre-season scrimmage, and defeated Mandeville and Saint Paul in the regular season. Senior Alex Egan kept the Green Wave bats in check striking out seven and the Falcon defense played error-free baseball behind him. Junior Sam Smith led Saint Thomas at the plate with two hits and one RBI and junior Luke Sweeney make the catch of the night robbing Ponchatoula’s Cameron Stewart of a potential RBI double that turned the momentum.
“I knew it was going to be a big game with two teams from Tangipahoa Parish and the game did live up to all the hype,” said Falcon senior ace Alex Egan. “I really tried to stay low and in the zone, but did lose some a bit on first pitches and had to rely more on my off speed pitches.”
Saint Thomas got on the board first scoring with two out as Egan reached on a dropped third strike. Freshman Ethan Alston ran for Egan and stole second and scored on an RBI single to center field. The Falcons added to their lead in the second as senior Jacob Becerra reached on a single followed by junior Bryce Jones who was hit by a pitch. Freshman Casey Artigues was next and doubled to score Becerra.
The Green Wave got on the board in the top of the third when Hunter Bailey singled and advanced to second on a passed ball followed by a double by Logan LaCroix to plate Bailey.
In the bottom half the Falcons answered when Egan was hit by a pitch and Alston, running for Egan, scored on a ground out by Sweeney.
Ponchatoula made some noise in the top of the fifth as LaCroix singled to centerfield followed by a deep fly ball to the wall in left by Stewart. However, the rally was not to be as Sweeney made the catch at the wall robbing the Wave of a potential run and renewed momentum.
“When he squared up, I just saw it right off the bat and got a good jump on it,” said Sweeney.
The Falcons tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a sac fly by Champ Artigues that scored junior Ryan Dawsey. Egan faced just five batters in the top of the seventh fanning one and forcing a fly ball out and a ground out.
Sweeney’s “RAIN” of terror paces 14-4 win over the Raiders!
Saint Thomas collects win number twelve with victory over Pine.
HAMMOND—Junior Luke Sweeney unleashed a “RAIN” of terror on the Pine Raiders Friday smacking four hits and collecting four RBIs to pace a 14-4 ten-run rule win by Saint Thomas. Sophomore Tyler Domiano got the win on the mound going five innings, fanning three, walking one and giving up six hits and four runs.
A contest played in an off and on rain storm Sweeney gave Pine fits, as he bagged four hits. The junior singled in the second, singled in the third, and singled twice in the fifth. In all, the Falcons had nine hits and took advantage of eight walks and three batters hit by a pitch to notch 14 runs as freshman Casey Artigues ended the game in the bottom of the fifth when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Falcons put on a track meet running the bases collecting seven stolen bases including a stolen base by senior Champ Artigues who stole home plate. Senior Alex Egan led the base-running show with a pair of stolen bases.
Seniors Brandon Tallo, Jacob Becerra and Alex Egan all had base hits along with junior Bryce Jones, and freshman Casey Artigues.
Sweeney got thing started for the Falcons in the bottom of the third when he singled in Egan and freshman Ethan Alston, who ran for Sam Smith who walked. The Artigues brothers notched RBIs in the fourth along with Tallo as the Falcons padded their advantage to 5-0.
Pine threatened with a rally in the fifth as Kaden Fersch double in a pair of runs and Ethan Knight blasted a two-run shot to center field. The comeback would be short-lived as the Falcons exploded for nine runs in the bottom half to take the win.
Falcons take down 5A fourth-ranked Saint Pauls 10-3!
Egan fans a dozen and Artigues smacks a trio of hits.
HAMMOND—The hit Falcon parade continued this week as Saint Thomas hosted 5A Saint Pauls and smacked nine hits enroute to a 10-3 win over the visiting Wolves. Senior ace Alex Egan was stellar on the mound working five and a third striking out a dozen Saint Pauls batters. Senior Champ Artigues paced the offense with three hits including a double. The victory was the fifth in a row and improved the Falcons season mark to 11-1.
Some first inning defensive heroics by senior Brandon Tallo set the tone for the home-standing Falcons as Tallo robbed a base hit by senior Caleb Lupo to deep center field with one man on to retire the side. The momentum carried over into the bottom half as Saint Thomas junior Luke Sweeney singled to drive in a pair of runs and scored on a passed ball to give the Falcons am early 3-0 advantage and they would hold the lead for the rest of the contest.
Egan helped himself in the second smacking a single to score the Artigues brothers. The Falcons padded their margin in the fourth platting three more runs as Tallo and junior Sam Smith all contributed in the big inning with RBIs.
Saint Pauls mounted a rally in the top of the top of the sixth as Lupo reached on a dropped strike and William Duncan walked Jacob Scherer who reached on an error to score Lupo and Duncan. The Falcons would answer, however, in the bottom half scoring two as Tyler Domiano grounded out with the bases loaded scoring two.
Egan, Sweeney, and Domiano all collected two RBIs. Jacob Boudreaux took the loss for Saint Pauls on the mound giving up five hits and five runs. Senior Jacob Becerra closed out the contest facing just four Saint Pauls batters.
The Falcons and Wolves will play again Thursday at Saint Pauls.
Falcons and Wildcats put on an offensive show combing for 19 runs.
Saint Thomas gets win number ten with a 12-7 victory over East Saint John. Senior Alex Egan goes yard and junior Sam Smith and freshman Casey Artigues collect a pair hits and combine for three RBIs.
HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons and East Saint John Wildcats wrapped up their play in the annual Falcon Baseball Tournament on Saturday putting on an offensive show as the two teams combined for 19 hits and 19 runs with the Falcons getting a 12-7 win. The base paths were crowded in this high-scoring affair as the Falcons collected eight hits and East Saint John had 11.
Saint Thomas grabbed the early 6-2 lead after two innings scoring on a single by Sam Smith in the first inning, a double by Casey Artigues in the second inning, a double by Champ Artigues in the second inning, and a groundout by Alex Egan in the second inning. After East Saint John scored three runs in the top of the fourth, Saint Thomas answered with three of their own when senior Alex Egan homered on a 1-2 count, scoring three runs.
Sophomore Tyler Domiano worked three innings in a no decision and sophomore John Blanchard worked two and two-thirds with senior Jacob Becerra closing out the contest in the top of seventh retiring the side fanning three.
Saint Thomas will return to action March 14 and 15 when they play and home and home series with Saint Pauls followed by play in the Livingston Tournament March 16-17.
Falcons reach home 18 times in shutout of Saint Martins.
Junior Luke Sweeney works four for the win and collects three hits and five RBIs.
HAMMOND—The Falcons all but put away the contest in the first three innings plating 13 runs while junior Luke Sweeney worked on a two-hit shutout. Junior Blair Rodrigue finished up the affair in the fifth fanning two and sending the Saints down in order. Caleb Laird took the loss for St. Martin's Episcopal. He lasted one-third of an inning, allowing one hit and one run while walking zero.
Sweeney helped his own cause smacking three hits and collecting five RBIs. Senior Champ Artigues had three hits and one RBI while brother Casey had two hits and one RBI. Senior Brandon Tallo also notched a pair of hits and an RBI, and Tyler Domiano had two RBIs. In all, the Falcons has 13 hits which brought their season team total to an even 100.
Falcons deliver an impressive rally to defeat 5A Mandeville 9-4!
Senior Jacob Becerra collects three RBIs. Sophomore John Blanchard pitches three scoreless innings in relief to earn the win and junior Sam Smith smacks a double to score the go ahead runs.
HAMMOND—No matter what team one cheers for everyone loves a good rally and the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons delivered one Thursday night to open their play in the annual Falcon Baseball Tournament rallying from four runs down to defeat the 5A Mandeville Skippers 9-4.
“I think the big kicker is that nobody really hits good pitching and
they had two guys on the mound that are very good and we got on them,” said Falcon head coach Barrett Morgan. “We also ran the bases really well tonight and that translated to runs.”
The Falcons collected six hits including three doubles. Blanchard earned the victory on the pitcher’s mound allowing just one hit and zero runs over three innings, striking out four. Senior Alex Egan closed out the game going one inning
striking out the side. Zack Farr took the loss for Mandeville. He lasted four and a third innings, allowing five hits and eight runs while striking out four.
Mandeville got things started in the first inning when Charlie Lemmond singled on a 1-1 count, scoring one run and the broke it open with three runs in the third inning as Brandon Mooney and Lemmond each drove in runs during the inning.
Saint Thomas answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score. Brandon Tallo led off with a single and stole second. After a ground out Smith was hit by a pitch. Luke Sweeney followed with a line drive double to score Tallo and advance Brock Barringer, who ran for Smith, to third. Jacob Becerra was next with a double to score Barringer and Sweeney. Tyler Dominao was next grounding out to advance Ryan Dawsey to third, who ran for Becerra and then Dawsey scored on a passed ball.
Blanchard shut the door on the Skippers in the fifth and sixth innings while the Falcons took command in the fifth plating four runs to take the lead for good. Champ Artigues led off with a walk, Tallo sacrificed but reached on an error, Alex Egan was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Smith delivered a double to score Artigues and Tallo. Sweeney followed with a sac fly to score Egan and Barringer, running for Smith, scored on an error by the catcher.
Brandon Tallo, Smith, Tyler Domiano, Jacob Becerra, Champ Artigues, and Luke Sweeney each collected one hit for the winners.
Egan and Domiano shine in 2-0 shutout of the Comets!
Saint Thomas Aquinas defeats Saint Charles Catholic 2-0.
HAMMOND—Senior ace Alex Egan pitched a complete game shutout fanning nine batters and scattering seven hits and sophomore Tyler Domiano provided the offensive punch with two doubles and two RBIs and as the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons edged visiting Saint Charles Catholic 2-0.
Pitching and defense dominated play as teams were solid in the field paying error-free. The bottom of the fourth inning provided the only offensive fireworks. Senior Brandon Tallo led off with a single followed by Egan who was hit by a pitch. Junior Sam Smith was next reaching on a fielder’s choice as Tallo was thrown out a third. Junior Luke Sweeney singled advancing the runners and after fly ball out, Dominao delivered his heroics with a double scoring junior Brock Barringer, who ran for Egan and freshman Ethan Alston, who ran for Smith.
Peyton Broussard went six in the loss giving up two runs, five hits and walking a pair.
The 7-1 Falcons will host Zachary on Tuesday and then host their annual tournament Thursday through Saturday.
Sweeney dominates on the mound fanning ten to earn shutout win!
Saint Thomas Aquinas defeats Catholic of Pointe Coupee 3-0.
HAMMOND—Junior right-hander Luke Sweeney pitched seven shutout innings fanning ten Catholic of Pointe Coupee batters as the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons won their sixth game in a row with a 3-0 victory.
Sweeney helped his caused collecting two hits including a double. Seniors Kade Bleakley and Brandon Tallo each had an RBI and senior Jacob Becerra had two singles and sophomore Tyler Domiano added a double for the winners.
The Falcons plated one in the first to take the early lead as senior Champ Artigues singled and advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a grounder by Tallo. Sweeney doubled to lead off the second and freshman Ethan Alson, running for Sweeney, advanced to second and third on passed balls and scored on a passed ball. Junior Bryce Jones completed the scoring in the inning earning a walk and scoring on a grounder by Bleakley.
Falcons plate a dozen runs to record win number five.
Saint Thomas Aquinas defeat the Holden Rockets 12-5.
HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons got five different pitchers some work as they defeated the visiting Holden Rockets 12-5 to run their record to 5-0. Senior Brandon Tallo pitched two shutout innings fanning two to earn the win, and the Falcon offense collected 11 hits including four doubles and a triple to plate a dozen runs.
Seniors Champ Artigues, Jacob Becerra, and Brandon Tallo all had two hits along with juniors Sam Smith and Luke Sweeney. Becerra notched three RBIs while Artigues and junior Bryce Jones each had two.
The Falcons started fast posting a four spot in the bottom of the first as Tallo hit a single with one out followed by a walk by senior Alex Egan. Tallo stole third and scored on a passed ball and Sweeney was hit by a pitch to get on base and advanced to second on a passed ball. Becerra followed delivering a triple to score Egan and Sweeney and then Becerra scored on a passed ball.
Doubles by Artigues and Jones sparked another four-run rally in the sixth that put the contest away. Sophomore John Blanchard shut the door on the Rockets in the top of the seventh recording a pair of strikeouts and forcing a pop up.
Falcons off to one of their best starts.
Saint Thomas making some nose at the plate to start the season.
HAMMOND—While the season has just started and the bulk of the schedule lays ahead, the Saint Thomas Falcons, for now, are off to one of their best starts. The Falcons are 4-0 and have put up 55 runs and notched 44 hits including 14 extra base hits and collected 45 RBIs. As a team Saint Thomas is batting .419 with a slugging percentage of .571.
Base running has been a plus early with the Falcons notching 15 stolen bases and defense has been solid with Saint Thomas only giving up a pair of errors and posting a .977 fielding average. On the mound, the Falcons has used five pitchers so far and they have combined for 30 strikeouts and a team ERA of 2.800.
The Falcons return to action Tuesday hosting the Holden Rockets in a non-district contest at Austin Brooks.
Falcons make the most of seven hits.
Saint Thomas Aquinas wins fourth in a row with 7-4 win over visiting Lakeshore. Becerra collects two hits and an RBI and Jones dazzles on defense to close out the game.
HAMMOND—The Falcons got a lot out of a little and manufactured a 7-4 win over the visiting 4A Lakeshore Titans in action Saturday. Saint Thomas made the most of seven hits and got a complete game pitching performance from senior ace Alex Egan to earn their fourth win in a row.
The Titans did not go down easily taking the lead in first inning as Devin Weibaecher drove in two runs when he singled. The Falcon answered in the bottom of the second when sophomore Tyler Dominao singled to lead off and junior Luke Sweeney reached on an error. Domiano was caught stealing but junior Sam Smith walked followed by a double by Jacob Becerra to score Sweeney. Junior Bryce Jones was next with a sacrifice scoring Ethan Alston who ran for Smith.
Saint Thomas took the lead in the third as senior Brandon Tallo singled and Egan doubled followed by sacrifices by Domino and Sweeney. Lakeshore got a single and a double in the top of the fifth to tie the game at four all, but the Falcons answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good. After a ground out by Sweeney, Smith walked followed by a single by Becerra and a single by Jones to score senior Kade Bleakley who ran for Smith. Alston grounded safely into a fielder’s choice scoring Becerra and after Alston stole second, senior Champ Artigues singled to score Alston.
Jones almost single-handily closed out the game for the Falcons in the top of the seventh making a circus catch against the left-field fence for an out and then robbing the Titans of a base hit down the line for the second out. Alston collected the third out catching a pop up.
Becerra led the Falcons with two hits and an RBI and Egan struck out six and walked two in getting the complete game win on the mound.
Falcons make it three in a row with 18-5 win over Walker.
Senior Champ Artigues collects five RBIs and his second dinger on the season.
WALKER, LA—“… and the hits just keep on coming …” the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons continued their dominance at the plate racking up 16 hits and 18 runs as they notched their third win in a row defeating Walker. Sophomore Tyler Dominao earned the win working four innings striking out four and helped himself at the plate with three hits and two RBIs.
Seniors Brandon Tallo, Jacob Becerra, junior Bryce Jones, and freshman Casey Artigues all collected two hits and combined for six RBIs. The Falcons wasted no time breaking the contest open scoring 12 runs in the first two innings and cruising to their second ten-run rule win in two days.
The Falcons have plated 48 runs in their first three games of the season and totaled 38 hits including a pair of dingers and done it all on the road.
Falcons ten-run rule the Jags 11-1!
Sophomore John Blanchard pitches a complete game to earn the win. Smith and Artigues lead hit parade.
SLIDELL, LA—The Saint Thomas Falcons continued their offensive road show Thursday night rallying from a slow start to put away the home-standing Pope John Paul II Jaguars 11-1 in six innings. Sophomore John Blanchard was impressive on the mound fanning nine and giving up just three hits and one run. Junior catcher Sam Smith led the Falcon hit parade with three hits and three RBIs while senior Champ Artigues collected a dinger.
The Falcons trailed early 1-0 and nursed a 3-1 lead after four innings, but broke it open in the top of the fifth plating five runs as Artigues led off with a dinger over the right field fence. Senior Brandon Tallo was next with a single, followed by senior Alex Egan who was hit by a pitch. Sweeney then delivered a sac bunt to move the runners over. Tyler Domiano singled to score Tallo and Smith doubled to score Egan. Senior Jacob Becerra followed with a sac fly to score Domiano and Smith scored on a Jaguar error.
Saint Thomas extended their margin to ten in the sixth scoring three more runs as freshman Casey Artigues stole home and Smith singled scoring Domiano and junior Brock Barringer.
Falcons continue their offensive show plating 19 runs in opening day win over North Vermilion.
Senior Brandon Tallo and freshman Ethan Alston combine for five hits and six RBIs.
MAURICE, LA—Fresh off scoring 17 runs in the Mandeville Jamboree, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons continued their offensive show collection 19 runs in their opening day road win over the North Vermilion Patriots who scored five. Senior ace Alex Egan got the win working five innings and fanning ten. Senior Brandon Tallo led the Falcon hit parade with three hits and three RBIs while freshman Ethan Alston had three RBIs on two hits.
Senior Champ Artigues and freshman brother Casey each had two hits and Egan had two.
The Falcons plated six runs in the first two innings and padded their margin in the sixth with seven as Alston , Tallo, Egan, Blaine Jacob, John and Blanchardall drove in runs in the frame.
Saint Thomas notched 13 hits total including seven doubles.
Dylan Gaspard was credited with the loss allowing seven hits and six runs.
The Falcons will stay on the road this week as they compete in the Northshore Tournament set for February 22-24.
Falcons collect 17 runs in a pair of three inning scrimmages.
Saint Thomas impresses in Mandeville Jamboree with an 8-1 win over Pearl River and a 9-0 win over Northlake. Blanchard fans six in no hitter against Northlake.
HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons made the most of a pair of three inning Jamboree games collecting a total of 17 runs as they defeated Pearl River 8-1 and Northlake Christian 9-0 in the annual Mandeville Skipper Jam. The Falcons put on an offensive show with seniors Champ Artigues and Alex Egan leading the hit parade. On the mound, sophomore John Blanchard pitched a no-hitter to shutout the Wolverines of Northlake.
“The guys went after it at the plate today and overall some good work,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We missed a few signals and made some base-running mistakes that cost us a couple of runs but the effort was there and we will get some things cleaned up and get better.”
With the pre-season tune-ups complete the Falcons will spend opening day on the road as they take on North Vermillion at 5:00 p.m. on Monday.
Getting hungry again.
The 2018 Falcons are getting back to basics with an eye on personal and team development.
HAMMOND—After winning 78 games, back-to-back District Championships and a LHSAA Class 2A State Championship over the past three years, one would conclude that the state of Saint Thomas Aquinas Baseball is in good hands and in good shape. But after a first round loss in the playoffs last season despite winning 25 regular season games, head coach Barrett Morgan and his 2018 Falcons believe they have a lot work to do to get better.
“When we started this three years ago, we were hungry,” explained head coach Barrett Morgan. “We were fresh and had a bunch of baseball players that were not quite there yet, but they developed, got tougher and more mature, stronger, and they begin to understand what we were trying to do and begin to believe that our system works and we won a state title. But then last year we were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. We cannot become complacent and that begins with me. ”
The Falcons earned the number three seed last season but saw their season end in the first round at the hands of the number 14 seed, Dunham, losing 2-1 in the three game playoff.
“We have a lot of the same players having only graduated three seniors and we know what to do as coaches and players, but I believe we need to get back to being gritty and grinding and re-establish the toughness and leadership that we are capable of,” continued Morgan. “I tell our guys all the time that it is not enough to talk tough and just act tough, you have to be tough and grind it out at practices, in scrimmages and games when the pressure is on and you have to make a play. Complacent is the big word for us this year—to not be satisfied and rest on the laurels of our last at bat, pitch, defensive play, or win. Focus is living fully in each moment doing your job.”
For coach Morgan a key area of emphasis in preparation this year has been the goal of improving development of the pitching staff. “It is no secret who our ace is with Alex Egan coming back for his senior season, but I felt like I made some mistakes with how we handled our pitching staff last year especially in terms of development,” said Morgan. “I always say to our coaches and players that it is OK to make a mistake, but you need to learn from it, and I believe I learned some things from what happened last year and we are going to try some different approaches to what we do.”
Giving his pitchers more experience is what Coach Morgan and his staff plan to do this season. “For pitchers to develop they need experience in games on the mound to be able to get comfortable on the mound, and last year we did not put enough guys in situations often enough that they could develop the comfort and command that is needed,” continued Morgan. “In the next several months we are going to get a lot guys a lot of reps in game situations and allow them to get experience. If it takes our guys getting hit some then we are going to accept that as part of the growing process. It is the only way they will learn situational pitching in games and get tougher mentally. I felt like I took that away from them last year and whether they excel or struggle that is what we are going to do. Relying on just one or two guys does not make us better. I am looking to the future so that come playoff time, we will have an entire staff with hopefully a one, two, and three that are game ready. That is the goal.”
Offensively, Coach Morgan is already encouraged by the progress his charges have made heading into the season. “This is the best hitting team from one to nine that we have worked with,” said Morgan. “If we can develop our pitching staff, it will just make us better on offense.”
In the field where the Falcons have been stellar over the past three seasons recording impressive fielding percentages, depth will be a plus this season giving the Falcons options depending who is pitching. “We have four senior outfielders and a couple freshmen that can play outfield as well,” said Morgan. “The hardest part for us as a coaching staff will be mixing and matching these guys around in the infield and outfield depending on who is pitching. We may not look like it on paper because we don’t have a big roster but everyone on our bench can get in somewhere and help us. We have more guys this year that we can play at different positions and that gives us more depth than we had last year.”
The Falcon coaching staff expects to get some quality help from some incoming freshmen especially in the running game. “We have a couple of freshmen who can really swing it at the plate and are really fast and we like to run the bases so this can only help us,” added Morgan. “They will also help in the field because I have four seniors that we need to pitch so these two will have to play for us in the infield and outfield at certain times.”
Coach Morgan will indeed hope his squad develops and improves as he believes the teams District 9-2A are all better as a group and expects the district race to be very competitive this season. “When we had the district meeting at the end of last season it seemed every team on paper was junior heavy so there are going to be a lot of senior players in our district, and I believe the entire district is going to be better and that is a good thing for everyone.”
The Falcons will play a trio of scrimmages and in the Mandeville Jamboree as a tune-up and the regular season starts February 19 when the Falcons hit the road to play North Vermillion.
Back-to-Back District Champions dominate All-District selections.
Egan named MVP and Morgan Coach of the Year.
HAMMOND—With victory comes rewards and the Saint Thomas Falcons (25-7, 9-0), champions of District 9-2A for the second year in a row, dominated the 2017 All-District team earning six first team and six second team selections as Saint Thomas junior ace, Alex Egan, was named District MVP and Falcon skipper Barrett Morgan was named Coach of the Year. The Springfield Bulldogs, the District runner-up (13-14, 4-5) placed four first teamers on the squad and three second teamers.
Egan finished with perfect 4-0 mark in District on the mound and 8-1 overall. The junior right-hander also helped himself at the plate batting .341 on the season with three home runs and 29 RBIs. Senior Trey Milazzo was also perfect for the Falcons going 3-0 in District play while collecting 26 RBIs and notching a grand slam.
Junior Matt Kreutzer led the Bulldogs on the mound with a 2-2 league mark and 5-3 overall while batting .423, while his catcher junior Ty Moran joined him on the first team batting .393.
French Settlement’s (19-11, 3-6) Remy Watts rounded out the first team selections going 1-1 in District and 8-2 overall with a 1.88 ERA as the Lions finished third in the standings.
In the field, the Falcons earned four first team spots. Senior Donny Roberts at first base batting .556 in District with one homer and 16 RBIs overall, junior Champ Artigues at short stop batting .454 with 24 RBIs overall and 11 extra base hits including three triples, junior center fielder Brandon Tallo batting .364 in league play with 11 RBIs, and junior right fielder Jacob Becerra hitting .333 collecting 16 RBIs overall and five extra base hits.
For Springfield, Brit Harris was selected first team second-sacker with a fielding average of 1.000 while collecting 10 RBIs. Bulldog junior Travis Freeman earned first team outfield selection batting .321, while teammate Keith Mckigney earned utility player selection with a .394 average at the plate and also a 2-2 mark on the mound.
The Lions had three first team utility player selections including junior Bryant Johnson batting .250 while going 2-3 on the mound, senior Micah Champagne hitting 2.84 with 16 RBIs and 29 runs scored, and Cameron Guitreau batting .357 while notching a 4-3 record over all on the mound.
The Doyle Tigers were represented on the first team by juniors Colten Newson, who averaged .462 at the plate, and Trenton Mizell, who finished with a .320 average.
The second team pitch staff included sophomore Brice Fruge of French Settlement, junior Kade Bleakley of Saint Thomas, sophomore Blair Rodrigue of Saint Thomas, and sophomore Kendall Stanga of Springfield. Behind the plate Sam Smith was name second team catcher.
Second team selections around the bases were eighth-grader Tyson Stewart of Doyle, sophomore Bryce Jones of Saint Thomas at second, sophomore Mason Davis of Doyle at short stop, and sophomore Luke Sweeney of Saint Thomas at third.
In the field on the second team were junior Kyle Welda, junior Brant Smiley of French Settlment, senior Kyle King of Saint Thomas, and junior Brennan Vittoria of Springfield. Utility selections includes junor Tristan Jones of Doyle, senior Jackson LeBourgeois of French Settlement, senior Brannon Long of French Settlement, and senior Micah Crittenden of Springfield.
Honorable Mention honors were given to freshman Jonas LeBourgeois of French Settlement, senior Collin Forbes of French Settlement, sophomore Cole Mack of Doyle, junior Wyatt Bankston of Doyle and eighth-grader Cade Watts of Doyle.
Saint Thomas holds serve in game one with 4-1 win over Dunham.
Falcons get clutch hits and big pitches to secure win.
HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons broke the hearts of a determined Dunham team with a clutch hitting and big pitches as they opened their playoff series with the visiting Tigers with a 4-1 victory. Junior right-hander Alex Egan worked out of a jam in the top of the fifth fanning two batters to strand two Tiger base-runners at second and third, and junior Champ Artigues and senior Donny Roberts delivered big hits in the fifth and sixth innings to break open a tight contest.
“We played this team two months ago and today that was not the same team—they came to play and hats off to them for a solid performance,” said Saint Thomas head coach Barrett Morgan.
Egan and Dunham lefty Ryan Erwin each faced just three batters in the first inning before the sides were retired, but in the second, the Falcons plated one as sophomore Luke Sweeney hit a one-out single and scored from third on a throwing error.
The two teams traded goose eggs in the third and fourth innings as sophomore catcher Sam Smith gunned down a Tiger attempt to steal second base to retire the side and Dunham returned the favor in the bottom half spoiling a potential Falcon scoring burst with a double play that stranded two Saint Thomas base-runners.
The fifth inning proved to be the game breaker as Egan worked of jam fanning two Dunham batters with runners on second and third to deny the Tigers a chance to tie or go ahead. The Falcon offense made the Tigers pay for a missed opportunity as Roberts led off with a single followed by junior Jacob Becerra who reached on an error. Junior Troy Tallo was next delivering a near perfect bunt to move the runners into scoring position and Artigues cashed it all in with a triple to score Roberts and Becerra giving the Falcons a 3-1 advantage and some much needed breathing room.
“We try to save some of our pitches for later situations that may happen working around some hitters,” said Morgan. “I felt like for a little while there we lost our focus a bit, but when Alex had to have it he really locked in and made some solid pitches to end their scoring chances.”
“When the bottom of our lineup gets going and they have been doing it all year and we can’t forget that Tallo made a great bunt, Champ is tough,” continued Morgan. “He has had good at bats all year.”
The Tigers got one back in the top of the sixth as Chris Coleman walked and scored on a double by Erik Semien, but the Falcons answered in the bottom half as Roberts delivered a two-out double to plate Kade Bleakley who ran for Egan. Egan led off the inning with a single.
Egan finished the contest in impressive fashion in the top of the seventh forcing a ground ball to second and the fanning the next two Tiger batters.
The Falcons finished with seven hits as Roberts led with two and Artigues, Egan, Tallo, Sweeney, and King all had one for the winners.
Falcons start second season hosting the Dunham Tigers.
New playoff format features 16 teams.
HAMMOND—The second season starts Friday as the Falcons play host to the Dunham Tigers in a best out of three series. With the new playoff format dividing select and non-select schools Saint Thomas will compete in Division III which has a 16 team bracket and starts with Regionals. The Tigers finished the season 19-13 and earned runner-up honors in district play and are the number fourteen seed.
The Falcons and the Tigers met this season in tournament play back in early March with junior Kade Bleakley pitching as Saint Thomas collected a 12-2 victory. The Falcons collected 14 hits getting out to an early 5-0 first inning lead and cruising to a ten-rule win. They have also played a common opponent this season in Doyle with the Tigers winning a pair and Saint Thomas a trio of games over Doyle.
The Tigers have a team batting average of .275 and are led at the plate by Erik Semien with a .400 average and .467 on base percentage followed by Juwan Fitch batting .343 and Nick Harris and Benton Davis each batting .333. Harris leads the team in going yard with two homers.
On the mound Benton leads Dunham with a 2.01 ERA followed by Ryan Erwin at 3.00.
Dunham finished 9-21 last season and did not qualify for the playoffs. The Tigers have five final four apperances and two state final appearances. They won the Class 2A title in 1987 and last
reached the final four in 2012.
Falcons outlast Wolves to win final regular season game 5-4.
Saint Thomas rallies from from four down after three innings to secure win. Rodrigue delivers another solid relief performance. Playoff pairings to be announced Sunday, April 23.
LORANGER, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons had to pull out their rally caps Saturday after they fell behind 4-0 to the home-standing Loranger Wolves. Loranger took an early lead after
the first three innings of play, but the Falcons scored five unanswered and got another game saving relief performance from sophomore Blair Rodrigue who worked the final two innings. The Falcons
collected nine hits on the day, but committed four errors.
The Wolves used a lead-off walk by senior Travis Lamb in bottom of the first to get their fast start. Lamb reached second on a sacrifice by junior Jonathan Matherne and scored on a wild pitch after reaching third on a ground out by senior Quinlen Willie.
In the second inning, Loranger cashed in singles by Tanner Beyl and Lamb along with a Falcon error to plate three more runs. Lamb laid down the big hit to collect a pair of RBIs.
The Falcons cut the Loranger lead in half in the top of the third as junior Champ Artigues walked and scored on a double by senior Kyle King followed by a single by senior Trey Milazzo sending King to third. Junior Alex Egan was next with a sac fly to right to plate King.
After trading goose eggs with Loranger in the fourth, the Falcons added another run when Artigues cashed in a lead-off single in the top of the fifth coming home on a sac fly by Egan.
Saint Thomas completed their comeback in the top of the seventh collecting four hits to plate two runs and take the lead for good. King led off with a single followed by a one out double by Egan to score King. Junior Luke Sweeney worked the count for a walk followed by a single by sophomore Sam Smith as Egan advanced to third. Senior Donny Roberts was next with a single to score Egan. Rodrigue faced only four Loranger batters in the bottom half collecting the three outs and saving the 5-4 win.
Saint Thomas finishes District 9-2A play with a perfect 9-0 mark for the second year in a row with 11-2 win over Doyle.
DOYLE, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons finished up their business in District 9-2A play Thursday with an 11-2 romp over the Doyle Tigers completing a perfect 9-0 mark for the second year in a row. The victory also marked a milestone for head coach Barrett Morgan as he reached 75 wins in just his third season as the skipper. The Falcons will practice Friday and play their final regular season contest at Loranger on Saturday.
The Falcons collected 14 hits as four different players had two hits. Juniors Champ Artigues, Jacob Becerra, and Alex Egan all had a pair of hits. Trey Milazzo fresh off a grand slam on Tuesday worked the mound for Saint Thomas going six innings for the win. The senior right-hander fanned five, walked one, allowed two runs, and helped himself with a pair of hits and two RBIs. Sophomore Blair Rodrigue worked the final inning forcing three fly balls to close it out.
Seniors rally Falcons past rival Doyle 7-3 as Milazzo delivers a walk-off grand slam, Roberts ties the game with an RBI double, and King lays down a bunt single to load the bases setting up Milazzo's heroics.
HAMMOND—It is the bottom of the final inning. The score is tied. The bases are loaded and you come up to bat. Anxious teammates and fans are watching and hoping and some are even biting their nails. It is your last regular season game as a high school senior. You swing and miss—strike one. The next pitch is a ball and the one after that. You take a deep breath and lock in. Now you are ready. You swing the bat and hear the familiar crack as the ball makes contact. It feels right and you glance right and as you step toward first base you hear the screams and cheers of your teammates and fans who know it is a home run before you do ….
Is this the fantasy of a ten year old boy in his backyard telling his friends what he going do one day? No. For senior Trey Milazzo and the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons this is no fantasy. In action Tuesday night at Austin Brooks Field on the campus of STA, Milazzo broke a 3-3 tie with the visiting Doyle Tigers in the bottom of the seventh on Senior Night smacking grand slam over the right field fence to complete a come-from-behind rally by the Falcons. The 7-3 District 9-2A win improved the Falcons District mark to 8-0 and was the tenth win in a row for Saint Thomas Aquinas.
“I give Doyle a lot of credit because they played really well making diving catches every time it seemed we might have a base hit with runners on,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We kept hitting the ball hard and they just kept making the plays and I kept telling our guys to just keep playing and eventually something is going to drop in for us.”
“I really like us at the plate right now from top to bottom, but it seems like this year in a number of games we have been having good at bats but we were hitting the ball right at people,” continued Morgan.
Saint Thomas Aquinas and Doyle have become known for playing nail-biting contests with dramatic endings in recent years. In 2015 the two squads needed 17 innings to decide a winner as Doyle took a 2-1 victory. The Falcons and Tigers will get another chance for more drama this season as they meet again on Thursday to finish up District play.
The Falcons rallied from 3-1 down to tie the contest going into the seventh and after starting pitcher junior Alex Egan walked one Doyle batter and fanned three, Saint Thomas completed their comeback as junior Brandon Tallo led off and was hit by a pitch, followed by junior Champ Artigues who walked, and senior Kyle King who reach on a bunt single to load the bases. Milazzo was next ending the contest with a walk-off grand slam clearing the bases for a 7-3 Falcon victory.
“Whether we won or lost and certainly I am glad we won, we needed a game like this late in the season where we had to grind it out and face a lot pressure,” added Morgan.
After yielding a pair of outs in the top of the first, Doyle came out hitting as sophomore Cole Mack doubled followed by a walk by junior Tenton Mizell and then a single by junior Colten Newsom that scored Mack and Mizell.
Saint Thomas got one back in the bottom half when Artigues was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a sac bunt by King, and scored on a single by Egan.
Egan faced only four Doyle batters in the top of second and sophomore Kolt Mitchell send the Falcons down in order in the bottom half with the help of a double play. The Tigers would prove stellar in the field finishing the contest with zero errors.
Doyle padded their advantage in the top of the third with one swing of the bat as Newsom smacked a bomb over the big wall in center field putting the Tigers up 3-1.
The Falcons would have to wait until the bottom of the fifth to cut into the Tiger lead as the Doyle defense frustrated the Saint Thomas offense robbing a pair of base hits with diving catches in the outfield. Tallo worked the count for a lead-off walk and advanced to second when Artigues was hit by a pitch, and reached home on a sac fly by Milazzo that cut the Tiger lead to 3-2.
Senior Donny Roberts provided his Senior Night heroics in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score as he doubled to score sophomore Sam Smith, and Egan set the stage for Milazzo’s heroics in the bottom of the seventh as he faced only four Doyle batters in the top of the seventh walking one and fanning three. Egan would finish with a dozen strikeouts, walking three and giving up six hits.
The Falcon seniors made the most of their Senior Night as the trio all had hits. Milazzo led with one dinger and a sac fly to collect five RBI, while Roberts doubled with an RBI and King laid down a bunt single to load the bases setting up Miliazzo’s slam.
Newsom led Doyle with two hits and three RBIs, while junior Kyle Welda also had a pair of hits.
Oh, what a relief!
Sophomore Blair Rodrigue quiets Northlake bats to end Wolverine rally as Falcons go on to collect a 13-3 win.
COVINGTON—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons got a welcome relief from sophomore Blair Rodrigue as the Northlake Wolverines were poised to rally into the lead in the bottom of the third with the score 5-3 and the bases loaded. The sophomore lefty took over from senior Donny Roberts, who relieved starter Kade Bleakley, with two outs and retired the side and then worked three more scoreless innings as the Falcon bats came alive and rolled to a 13-3 win.
“Blair (Rodrigue) does a good job of keeping the ball down and around the plate and that gives our defense a chance to make plays behind him,” said Saint Thomas head coach Barrett Morgan.
The sophomore tossed three and a third innings, allowing zero runs, two hits, striking out two, and walked zero.
The Falcons took the early first inning lead when Alex Egan doubled with two outs in the first inning scoring junior Champ Artigues who singled. The Wolverines tied it in the bottom half when senior Diego Sanchez singled and scored freshman Jake Nunmaker.
Saint Thomas surged ahead in the second inning plating four runs as junior Jacob Becerra doubled and scored sophomore Sam Smith, Artigues walked and senior Kyle King singled and Milazzo hit a too hard to handle ball to short and combined with a Wolverine throwing error scored Becerra, Artigues, and King.
The Wolverines rallied in the bottom of the third as senior Buddy Kyle was hit by a pitch and scored on a bases loaded walk by freshman Carson Orellana and sophomore Cole Bilbo singled and scored on a bases loaded walk by junior Cooper Moore. With two outs and the bases still loaded after a pair of walks issued by Roberts, who replaced Bleakley, Rodrigue took over and retired the side striking out junior Dale Dufrene to end the Northlake rally.
The Saint Thomas offense responded in the top of the fourth and all but put the contest away as they plated five runs to extend their advantage to 10-3 giving Rodrigue some much needed cushion. Becerra and junior Brandon Tallo hit back-to-back singles followed by a walk by Artigues to start the inning. Milazzo hit a sac fly to score Becerra followed by a single by Egan to score Tallo. Sophomore Luke Sweeney was next with a double to score Artigues and Egan and Sweeney scored on a single by Smith and a Northlake throwing error.
King delivered some final fireworks in the top of the fifth as he hit an inside the park home run scoring Artigues who walked. The Falcons added a run in the sixth to invoke the ten-run rule as Sweeney doubled and advanced to third on a single by freshman Matt Linn and scored on a bases loaded walk by Tallo.
The Falcons collected 13 hits with King, Sweeney, and Egan each notching two. Milazzo led with three RBIs while King, Sweeney, and Egan each had two. The Wolverines had six hits and junior John Macaluso was credited with the loss.
Saint Thomas will return to District play Tuesday hosting the Doyle Tigers on Senior Night and finish up with the Tigers on Thursday at Doyle. The Falcons wrapped up the District Championship last with a pair of wins over French Settlement. Following the Doyle series the Falcons will finish the season at Loranger.
2016 State Champions
Division III Semifinals
Division III Finals
Notre Dame 6
2018 District 9-2A Standings
FALCONS 30-5. 9-0
Doyle 15-16. 4-5
Springfield 11-14. 4-5
Fr. Settle. 11-12. 1-8
2017 District 9-2A Standings
FALCONS 25-6, 9-0
Springfield 13-14, 4-5
Fr. Settle. 20-10, 3-6
Doyle 10-21, 2-7
2016 District 9-2A Standings
FALCONS 32-3, 9-0
Doyle 16-15, 5-4
Springfield 7-17, 2-7
Fr. Settle. 12-13, 1-8
March 18, 2014
Bleakley ... Perfect Game Winner.
2013 Summer Record
JV FALCONS 10-5
2013 Season Record
FALCONS 18-14, 7-5
JV FALCONS 9-1
21-11-1, District 8-4
Daily Star Sports