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.

Perfect AGAIN!
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.

Just GRAND!
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.

Falcons clinch District 9-2A Championship with 9-0 win over Lions!
Senior Kyle King smacks a two-run dinger and junior Champ Artigues broke the contest open with a three RBI double. Senior Trey Milazzo goes six shutout innings to get the win.

HAMMOND—Win number twenty for the 2017 Falcons was indeed a special one as Saint Thomas clinched the District 9-2A Championship with a 9-0 win over rival French Settlement. It was a contest that featured a steady solid pitching performance by senior Trey Milazzo and a pair of back-to-back plays at the plate in a three RBI double by junior Champ Artigues followed by a two-run dinger by senior Kyle King that broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth.
    “When we have good starting pitching it seems like we win every time and Trey (Milazzo) did a great job on the mound for us tonight,” said Saint Thomas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We had some early good at bats but we were just hitting the ball right at them. I told Kyle to just be patient and keep swinging and he hits his first home run and we are excited for him.”
    Milazzo worked six scoreless innings working out of a bases loaded situation in the first innings and finishing with five strikeouts while scattering five hits. Sophomore Blair Rodrigue closed out the contest in the top of the seventh sending the Lions down in order.
    The Falcons got on the board in the third after trading goose eggs with the Lions in first two innings. Senior Donny Roberts started the three-run scoring burst for the Falcons working the count for a lead-off walk followed by junior Jacob Becerra reaching on an error. Junior Brandon Tallo was next reaching on an error to score Roberts and Becerra. King then hit into a fielder choice with Tallo out at second followed by a double to score King.
    Saint Thomas broke open the contest in the fourth plating five runs on a three RBI double by Artigues and a two-run dinger by Kyle King. King added a final run for the Falcons in the bottom of the sixth hitting a single and stealing second and reaching home on a deep fly ball by Milazzo.
    The Falcons finished with eight hits and were perfect in the field with no errors. Artigues and King each had two hits while Milazzo helped himself with one hit and two RBIs.
    The Falcons will take a break Thursday and Friday and return to action on Saturday on the road against Northlake.
    
Saint Thomas secures share of District Title with 3-1 win over Lions.
The Falcons host French Settlement Wednesday and can clinch District 7-2A Championship outright with a win.

HAMMOND—The Falcons used a solid running game and a complete game pitching performance by junior Alex Egan to score a 3-1 win over the second place French Settlement Lions. The victory clinched a share of the District Title and the Falcons can win the 9-2A District Championship outright with a win Wednesday when they host the Lions for their third District matchup.
    “French Settlement is a good team,” said Saint Thomas head coach Barrett Morgan. “They play great defense and throw strikes. We did not play our best at the plate today, but I am proud of the effort and the guys finding a way to win a tough road game.”
    Egan was steady on the mound fanning eight Lions and giving up only one earned run. The Falcons broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth inning when pinch runner Brock Barringer scored from third on a French Settlement throwing error by the catcher. Brandon Tallo gave the Falcons an insurance run in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly.
    Saint Thomas collected only four hits, but make the most of their running game notching five stolen bases. Tallo led the base-running show with two steals.

Saint Thomas enters final two weeks of District play.
First place Falcons face a showdown with second place French Settlement.

HAMMOND—The Falcons are riding a six-game winning streak as they head into the final two weeks of District 9-2A play starting with a pair of games with the Lions of French Settlement. Saint Thomas will travel Tuesday for the first game and then host the Lions on Wednesday. The Lions need to win both contests to get even with the Falcons who are atop the District standings with a 5-0 mark while French Settlement is at 3-2. Following the games with the Lions, the Falcons will play a pair with Doyle home and away.
    Saint Thomas has shown some depth this season as seven different players have reach double-digits in RBI production and six different pitchers have notched wins. The Falcons are averaging seven runs per game while giving up an average of three runs per contest. In their current six-game win streak, Saint Thomas has outscored its opponents 57-9.
    In the field, the Falcons suffered some early season growing pains and errors were up over last season but Saint Thomas still has a .942 fielding percentage and has turned ten double plays. The Falcons running game also continues to improve as they boast 48 stolen bases for a .762 percentage and have collected 44 extra base hits.
    
Roberts fans a dozen in no-hitter!
Saint Thomas ended Salmen’s six-game win streak with a 9-1 victory Saturday while extending their win streak to six. Sweeney paced the offense with two hits and three RBIs, while junior Jacob Becerra continued to be hot with his bat collecting two more hits.

SLIDELL—The Saint Thomas Falcons ended the Salmen Spartans six-game win streak Saturday behind a no-hit performance on the mound by senior lefty Donny Roberts extending the Falcons current streak to six. Roberts frustrated Spartan batters all afternoon fanning a dozen and sophomore Luke Sweeney sparked the Saint Thomas offense with two hits and three RBIs as the Falcons notched a 9-1 victory.
     While Roberts worked on his no-hitter, the Falcon offense made quick work of the home-standing Spartans scoring three runs in the first inning and four in the second to take an early 7-1 commanding advantage. In the first, senior Kyle King earned a one-out walk followed by a single by junior Alex Egan. Sophomore Sam Smith was next getting a walk and then Sweeney delivered the big blow hitting a double to score King, Egan, and Smith.
    Roberts struck out the side in the bottom of the first and the Falcon offense picked up where they left off and plated four more in the top of the second. Junior Jacob Becerra led off with a single. Junior Brandon Tallo laid down a sac bunt but reached on an error. Junior Champ Artigues was next working the count for a walk and then Becerra reached home on a wild pitch. Tallo scored on a ground out by King followed by a hard grounder by Egan who reached on an error to score Artigues. Egan gave the Falcons one more run before the side was retired reaching home on another Salmen miscue.
    The Falcons padded their margin in the fourth and seventh adding a run in each inning. Artigues was hit by a pitch and scored when King reached on an error in the fourth, and junior Michael Dickson walked and scored on a ground out by Artigues in the seventh.

Falcons earn the trifecta!
Saint Thomas finishes sweep on Springfield with 7-2 win.

SPRINGFIELD—Never easy to beat a team three times in the same season but the Falcons rallied to pull off a District trifecta Thursday as they defeated the Springfield Bulldogs 7-2 for the third time in less than two weeks. Senior Trey Milazzo did the mound work earning the win going four innings, surrendering two runs, six hits, striking out two, and walking zero. Junior Kade Bleakley finished up working three shutout innings fanning two and scattering one hit.
    After exchanging goose eggs for two innings the Bulldogs got on the board in the bottom of the third to take a 1-0 lead, but the Falcons answered the wakeup call scoring three runs in the top of the fourth as the Saint Thomas offense delivered four straight hits. Junior Alex Egan led off with a double followed by an RBI double by sophomore Luke Sweeney. Sophomore Sam Smith was next hitting a single and senior Donny Roberts singled to score Sweeney and Smith.
    Springfield closed the gap to within one in the fifth on a fielder’s choice but would get no closer than 3-2 as the Falcons padded their lead in the sixth and seventh scoring two runs in each inning. Roberts and juniors Champ Artigues and Jacob Becerra all made the most of one hit collecting two RBIs each.
    The Falcons will take a break from league play to travel to Slidell on Saturday for a contest against 24th-ranked 4A Salmen.

Falcon hit parade and Egan pitching rolls over Springfield 11-1!
Saint Thomas starts second week of District play with a win over the Bulldogs.

HAMMOND—The Springfield Bulldogs and the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons met for the second of three scheduled meetings in District play and the Dogs barked first but the Falcons would soar to a five-inning rule win 11-1. Junior ace Alex Egan pitched a complete game working six, striking out three, and giving up three hits and one run. Junior Champ Artigues paced the Falcons hit parade that produced 13 hits going three-for-four with three hits and four RBIs.
    The Bulldogs barked in the first inning taking a 1-0 lead and were poised to shut down the Falcons in the second inning as they collected two quick outs, but the Falcon batters found their mark collecting three runs to take the lead and would not look back. Sophomore Sam Smith got the rally started with a single followed by a single by senior Donny Roberts. Junior Jacob Becerra worked the count for a walk, and junior Branden Tallo delivered an RBI single. Artigues was next with a single to score two more runs before the side was retired.
    “Our hitting has gotten a lot better of late,” said Saint Thomas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We have simplified things and emphasized being on time. I like where we are in the box right now.”
    The Falcons broke it open in the fourth scoring on a pair of walks and a two-RBI single by senior Trey Milazzo. Saint Thomas finished off the Bulldogs adding two runs in the fifth and three in the six to evoke the ten-run rule victory.
    
Falcons sweep week!
Saint Thomas finishes a week of District play with a 12-1 win over Doyle sweeping all three league games to move into first place at 3-0.

HAMMOND—The Falcons enjoyed life in the fast lane Friday using a solid base-running game and some timely hitting to manufacture runs by keeping the pressure on the visiting Doyle Tigers en route to a 12-1 victory. The win broke a tie at the top in the District race as the Falcons moved to 3-0 while Doyle dropped to 2-1.
    Saint Thomas collected six stolen bases and made the most of eight hits forcing four Tiger errors. “We are always trying to put pressure on opposing teams,” said Falcon head coach Barrett Morgan. “We have some guys in our lineup that have some speed so we want to play hard and fast and create pressure that can force some errors and create runs for us. That makes us who we are.”
    The Falcons took charge early as senior right-hander Trey Milazzo faced only four Doyle batters in the top of the first with one reaching on an error before Millazzo retired the side. The Saint Thomas offense responded plating three runs as junior Champ Artigues earned a lead-off walk followed by a single by senior Kyle King. Artigues advanced to third on a passed ball while King went to second. Junior Alex Egan then delivered a double to score Artigues and King and sophomore Luke Sweeney doubled to score Egan. Milazzo would go the distance pitching five, fanning two, scattering seven hits and giving up one run.
    The Tigers cut the lead in the top of the third cashing a pair of hits to score a run, but the Falcon had answer scoring four runs to pad their margin to 7-1 after three. Following leadoff double by the Tigers in the top of the fourth Milazzo sent Doyle down in order and the Saint Thomas offense put the game away plating five more runs.
    The Falcons ended the five inning rule contest in impressive fashion as Egan got the final out on a circus scoop and running throw to first for the final out robbing a Tiger base hit. “Alex (Egan) is a special athlete and he had a good night,” added Morgan.
    Egan led the Falcon offense along with junior Brandon Tallo and sophomore Luke Sweeney. The trio each had two hits, while Egan had two RBIs and Tallo and Sweeney each notched one RBI.

Falcons win pitching duel to remain unbeaten in District play.
Bleakley and Rodrigue combine on the mound for the win.

FRENCH SETTLEMENT, LA—Junior Kade Bleakley and sophomore Blair Rodrigue combined to out-duel French Settlement junior Bryant Johnson as Bleakley pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up one run, one hit, and striking out five and Rodrigue recorded the last four outs to earn the save as Saint Thomas defeated the French Settlement Lions 3-1.
    The win kept the Falcons in a first place tie with the Doyle Tigers who defeated Springfield 10-4 to remain unbeaten in District play at 2-0. Saint Thomas and Doyle are set to break their first place tie on Friday as they meet at Austin Brooks at 6:00 p.m.
    The Falcons took the early lead as junior Champ Artigues cashed in a leadoff double scoring on a sac fly by senior Trey Milazzo. The Lions answered in the bottom half as Johnson helped himself scoring on a Saint Thomas error to knot the score at one apiece.
    Saint Thomas scored a run in the top of the second to retake the lead as senior Donny Roberts and junior Jacob Becerra singled with two outs, junior Brandon Tallo was hit by a pitch followed by Artigues who was hit by a pitch scoring Brock Barringer who ran for Roberts.
    Artigues and Milazzo teamed up again in the top the fifth with help from senior Kyle King for the Falcons final run of the day. Artigues hit a one out single followed by long single by King that allowed Artigues to reach third, and Milazzo smacked another long sac fly to score Artigues.
    Tallo put the brakes on a Lion rally attempt in the bottom of the fifth as Johnson was robbed of a deep base hit to center field on a diving circus catch by the junior outfielder, and Rodrigue took over with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth forcing a ground out stranding three Lion base-runners. The sophomore lefty would earn the save on a three up, three down performance in the bottom of the seventh.     

Falcons open District with rout of rival Springfield!
Saint Thomas solid at the plate and in the field in first league outing.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons opened District play in impressive fashion scoring a 14-1 five inning rule win over rival Springfield. Falcon batters racked up 11 hits and junior ace Alex Egan pitched a complete game fanning seven.
    “We changed things up at practice the last several days and even brought in some new voices to share some thoughts, and changing things up helps keep things fresh and focused on the task at hand,” said Saint Thomas head coach Barrett Morgan. “The guys played with a lot of energy today and Alex (Egan) gave us a great start to District play on the mound.”
    The Falcons started fast in the first inning scored on a walk, a stolen base, and a single by Sam Smith to jump out to a four-run advantage. Junior Luke Sweeney paced a big day at the plate for Saint Thomas collecting a double and a single and four RBIs. Fellow junior Michael Dickson had two hits and scored a run, while sophomore Sam Smith had two hits and an RBI.
    Saint Thomas broke the contest open in the fourth plating seven runs. The big inning was driven by an error, a single by Trey Milazzo, a double by Egan, and a double by Sweeney.
    The Falcons will have little time to enjoy this one as they play the Lions of French Settlement Wednesday. “French Settlement is off to a great start this season and playing with a lot of confidence so this road trip is going to be a huge test for us to get off the bus, focus, and play solid baseball against a good team,” added Morgan.
    
Falcons still streaking ...
Saint Thomas won their fifth game in a row handing the visiting Archbishop Shaw Eagles a 9-2 setback.

HAMMOND—Well, the Saint Thomas streakers are still on the loose. The Falcons won their fifth contest in a row Wednesday scoring a 9-2 win over the Archbishop Shaw Eagles. The victory improved the Falcon’s season mark to 12-4 with one more game to go before the District slate begins next week at Springfield.
    “This is not last year’s team,” said head coach Barrett Morgan. “This is this year’s team and while this group does not always play as clean as we teach and are still a little rough around the edges at times, this is a good team. We are learning to win different ways this season, and these young men continue to improve and play together better.”
    The Falcons collected a dozen hits matching their current win total and were solid in the field with no errors as junior ace Alex Egan went six innings fanning 10 Eagle batters, walking two and giving up two earned runs. Sophomore Blair Rodrigue closed out the game in impressive fashion sending Shaw down in order with one strikeout.
    While Egan was busy keeping the Eagles off the bases, four different Falcons collected a pair of hits. Senior Donny Roberts led the hit parade with two hits, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Sophomore Luke Sweeney had a single and a double, an RBI and scored twice, while junior Jake Becerra added two hits and an RBI and sophomore Sam Smith had two singles and scored once.
    After trading outs with Shaw in the first inning, Saint Thomas grabbed a 3-0 advantage in the second inning and never looked back. Senior Kyle King walked with one out and advanced to second on a passed ball. Sweeney singled and King advanced to third. King scored on an error followed by a single by Roberts scoring Sweeney. Roberts reached third on a ground out by Becerra and then scored on a passed ball.
    The Falcons padded their lead scoring two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Egan helped himself with an RBI double and junior Champ Artigues, seniors Kyle King and Trey Milazzo each had a hit for the winners.

Nothing comes easy ...
Falcons live on the edge with late inning heroics as streak stays alive. Pen expands as new faces make their mark on the mound.

HAMMOND—Nothing good comes easy as they saying goes and for the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons a current four-game win streak has featured a pair of walk-off eighth inning thrillers. The Falcons earned extra inning walk-offs with a 6-5 win over Riverdale and a 2-1 victory over Plaquemine along with a pair of shutouts in this recent streak. The wins have run the Falcon’s season mark to 11-4 and earned them second place in the Select 2A Power Rankings.
    After riding a trio of pitchers to the State Championship last year, the Falcons’ 2017 pen has grown as a crew of new faces on the mound have begin to emerge. In the Falcons recent two one-run wins senior Donny Roberts and junior Kade Bleakley have hit their stride. Roberts who sat down ten East Saint John Wildcats a week ago followed up with another solid performance in the Falcon’s win over Plaquemine. Bleakley, who now leads all Saint Thomas pitchers with three wins, delivered a shutout as the Falcons defeated Central Lafourche. In all, six different Saint Thomas pitchers have notched wins through 15 games.
    There is a lot of baseball left, but depth may become a plus. Junior Branden Tallo, who is a regular in centerfield, and sophomore Luke Sweeney, who plays infield and outfield, have each logged a win and become regulars in relief.
    At the plate, some new stars are on the rise. Junior Jacob Becerra, fresh off a three-RBI performance against Central Lafourche has quietly collected five doubles, eight RBIs, while scoring 13 runs. Senior Kyle King has jacked up his numbers in recent games now posting three doubles, 10 RBIs, and seven runs scored. Sweeney continues his stroke with five doubles and 10 RBIs, while junior shortstop Champ Artiques, junior pitching ace Alex Egan and senior ace Trey Milazzo continue to pace the Falcons at the plate combining for 38 hits including 13 extra base hits, and 31 RBIs.
     With District play starting next week, the Falcons still have to deal with a pair of 5A teams in Archbishop Shaw and Central of Baton Rouge this week. Nothing is easy and the Falcons continue to travel a road with challenges at every turn.

Falcons extend win streak to four!
Junior Kade Bleakley impressive on the mound going the distance in a 5-0 shutout of 5A Central Lafourche.

HAMMOND—The Falcons extended their current win streak to four Monday with a 5-0 win over 20th-ranked 5A Central Lafourche in action at the SLU diamond. Junior Kade Bleakley was impressive on the mound pitching a complete game shutout scattering five hits, fanning two and issuing zero walks. The win followed the Falcons second walk-off win of the season as sophomore Sam Smith worked the count for a walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth scoring junior Jacob Becerra to defeat Plaquemine 2-1 on Saturday.

Central Lafourche 0, FALCONS 5
    The Falcons broke open a goose-egg tie in the bottom of the fourth plating three runs as senior Trey Milazzo led off with a single followed by a sac bunt by junior Alex Egan. Senior Kyle King followed working the count for a walk and sophomore Luke Sweeney singled to score Milazzo. With two outs and King and Sweeney in scoring position, junior Jacob Becerra delivered the big hit with two RBI double.
    Saint Thomas padded their margin in the bottom of the six adding two more insurance runs they would not need to win. Egan led off with a double, King walked, and Sweeney laid down a sac bunt. Senior Donny Roberts walked scoring Egan and Becerra delivered a sac fly that plated King.
    Bleakley finished strong sending Central Lafourche down in order forcing a pair of ground balls and fly ball.

Plaquemine 1, FALCONS 2
    The Falcons brought their rally caps to Doyle Saturday and pulled them out in the bottom of the seventh to rally from one down to Plaquemine and then walked off with the win in the bottom of the eighth as sophomore Sam Smith walked to score junior Jacob Becerra.
    Senior lefty Donny Roberts was solid on the mound working five and a third fanning four, giving up three hits and a run. Junior Alex Egan finished up for Saint Thomas with a pair of shutout innings fanning four to secure the victory.

Falcons make the most of five hits to walk off with a 6-5 win over Riverdale!
Egan smacks his second four-bagger of the season with a three-run shot and Bleakley pitches two and a third to earn the win and reaches on an error to score the winning walk off run.

HAMMOND—The Falcons gave their fan a few chills but in the end more thrills as they walked off with a 6-5 victory over visiting Riverdale in action Friday. Despite allowing Riverdale to score four runs in the fourth inning, Saint Thomas Aquinas rallied from 4-2 down to get the win scoring three in the fifth and one on the bottom of the eighth.
    Junior Alex Egan delivered the big blow that put the Falcons ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth smacking a three-run dinger scoring sophomore Sam Smith and senior Trey Milazzo. Riverdale answered in the top of the sixth to tie the score at 5-all, but the Falcons had the final say as Bleakley reached on an error scoring junior Jacob Becerra to end it in the bottom of the eight.
    
Good things come in threes ...
Senior Kyle King goes 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs to pace a 13-hit outburst by the Falcons as they defeat Albany 9-0. Sophomore Luke Sweeney earned the win going five shutout innings fanning four.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas offense put on a show at the plate Thursday racking up 13 hits and nine runs to score a shutout of area rival Albany in non-district action at Austin Brooks. Senior Trey Milazzo and junior Brandon Tallo each joined the multi-hit club as Milazzo had two and an RBI and Tallo had two hits and scored a run. Sophomore Luke Sweeney went five innings for the win and freshman Tyler Domiano pitched a pair to close out the contest.
    The Falcons jumped on the visiting Hornets early plating three in the bottom of the first as sophomore Sam Smith walked and scored on a single by Milazzo followed by a two RBI double scoring Milazzo and junior Alex Egan who was hit by a pitch.
    Saint Thomas continued their rally scoring at least one run for the next four innings to build a 9-0 advantage. Egan made the most of his one hit collecting two RBIs, while junior Jacob Becerra had one hit, one RBI and scored once.

Falcon seniors step up to pace a 1-0 win over East Saint John.
Senior Donny Roberts pitches six shutout innings and senior Kyle King robs a seventh inning Wildcat base hit to save the win.

HAMMOND—Fresh off an impressive pitching performance from senior Trey Milazzo on Friday night in a 4-0 win over Saint Martins, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons had a sequel in store for their fans on Saturday. This seven inning drama featured a pair of new stars as senior lefty Donny Roberts delivered his own Oscar performance on the mound and senior left-fielder Kyle King starred in a supporting role robbing a Wildcat base hit in the top of the seventh to secure a 1-0 victory over 5A East Saint John.
    The East Saint John Wildcats were brimming with confidence coming into the contest coming off of a huge 4-3 victory over perennial power Riverside Friday night, but Saint Thomas Aquinas had different plans.
    Roberts nearly went the distance on the mound for STA and had a no-no going through six complete innings before giving up a leadoff double to start the seventh. The senior also sat down 10 Wildcats on strikes and allowed just one hit and three walks before giving way to junior Alex Egan on the hill, who collected the save.
    “We’ve been struggling a little bit with pitching,” said Falcon coach Barrett Morgan began. “But Donny Roberts came out there in his first start and gave us a really, really great six innings on the mound.
    “In the past, he’s struggled a little bit to find the strike zone,” Morgan added. “But today he had three pitches with command. He had a no-no through six and I really wanted him to finish that off before he ran out of juice but he competed and did a great job for us.”
    Roberts didn’t allow an ESJ batter to get on base until the fourth inning and the Wildcats couldn’t get a runner in scoring position until the seventh. That was also partly due to the strong arm of catcher Sam Smith, who gunned down two ESJ baserunners who were trying to take second in the fourth and sixth innings. The last runner Smith caught stealing ended the top of the sixth frame and STA capitalized at the plate soon after.
    Smith got the action started with a leadoff single past ESJ’s shortstop and he was promptly moved over to second base after a sac-bunt by Trey Milazzo. Egan then put a sweet swing on a pitch that was moving down and away for a single to left field and sophomore Bryce Jones drove in the first and only run of the game with a sac-fly to right field scoring courtesy runner Brock Barringer.
    ESJ sophomore pitcher Rayvon Joseph, who went the distance for the Wildcats giving up five hits while striking out two, was able to force a pop out to end the inning without much damage but one run proved to be enough once Egan took the mound.
    East St. John moved Kevin Breaux to third base after his leadoff double with a sac-bunt but Egan sat the next batter down on strikes and senior Kyle King robbed the Wildcats of what looked to be a base hit with a great catch in left field to end the game.
    “(East St. John) was really good defensively and we knew it was going to be a good game coming into it,” said Roberts, who also knew he could rely on teammates like King to get the job done when needed. “I was just focused on keeping the ball low and staying in the (strike) zone. I knew my defense would play well behind me and make the plays.”

Milazzo fans 11 in 4-0 shutout of Saint Martins Saints!
Falcons get back to winning ways as senior right-hander pitches a gem.

HAMMOND—Falcon senior Trey Milazzo delivered a gem Friday night at Austin Brooks fanning 11 Saint Martins batters to collect a one-hit shutout as Saint Thomas Aquinas defeated the visiting Saints 4-0 in day two of the Falcon Baseball Tournament.
    “Trey did a tremendous job for us,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We have had a couple of games this week that got out of hand on us so this was a good win for us.”
    Offense was in short supply on both sides of the leger as the Falcons made the most of just two hits and five hit batters to post four runs. Senior Donny Roberts gave the Falcons the early lead in the bottom of the first on a ground out single scoring junior Champ Artigues who was hit by a pitch.
    The Falcons manufactured some insurance runs in the third scoring three as sophomore Sam Smith and senior Trey Milazzo earned back-to-back walks followed by a bunt by junior Alex Egan who reach on an error scoring Smith. Senior Kyle King singled to bring home Milazzo and then King set off and intentional run-down staying alive long enough for Egan to score from third.

Six-game Report Card.
Falcons off to another fast start.

HAMMOND—The 2017 edition of Saint Thomas Aquinas Baseball is off to a fast start posting a 5-1 record. The Falcons have made 174 plate appearances and collected 61 hits for a team .351 average and .459 on plate percentage. Saint Thomas Aquinas has notched 18 extra base hits with juniors Champ Artigue and Jacob Becerra and sophomore Luke Sweeney combining for a dozen of those. Seniors Kyle King and Donny Roberts, junior Alex Egan, Artigue, and Sweeney are pacing the team in RBI production with a combined total of 36.
    The Falcons running game and defense continues to impress with 14 stolen bases and a fielding percentage of .938.
    On the mound, seven pitchers have seen action this season with junior ace Alex Egan leading with two wins, an ERA of .750 with 13 strikeouts, and five hits and two base on balls surrendered. In all, Falcon pitchers have fanned 37 batters and have a 3.176 team ERA.

Monday Night Showcase returns.
Saint Thomas March 6 contest with Holy Cross to be broadcast on SportsNOLA.com and on a tape-delayed basis on WHNO.

HAMMOND— The sixth season of high school baseball on WHNO and SportsNOLA begins next week with a non-district matchup between Holy Cross and St. Thomas Aquinas from Southeastern Louisiana’s Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. The game will air live at 6 p.m. March 6 on SportsNOLA.com and on a tape-delayed basis on WHNO March 7 at 4:30 p.m.
    The Holy Cross Tigers and the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons will get it on for the second year in a row in a contest hosted at SLU’s Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. The 5A Tigers are currently ranked eighth and will be looking for some revenge after last year’s 2-0 loss to the Falcons. Saint Thomas enters the contest ranked third in 2A boasting a 5-1 record after collecting three wins in the Trey Altick La. Prep Classic. Holy Cross is 4-5.

Falcons finish the sweep of opponents in Monroe.
Saint Thomas collected two more wins defeating Erath 4-3 on Friday in nine innings and Dunham 12-2 on Saturday.

MONROE, LA—The Falcons extended their current winning streak to four Saturday completing a 3-0 sweep of games in the annual Trey Altick La. Prep Classic. After a 5-1 win over Ouachita Christian on Thursday, the Falcons completed their sweep with a dramatic 4-3 win over tenth-ranked Erath on Friday and then a 12-2 thrashing of Dunham on Saturday. The Falcons racked up 30 hits in the three-day event and four pitchers combined to collect 17 strikeouts.

FALCONS, 4, Erath 3
    The play pretend scenario played out over and over in backyards by young, aspiring baseball players came to real life in Friday’s game against Erath as senior Trey Milazzo came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied and delivered an RBI single to secure a 4-3 walk-off win for the Falcons.
    Erath took an early lead in the first inning. Erath scored one run when Andre Touchet singled with one out in the first inning. The Falcons answered in the bottom of the fourth as junior Alex Egan collected his first high school home run with a dinger over the left field fence.
    Juniors Michael Dickson and Brandon Tallo went to work in the bottom of the fifth to give Saint Thomas their first lead as Dickson walked advanced to second on a grounder by junior Jacob Becerra and scored on a double by Tallo.
    Shea Duplechain singled in the top of the sixth to tie it at two apiece, but the Falcons retook the lead in the bottom half when Milazzo, who walked, scored on a sac fly by sophomore Luke Sweeney.
    Erath tied it again in the top of the seventh as Mason Granger singled and scored. Erath tied it again in the top of the seventh as Mason Granger singled and scored. The pitching duel continued to the ninth when finally Tallo reached on an error and Milazzo’s heroics brought him home for the walk-off win.
    Milazzo and Sweeney worked the bump with Milazzo going five and a third and Sweeney closing it out. The duo surrendered nine hits and combined for 11 strikeouts. Tallo and Egan each had a pair of hits, a run and an RBI to pace the Saint Thomas offense.

FALCONS, 12, Dunham 2
    The Falcons evoked the ten-run rule in their final contest of the tournament against Dunham as they jumped out to a five run lead after one inning and rode a solid pitching performance by junior Kade Bleakley who pitched a complete game.
    Despite Mardi Gras having already ended, the Falcons put on their own Hit Parade racking up 14 hits including three doubles. Junior Champ Artiques led a quintet of Falcons who notched two hits as Artigues had two doubles followed by juniors Brandon Tallo, Jacob Becerra, senior Trey Milazzo,and sophomore Luke Sweeney who all had a pair of hits.

First NBC Bank Prep Showcase returns.
Saint Thomas March 6 contest with Holy Cross to be broadcast on SportsNOLA.com and on a tape-delayed basis on WHNO.

NEW ORLEANS, LA— Ten baseball games featuring some of the top teams in southeast Louisiana will air in March and April as part of the First NBC Bank Prep Showcase on WHNO TV 20 and SportsNOLA.com.
    The sixth season of high school baseball on WHNO and SportsNOLA begins next week with a non-district matchup between Holy Cross and St. Thomas Aquinas from Southeastern Louisiana’s Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. The game will air live at 6 p.m. March 6 on SportsNOLA.com and on a tape-delayed basis on WHNO March 7 at 4:30 p.m.
    Two other games are on tap in March, both from historic “Rags” Scheuermann Field at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium – the District 9-5A opener between defending league champion John Curtis and Brother Martin on March 21, and a matchup between Brother Martin and Archbishop Rummel on March 28.
    All games will air live on SportsNOLA.com and air on a tape delayed basis on WHNO. Some games will re-air for a second time on Saturdays at noon
    The seven-game April baseball schedule, plus one softball telecast this spring, will be announced later this month.
    Ken Trahan and Danny Riehm are serving as the broadcast team for the First NBC Bank Prep Showcase’s baseball coverage for the sixth consecutive season.
    Since its inception in the spring of 2012, the First NBC Bank Prep Showcase has presented more than 100 high school sporting events. The 2016-17 schedule includes 26 televised games and another 42 games to air exclusively on SportsNOLA.
    
Falcons start Trey Altick La. Prep Classic in impressive fashion.
Saint Thomas defeats seventh-ranked Ouachita Christian 5-1 behind complete game performance by right-hander Alex Egan.

MONROE, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons started their road trip in impressive fashion Thursday scoring a 5-1 win over seventh-ranked Ouachita Christian, a 2A Quarterfinals last season. Junior Alex Egan went the distance pitching all seven innings fanning five, giving up one run and four hits.
    The contest was a pitcher’s duel through five innings with the score tied one all but back-to-back doubles by Jacob Becerra and Champ Artigues and some nifty base-running by Kade Bleakley who reached home from second on a passed ball plated two runs in the sixth to break it open. The Falcons padded their margin in the top of seventh with two more runs giving Egan a 5-1 lead with three outs to go.
    Saint Thomas collected ten hits total as junior Luke Sweeney and Alex Egan each had two and sophomore Sam Smith added two.

Falcons hit the road for the annual Monroe Tournament.
Saint Thomas set to play a trio of games in the Trey Altick La. Prep Classic.

HAMMOND—The Falcons fresh off a pair of wins in the Northshore Tourney last weekend will hit the road again this week to compete in the annual Trey Altick La. Prep Classic. The event features over sixty schools from three states playing in multiple locations in and around the Monroe area. Saint Thomas will play Ouachita Christian on Thursday, Erath on Friday, and Dunham on Saturday.
    Thursday at 5:00 p.m. – Ouachita Christian Eagles (4-1) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas @ Ouachita Christian. Defeated Union Parish 14-1, defeated Minden 13-3, lost to Parkway 20-12, defeated North Desoto 2-1, and defeated Captain Shreve 6-1. Ouachita Christian advanced to the LHSAA 2A Quarterfinals last season before losing to Riverside Academy.
    Friday at 5:30 p.m. – St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Erath Bobcats (1-1) @ Sterlington. Defeated Vermilion Catholic 7-1 and lost to Catholic NI 5-3. Erath advanced to the LHSAA 3A Quarterfinals last season before losing to South Beauregard.
    Saturday at 10:00 – St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Dunham Tigers (0-1) @ Claiborne Christian Lost 7-1 to Jesuit.

Falcons split a pair in Saturday play.
Saint Thomas drops a game to Lakeshore and crushes John Ehret.

MANDEVILLE—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons wrapped up play in the Northshore Tournament Saturday splitting a pair of contests improving to 2-1. The Falcons saw the Lakeshore Titans break open a 2-1 game in the bottom of the sixth as they plated five runs to pull away and secure a 7-1 win over Saint Thomas. In the Falcon’s second game junior Champ Artigues went 4-of-5 at the plate with three RBIs and junior Brandon Tallo worked five innings fanning six to get the win as Saint Thomas crushed John Ehret 17-3. Sophomore Blair Rodrigue worked the final inning on the mound sending the Patriots down in order to close out the game.

FALCONS 1, Lakeshore 7
    The two teams played to a scoreless tie through three innings before Saint Thomas took the first lead as junior Alex Egan singled to score senior Trey Milazzo. The Titans would answer, however, in the bottom of the fourth as Stephen Baudier singled to put Lakeshore up 2-1. The Titans broke it open in the sixth plating five runs as Baudier doubled, Preston Bohn singled, and Clarke Rush grounded out to collect and RBI.
    The Titans notched nine hits, while the Falcons had five. Egan led Saint Thomas with pair of hits and an RBI. Milazzo worked five innings giving up five runs and seven hits.

FALCONS 17, John Ehret 3
    The Falcons put on s show at the plate racking up 20 hits as six different Falcon batters had at least two hits. Junior Champ Artigues led the way going 4-for-5 including a double and a triple with three RBIs, while sophomore Luke Sweeney drilled a pair of doubles to collected three RBIs. Juniors Alex Egan and Jacob Becerra each had three hits for the winners with Becerra notching two doubles and Egan collecting two RBIs. Junior Michael Dickson joined the hit parade with three singles and scoring a run. Sophomore Sam Smith led the team in scoring reaching home four times while smacking a double and a single.
    The Falcons had six stolen bases with Egan and Becerra each with two. Junior right-hander Brandon Tallo worked five innings fanning six to get the win, and sophomore Blair Rodrigue finished off the Patriots working the final inning sending the John Ehret batters down in order.

Falcons pick up where they left off last season—just WIN BABY!
Saint Thomas opens the season with an 8-5 win over 5A Slidell in first day of Northshore Tournament.

MANDEVILLE—After having had two attempts to play North Vermillion cancelled to start the season, Saint Thomas finally got to take the Diamond Thursday as they took on Slidell in their first of three games in the Northshore Tournament. The Falcons picked up where they left off last season winning a 8-5 decision over the home-standing Tigers. The Falcons will play a pair of contest on Saturday starting with Lakeshore at 10:00 a.m. and then Ehret at 12:30 p.m. Both games will be at Lakeshore High School.

FALCONS 8, Slidell 5
    The Falcons made the most of six hits as sophomore Luke Sweeney and senior Kyle King each had a pair of hits and two RBIs with Sweeney smacking two doubles. Junior Jacob Becerra added a hit and two RBIs and senior Donny Roberts had a hit and one RBI.
    Leadoff batter Champ Artiques and catcher Sam Smith worked the count for a combined five walks with Artiques earning a trio of passes to first base.
    Junior ace Alex Egan worked five innings fanning nine and Sweeney pitched a pair striking out two.
    
Students of the Game ...
2017 Falcons Baseball Preview

HAMMOND—Baseball is a game played with a bat, ball, and glove. The fundamentals of the game involve throwing the ball, hitting the ball, catching the ball, and running around four bases. This sounds simple enough but the current 2017 Edition of The Baseball Rules Book contains over 200 ruling and explanations. Thus, how one successfully competes in an official high school game is both wonderfully simple while intellectually demanding.
    For coach Barrett Morgan and his 2017 Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons remaining forever students of the game is a must as they set out to defend their 2016 LHSAA Class 2A Championship. “I have always been a student of the game, and we expect that of our players,” said Morgan. “When I played in college I often enjoyed sitting on the bench while waiting my turn to pitch because I just enjoyed watching the game. I could not wait to finish my playing days so I could become a coach.”
    Morgan took over as coach of the Falcons in summer of 2014 and began to hold class with his charges compiling a very average 3-4-1 summer ball record. However, in 2015, Saint Thomas went 21-10 and reached the quarterfinals losing 7-5 to the eventual State Champion Kinder. Last season Morgan and his Falcons went wire-to-wire ranked number one in 2A finishing with a 32-3 record and collecting a championship ring at season’s end … but class is still in session. You see this championship roster did not have any D1 prospects or herds of scouts anxious to see them play and despite their gaudy record, they only managed one home run as a team. What they did have is a passion for learning how to win by knowing the game with all its intricate details, skills, and strategies and thus, developing their own style some call Falcon-Ball.
    “We set out to change the culture and we were blessed with a group of young men who fought a bit against change, but eventually bought in and today they love to work and learn and we have learned much from them as well,” continued Morgan.
    The Falcons graduated seven seniors from last year’s squad, but return seven starters this season and with three seniors and seven juniors on the roster, Morgan sees this team as older than last year’s squad. “We lost some special players that are very hard to replace and some of the best I have coached, but in many ways we are older as a group this year, and I believe we will have more depth in our lineup especially at the plate,” said Morgan.
    While Morgan has seen a few “hick-ups” in the early practices and scrimmages, he is pleased with the overall work ethic in preparations leading up to the start of a new season. “You can win a championship and then get comfortable and that can lead to laziness, but this group is hungry for more and continues to work hard,” added Morgan. “I think the biggest thing in winning a championship is that it gives you confidence in that we know how to win a big game. We are not intimidated by playing in big games against great teams whereas we might have been in the past.”
    “We don’t set goals of winning district or a state title—we don’t do that,” continued Morgan. “We set goals to get better at practice today whether it is bunting or some specific throwing drill. If you focus on what you are doing each step of the way each day and in each time period at practice then you are going to win that day by winning that one pitch or that one plate appearance, and that is what we are trying to do.”
    With the departure of an LSWA All-State short-stop, center-fielder, and catcher to graduation, Morgan and his staff are assembling a new line-up card from veteran starters and newcomers. Junior ace Alex Egan will continue to lead the pitching staff and play second base. Junior Champ Artiques who worked mostly at second last season has moved over to short. Sophomore Sam Smith is now behind the plate, junior Brandon Tallo is getting work in centerfield, and freshman lefty Tyler Domiano is expected to see some innings on the mound. Senior Donny Roberts has moved to first replacing Brett Bass who graduated. Junior Jacob Becerra, who caught the final out in the State Championship game, continues to work in right field along with senior Kyle King in left. Junior third-sacker Michael Dickson will see some innings on the mound as junior Luke Sweeney and senior Trey Milazzo have also worked some at third and will pitch.
    “We expect to do some more tweaking of the line-up, and what makes this team so much fun especially at practice is that the guys know they can’t take a day off,” said Morgan. “Nobody gets to take a day off because we are too deep all over the field. If a player has too many bad days we can find somebody else to replace them. All of our players know that if they don’t perform there is no way they will see the field. So it really is a challenge at times for us as coaches to figure out just WHO needs to play where and in what situations in a game whether it is pinch hitting at a certain time or pitching or moving guys around in the field.”
    Morgan and his staff believe a steady diet of variety is a means of creating depth and expanding the knowledge base of their players. “At practice we often move guys all over the field and encourage them to get comfortable playing a variety of positions, continued Morgan. “Like a Luke Sweeney, for example, and I could name a number of players. One day he is at third, then in the outfield, then catching and then pitching.”
    “While a kid may ultimately shine at one particular position, being able to play several positions not only helps the team, but exposes a kid to a greater knowledge of the game. We certainly have a few guys that can play multiple positions well. We have a couple of guys that will join us after basketball and they have shown some good work in practice so we are a lot deeper this year in terms of being able to rotate guys in and out. Certainly it is a challenge for us as a coaching staff to know when to play defensive oriented guys, or pull them and go with the stronger bats.”
    On the mound, graduated senior Hunter Stanley, returning junior Alex Egan and returning senior Trey Milazzo combined for thirty wins last season including a big wins in the playoffs first by Milazzo over Notre Dame, Opelousas Catholic by Stanley and Saint Charles Catholic by Egan. With the loss of Stanley, Morgan sees pitching as his biggest question mark this season, but also perhaps emerging as a big strength.
    “You can’t replace Hunter Stanley’s numbers,” said Morgan. “It is just very hard to do. He was a special players for us, and to be honest that is the biggest question mark of this team—the one-two punch on the mound.”
    “Certainly the ERA we had last year is going to be really tough to match. But, while we don’t yet know if we will have a one-two punch on the mound, we are a lot deeper this year. We have a lot of pitchers that can throw strikes and this is going to allow us to not have to throw our starters for five to seven innings in most games. We think we can pull our starters at four and five innings and get some other guys in to give them some experience. Most high schools have two or three guys and you just roll with that, but I see us have five or six that can work and that gives us a real bull pen to draw from.”
    At the plate the Falcons are expecting to see continued improvement this season and Morgan and his staff our optimistic about their prospects.
    “Offensively I see depth,” explained Morgan. I see good hitters in the seven, eight, and nine hole. I see us hitting more doubles. We are a lot physically stronger than we were last year and as a group we are hitting the ball further than we did last year. Certainly I won’t say we are going to have big power numbers, but I think we will hit a few home runs this year, but do I care if we don’t hit any, no. If we play the right way, home runs don’t really matter.”
    With class always in session and the learning never stopping, Morgan sees his schedule as another teaching tool for both coaches and players. As the defending champions, the Falcons are often now referred to by many in the Media as the “hunted” rather than the hunters, but Morgan has a different approach to this.
    “As far as being the ‘hunted’ this year as the defending state champions, I felt like last year we should have been the hunted when we started 12-0,” said Morgan. “We don’t give our guys any opportunity to get comfortable because we mix up our practices and put guys in difficult situations and make them compete. We want to make our schedule challenging but we also don’t want to break our kids down with a schedule. I want to see us compete against a big 5A school in a prime time game, and I also want to mix in more level competition in between.”
    “Playing what I call the big boys, medium boys, and the little boys helps our team see a lot of different kinds of baseball and all three can certainly beat you especially if you don’t show up focused and ready to go. In other words do you only get up for the big boy game and not the small school game—well, you may end up upsetting the big boy and then get upset by the small school.”
    “One of the ways I like to challenge us as a program is to go two hours away on a weekday to play a game,” continued Morgan. “Being able to get off the bus and be ready play and when you are dealing with fifteen, sixteen, seventeen year old kids is simply not easy to do. When we went to the Monroe Tourney last year the director said he could get us another game in but it was an hour way from where we were staying so I said “yes” put us down for it. It challenges us and you have to be able to do this if you expect to compete for a championship, or even a first round playoff game. If you can’t get off the bus mentally focused and tough, it does not matter what your physical talents are. This is a big part of what we are always teaching and preaching that you have to be able to handle the mental part of the game regardless of whatever hardships or unfair things the situation may present.”
    With all the success enjoyed by Morgan and his charges since he held his first summer classes in 2014 teaching what is now known as Falcon-Ball, one would not expect Morgan to talk much about failure, but they would be wrong. He see it as a key to teaching mental toughness, a trait he views as even more important than physical gifts. Morgan is 53-13 in his first two years with a quarterfinal appearance, one district championship, and a state title.
    “Baseball is a failing sport—everything you do is 75% failure,” said Morgan. “You are supposed to screw it up so if it is a really hard game and I screw up why would I get upset? Why would I throw my hands in the air or show negative emotions? There is a huge difference between “come on let’s go” after a mistake than throwing a tantrum. We tell our players that every time you talk to each other be high energy and positive. When a guy makes an error, if everyone goes negative then one mistake quickly becomes two, three and four mistakes in a row. It happens very quickly. We call it the snowball effect. You see it all time watching games. I believe this one of the things we are good at in that we stop the negative after an error and quickly regroup and focus on the next play with a renewed attitude.”
    “For example if you have big senior ace on the mound and you have to plug in a little sophomore at second base, the senior throws a strike and forces a routine ground ball to second and the kid boots it and then the senior turns around and yells at the sophomore in frustration … so what does the sophomore do now?” continued Morgan. “His leader has just dumped a load of negative on him and one mistake can become many. Learning to control negative emotions in the heat of the battle is how you stop the snowball effect and is a sign of mental toughness. Everyone makes mistakes. Even we as coaches make them and the key is owning them and then moving on. We teach this in practice by having them do certain throwing drills where they are going to make a mistake and we as coaches stay silent because we want THEM, on their own, to stop the drill after a couple of screw ups and come together at the mound and REGROUP. They learn to take ownership of the situation and correct it.
    The Falcons ended their pre-season tune-ups last Saturday with a split decision facing a pair of Regional playoff finalists from last season in the Mandeville Jamboree. Saint Thomas dropped a 3-1 decision to 4A Pearl River but turned a double-play to strand three Rebel base-runners and then loaded the bases in the third inning with one out in a rally that came up just short as Pearl River forced a pair of fly ball outs to get out of the jam. In their second game the Falcons led the entire way cruising to 6-1 win over 2A rival Northlake.
    Last season is over and no wins carry over. The 2017 Falcons are the defending champs but also a new and different group in their own way. Certainly this team will have their share of thrills and disappointments—that is just baseball. But one thing is for sure, the Falcons will remain students of the game and class is always in session.

Falcons earn split decision in Mandeville Jamboree.
Saint Thomas rally falls short in 3-1 loss to Pearl River, but the Falcons score s 6-1 win over Northlake Christian in the second contest.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons concluded their pre-season tune-up slate earning a split decision in the annual Mandeville Jamboree as they dropped the opening game to Pearl River 3-1 and won the second contest 6-1 over Northlake Christian.
    The Jamboree featured complete three inning games with Holy Cross, Pearl River, Northlake Christian, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and host Mandeville all playing a pair of games. The bottom half of the final inning was played even if the designated home team had secured the win. The Falcons will open regular season play on the road at ULL against North Vermillion on Monday.

Pearl River 3, Falcons 1
    Despite a first inning double-play executed by the Falcon defense, an early lead on an RBI single by junior Michael Dickson to score junior Alex Eagan, the Rebels of Pearl River rallied in the bottom of the second inning to collect two runs on four hits. Saint Thomas responded in the top of the third as junior Jacob Becerra led off with a single followed by a one-out single by junior Champ Artiques and sophomore Sam Smith to load the bases, but the Rebels would force a pair of fly balls to end the rally.

Northlake 1, Falcons 6
    Aided by a pickoff by Smith, freshman lefty Tyler Domiano pitched a first inning shutout to start the contest with Northlake Christian and the Falcons added a run in the bottom half on a double by Artiques and a sacrifice fly by Egan.
    Junior Brandon Tallo sent the Northlake Wolverines down in order in the top of the second and the Saint Thomas offense responded with two runs as Luke Sweeney and Becerra each had a single and Smith added an RBI single.
    Tallo worked the third inning and finished off the Wolverines with a pair of strikeouts while allowing one run on a sacrifice fly by Dale Dufrene. The Falcons padded their margin in the bottom of the third as senior Donny Roberts singled and scored followed by senior Kyle King who was hit by a pitch and scored and Sweeney who added a two RBI single.

Final scrimmage a success.
Saint Thomas hands Covington a 9-4 setback in the Falcons final scrimmage.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons delivered a “Falcon-Ball” performance Saturday in their final pre-season home tune-up before the Jamboree next Saturday in Mandeville. Saint Thomas turned in a trio of double-plays and jumped out to a first inning 2-0 lead and never looked back as they rolled to a 9-4 win over the Covington Lions.
    “I thought we played much better today,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Barrett Morgan. “We played our style of ball and executed well. Certainly we have much to improve on but the guys came out focused and put in some solid work.”
    The Falcon collected nine hits including a pair of doubles and sent the Lions down in order through the first three innings. Senior right-hander Trey Milazzo started the contest working two scoreless innings as six different Falcon pitchers saw action. The Saint Thomas staff limited the Lions to just six hits in nine innings of play.
    Senior outfielder Kyle King delivered a pair of singles as seven different Falcon batters collected hits, while senior Donny Roberts lefty fanned a pair in one inning of work on the mound.
    The Falcons will again launch their season with an appearance in the Mandeville Jamboree set for Saturday and as the defending 2A State Champions, the Falcons still hear whispers about last year’s success and expectations for this season.
    “We enjoyed and celebrated last year’s success, but that is a closed chapter for us now,” said Morgan. “This current group has done a good job of moving on and wanting to be their own team with their own personality with new leaders.”

Falcons to get in one more tune-up before Mandeville Jamboree.
Saint Thomas to host Covington in a scrimmage on Saturday with first pitch set got 1:30 p.m.

HAMMOND—The defending Class 2A Champions will get a final tune-up this Saturday before competing in the annual Mandeville Jamboree on February 18 as they host the Covington Lions in a scrimmage set for 1:30 p.m. The 5A Lions finished 12-18 last season and 4-10 in District.
    The Lions 18-man roster features eight seniors including Christian Wood who hit .302 last season from the left side and right-handed pitchers Corey Coakley, Mark Danko, Brant Grinnell, Avery Mendheim, Aaron Gouzien, and Wood, a left-hander. Infielder junior Sean Cothern returns as well hitting .286 last season.

Falcons collect more post season honors!
Hunter Stanley, Alex Egan, Ryan Amerson, Reed Bolton, and head coach Barrett Morgan headline Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association Class 2A All-State Team.

BATON ROUGE—The 2016 Falcons collected more top honors this week as the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association handed out its annual All-State Team selections. Saint Thomas head coach Barrett Morgan was named Class 2A Coach of the Year, Hunter Stanley was named Class 2A Player of the Year, and sophomore Alex Egan was namedthe Class 2A Pitcher of the Year. Reed Bolton and Ryan Amerson earned First Team selection to the Class 2A squad. Stanley, Reed, and Amerson all graduated this past spring, while Egan will be a junior this comming season and return to pitch again for the Falcons.

Falcons hold on to defeat Hannan 8-5.
Falcons get solid close on the bump from sophomore Blair Rodrigue.

HAMMOND—The Falcons ran their summer league record to 7-1 Wednesday winning their third contest of the week, but despite a fast start that saw Saint Thomas build a 7-1 lead after five innings the Falcon had to fight off a strong rally by the Hannan Hawks that cut the lead to 7-5 with a four spot in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Blair Rodrigue worked the final inning and a third forcing five routine outs to close it out and preserve the win.
    Saint Thomas will finish up summer league play next week on the road as they travel to play Salmen and Slidell.

Sweeney pitches and walks off with the 1-0 win over Covington!
Sophomore Luke Sweeney delivers a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh and four scoreless innings on the mound as Saint Thomas wins a defensive showcase over Covington.

HAMMOND—The Falcons and the Covington Lions put on a defensive show Tuesday night in summer league action as the Falcons got a walk-off single from Luke Sweeney to secure a 1-0 win. Sweeney not only delivered the fatal blow to the Lions in bottom of the seventh but the sophomore right-hander pitched the final four innings in relief needing only 32 pitches to keep the Covington offense scoreless surrendering just one hit while never getting behind in the count. The win was the second in as many days for the Falcons who improved to 6-1 in summer play with a game against Archbishop Hannan set for Wednesday at Austin Brooks.
    Senior Trey Milazzo and junior Michael Dickson went 2-for-2 to pace the Falcon offense while senior Donny Roberts was 1-for-3. Roberts worked out of a 0-2 count to earn a walk in the bottom of the seventh while sophomore Sam Smith had a single and Dickson a sac bunt combining to move Roberts to third to set up Sweeney’s walk-off single for the win. The Falcons finished with seven hits.

JV Falcons 8, JV Lions 3
    The JV Falcons made it a sweep with an 8-3 win in first contest of the two-game set. After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the second, Saint Thomas rallied for three runs in the bottom half to take the lead and out-scored the JV Lions 5-1 over the final innings to earn the win. Freshman Tyler Domiano led the JV Falcons going 2-for-3 at the plate and working three scoreless innings on the bump to close out the game scattering three hits.
    
Falcons improve to 5-1 with romp over rival Springfield!
Junior Michael Dickson goes four and two-thirds to earn the win and sophomore Blair Rodrigue pitches two and a third to close it out. Saint Thomas rallies with eight unanswered after trailing 1-0 after one.

HAMMOND—Habits bad and good are hard to break and for the Falcons that can be a very good thing. After rolling up a 32-3 season mark and winning the Class 2A LHSAA State Championship, the Saint Thomas summer squad minus seven graduated seniors including three first team LSWA All-State players has continued their habit of winning more often than not. The Falcons ran their summer league record to 5-1 Monday with an 8-3 win over rival Springfield.
    Seniors Kyle King and Donny Roberts and junior Jacob Becerra led the Falcons hit parade each going 2-for-3 at the plate to account for half of the dozen hits posted by the Falcons including six doubles. The trio also each had an RBI.
    The Falcons fell behind after one inning as the Bulldogs took advantage of a hit batter and a pair of walks to plate one, but junior starter Michael Dickson settled in shutting out the Bulldogs for the rest of his stint and the Falcon offense rallied in the bottom of the fourth platting two to take the lead and never gave it up. Sophomore lefty Blair Rodrigue finished up for Saint Thomas working two and a third innings.




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2018 Schedule
2018 Roster
2016 State Champions


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

2015 Record
21-10, 5-3

2014 Record
Overall 18-13
District 8-4

March 18, 2014
FALCONS 10
Sumner 0
Bleakley ... Perfect Game Winner.

2013 Summer Record
JV FALCONS 10-5
FALCONS 8-8

2013 Season Record
FALCONS 18-14, 7-5
JV FALCONS 9-1

2012 Records
21-11-1, District 8-4

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