Falcons flip the script with a 5-4 win over Doyle.
Saint Thomas rallies with five-run sixth to defeat the Tigers.
HAMMOND, LA—Saint Thomas flipped the script on their District rival Doyle with a five-run rally in the sixth to earn a 5-4 win and hand the Tigers their second league loss.
The game was tied at four with the Falcons Varsity batting in the bottom of the sixth when Jordan Trapani singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run.
Layton Pittman started on the bump for Saint Thomas lasting three innings, allowing five hits and three runs while striking out one. Lefty Dane Watts took over and pitched the final four innings
to earn the win fanning four and allowing one run. Tiger ace Andrew Yuratich started the game for Doyle shutting out the Falcons for five innings before Saint Thomas mounted a rally in the sixth. Caiden Barcia threw one-third of an inning in relief out of the bullpen for Doye.
The Falcons rally in the sixth was impressive really starting with two outs already on the board and Doyle looking good for a win. Logan Pierre singled to open the inning followed by a pair of outs by Doyle. Hunter Michel the fourth batter up earned a walk, Casey Artigues singled, Watts walked and Pierre scored on an error by the Doyle third-baseman. Jaden Collura the cleared the bases with a double that tied the contest at four. Trapani finished off the comeback with a single to score Collura.
Artigues, Pierre, and Trapani all collected two hits and Collura delivered a three-RBI double. Peyton Stewart, Dru Beatty, and Braden Keen all had a pair of hits for Doyle.
The Falcons and Tigers will square off again on Tuesday as Saint Thomas hopes to extend their District lead and the Tigers are looking to even the series.
Doyle back in the driver’s seat as Falcons suffer key league loss.
Saint Thomas drops game to Northlake Christian.
COVINGTON, LA—The Saint Thomas Falcons struggled at the plate, on the mound, and in the field making three errors as they saw their hopes for an early fast start in District play slip away.
The Falcons took the early lead as when Jaden Collura homered on a 2-2 count, scoring three runs, but that would be all the fireworks the Falcons could muster.
Northlake Christian stole the lead late in the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when Kyle Thezan singled on a 3-1 count, scoring two runs.
Logan Pierre started the game for Saint Thomas. The hurler surrendered four runs on six hits over four innings, walking one. Austin Davis threw two innings in relief.
The Falcons will host District favorite Doyle today in a must win game to keep their title hopes alive. After being upset by the Pope John Paul II Jaguars earlier in the week, the Tigers of Doyle
righted their ship with a solid 14-1 win over the Jaguars.
Falcons survive challenge by Northlake, while Doyle Tigers not so lucky.
Saint Thomas escaped Covington with a 4-2 win over Northlake and Doyle falls at home 4-2 to Pope John Paul II.
COVINGTON, LA—Highly ranked Saint Thomas and Doyle were tested Wednesday night in District 10-2A play and the Falcons passed while the Doyle Tigers failed. Pope John Paul II made some noise to shake up the league race as the Jaquars knocked off Doyle 4-2 on the road, while the Falcons survived a solid pitching performance by Northlake’s Nick Tarantino to escape with a 4-2 win.
Gavin Foster was on the bump for the Falcons and pitched a shutout through six innings before the Wolverines finally chased him scoring a pair of runs leaving Saint Thomas nursing a 4-2 lead in the seventh. Fellow junior Layton Pittman came in relief and shut the door on the Northlake rally. Foster worked six and a third fanning three. Tarantino went six and two-thirds for the Wolverines fanning six while yielding three runs. Jax Hastings threw one-third of an inning in relief.
Offense was in short supply but the Falcons plated two in the top of the third to take the early lead as Jaden Collura doubled to score Casey Artigues who reached on a single. Jordan Trapani followed reaching on an error to score Collura.
The pitcher’s duel continued for the next three innings, but the Falcons were finally able to get some insurance on their lead by scoring two runs in the top of the seventh. They would be the difference as Northlake would rally in the bottom half coming up just short. Artigues, Collura and Trapani teamed up again to get the offense going in the seventh as Artigues singled and Collura hit a two-out single to score Artigues followed by a single by Trapani to score Collura.
Defensively, Pittman made a pair of plays early in the contest at third base stealing base hits to keep the Wolverines off the base pads.
Doyle remains favorite as District play continues.
Saint Thomas will play a pair of league games against Northlake.
HAMMOND, LA—The race for the District 10-2A title enters its second week on Tuesday. Doyle, the last team to win the title since no league games were played in 2020, remains highly favored to repeat as champions and will be looking to dismiss another top challenger in Pope John Paul II this week. The Tigers swept Springfield last week to open District play. The Jaguars of Pope John Paul II are 2-0 in league play and hope to play spoiler with an upset of Doyle.
The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcon will play a pair of games against the Northlake Christian Wolverines. The Wolverines, currently last in the league, also hope to play spoiler and upset the Falcons. Springfield will be looking to rebound after losing two to their rival Doyle as they take on the French Settlement Lions. The Lions lost a pair of games last week to Saint Thomas but are talented enough to pull off an upset of the Bulldogs.
The District has proven solid this season as four of the teams are ranked in the top 15 of the Combined LHSAA 2A Power Rankings. The Falcons are currently third with Doyle seventh, Springfield tenth, and Pope John Paul II thirteenth.
Pierre pitches and hits to pace win over Lions!
Saint Thomas defeats French Settlement 10-0.
HAMMOND, LA—Junior Logan Pierre pitched five shutout innings fanning four and helped himself at the plate with three hits to pace a 10-0 shutout of the visiting French Settlement Lions. The victory improved the Falcons District mark to 2-0 and 18-2 overall.
After the two teams traded zeros in the first inning, the Falcons to command in the second inning plating six runs as singles by Jaden Collura and Layton Pittman and a fielder's choice by Parker Perrilloux produced runs.
In total Saint Thomas collected eight hits as Pierre led the offense with help from Casey Artigues who had two hits and Brayden Thompson who had a pair of RBIs on ground outs. Dane Watts, Jaden Collura, and Layton Pittman also added hits.
Hunter Wheat took the loss for French Settlement. The pitcher allowed seven hits and eight runs over three innings, striking out three.
Falcons bring the big sticks collect 14-2 win over French Settlement.
District play begins with impressive start.
FRENCH SETTLEMENT, LA—The Falcons racked up another 11 hits and three pitchers combined to keep the Lions caged at the plate as Saint Thomas Aquinas opened District play with a 14-2 spanking of French Settlement.
Senior Jaden Collura led the Falcons with three hits and an RBI while teammates Logan Pierre and Jordan Trapani each added a pair of hits.
Dane Watts was the winning pitcher for the Falcons. The lefty allowed zero hits and zero runs over three innings, striking out four and walking one. Hayden Asprion and Austin Davis entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief. Brady Andrews was on the hill for French Settlement. The hurler surrendered 11 runs on six hits over one and one-third innings, striking out one and walking one. Sy Berthelot and Beau Wilson entered the game from the bullpen, throwing two and two-thirds innings and one inning respectively.
The Falcons opened the contest with three runs in the top of the first as Watts was hit by a pitch, Collura doubled and Trapani tripled. The Saint Thomas offense came back in the top of the second and all but put the contest on ice as they racked up four hits and ten runs taking advantage of a pair of hit batters and walks.
The race for the District Title begins ...
District is solid with four teams posting winning records.
HAMMOND, LA—The race for the District 10-2A titles starts in earnest this week as all the teams in the district will play league games. Pope John Paul II made the first bid playing a district against Northlake Christian this past week earning a 4-0 win. Saint Thomas, Springfield and Doyle all have double-digit wins heading into this week. They have combined to produce 45 wins and just 11 losses. All three teams are currently ranked among the top four in their class or division. Pope John Paul II has posted a 9-5 start while French Settlement and Northlake Christian are still working to attain a winning record with the Lions at 5-7 and the Wolverines at 4-12.
Doyle was picked by most to win the District. The Tigers were the state runner-up in 2019 and headed in the opinion of many to win a state title in 2020 but the pandemic ended that opportunity. Springfield has been the program on the rise. After the Bulldogs finished just 8-22 in 2019 and 6-5 in the shortened 2020 season, they have charged out of the gate to post an impressive 15-3 mark to start this season. The Bulldogs will face Doyle this week twice as they make a bid to upset the league favorite.
Saint Thomas has posted another impressive start at 16-2 and they have been the bell cow for the District since 2014 collecting 174 wins, three District Championships, a State Championship in 2016 and a State Runner-up in 2018. Doyle was the last to win the title in 2019 edging out Saint Thomas as in 2020 there was no league play. The Falcons will face Doyle and Springfield in back-to-back league series in the stretch of April 9-16.
With four of the six team having winning records entering District play, the league is solid and should provide and exciting race. With pitching always a challenge for coaches to manage since rest is required between a pitcher’s outings, upsets happen and nothing is guaranteed.
Falcons take down fourth-ranked Ascension Episcopal 4-1.
Pittman pitches complete game win.
HAMMOND, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons rode a complete game pitching performance by Layton Pittman and a three RBI day by Jordan Trapani at the plate to earn a 4-1 win over fourth-ranked Ascension Episcopal Saturday. The win was a final tune-up before beginning District play this week.
“Layton (Pittman) is one of those pitchers that wants the ball,” said STA head coach Cole Catalano. “He does not want to come out of the game and you love a guy that want to compete. Ascension Episcopal is a very good team, and we could easily see them again in the playoffs.”
Dane Watts smacked a one-out single in the bottom of the first and scored on a ground out by Trapani to give the Falcons the early lead. The Falcons padded their advantage in the third as Parker Perriloux hit a leadoff single followed by a bunt single by Casey Artigues. Jaden Collura walked and Trapani followed plating two on a double to right field. Pittman was next helping himself with a single to complete a three-run rally.
The Falcons collected seven hits total as seven different Falcons had a hit. Pittman allowed six hits and one run over seven innings, striking out five to earn the victory. Cole Simon took the loss for Ascension Episcopal. The hurler went five and a third innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out four.
Three top teams to visit this week.
Saint Thomas faces a big test a week before District play begins.
HAMMOND, LA—With District play starting next week, the Falcons will face another gauntlet this week with Franklinton, Vanderbilt Catholic, and Ascension Episcopal all coming to Hammond. Franklinton and Vanderbilt Catholic are 4A/Division II teams with double-digit wins and Ascension Episcopal comes in at 14-2, a top teams in Division III.
The Falcons are batting .338 as team with a .475 slugging percentage and have collected 143 hits so far including 49 extra base hits. They have executed the run game to the tune of 57 stolen bases and defensively have a .947 fielding percentage.
A week away from league play the Falcons, Doyle and Springfield have separated themselves from the rest of the District pack and are expected to have the best chance to compete for a title. The Falcons will open District play on March 29 on the road against French Settlement.
And the hits keep on coming ...
Saint Thomas romps over Dunham 14-1.
BATON ROUGE, LA—And the hits keep on coming... the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons racked up another 15 hits to pound out a 14-1 romp over home-standing Dunham in the second day of play in the annual Lutcher Tournament. The victory improved the Falcons season mark to 15-1.
The Falcons led 4-1 after four innings and broke the game open in the fifth plating ten runs. The Saint Thomas offensive explosion was led by Logan Pierre, Hunter Michel, Dane Watts, Jordan Trapani, and Layton Pittman, all sending runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.
Pierre earned the win for Saint Thomas. He surrendered one run on six hits over five innings, striking out two and walking zero. Seth Andrus was on the hill for Dunham. The lefty went four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking zero. Jackson Boswell threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.
Justin Domiano and Jordan Trapani each had three hits and Trapani collected three RBIs for his efforts and Domiano one. Dane Watts, Hunter Michel and Pierre all had two hits as the Falcons tallied 15 total hits.
Falcons collect 14th win!
Saint Thomas defeats Berwick 8-2 as Collura goes yard.
BRUSLY, LA—Juniors Dane Watts and Gavin Foster combined to defeat Berwick on the mound and the Falcons offense notched eight hits to plate eight runs securing an 8-2 win in the first day of action in the annual Lutcher Baseball Tournament. Watts lasted four and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and two runs while striking out five. Foster went two and a third fanning two giving up zero runs.
Five runs in the third inning led the Falcons past Berwick. Dane Watts, Jaden Collura, and Logan Pierre, all drove in runs in the inning. Collura hit a dinger in the third scoring two.
Watts and Jordan Trapani all had multiple hits for Saint Thomas with each having two.
Bovie shuts out Salmen.
Falcons ten-run rule Salmen to improve to 13-1.
HAMMOND, LA—Youth was served on the bump Tuesday as freshman Braeden Bovie pitched a shutout of visiting Salmen giving up no runs over five innings and striking out three.
Jaden Collura and Layton Pittman drove in runs to spark a big fourth inning as the Falcons racked up four runs extending their lead to 8-0. Saint Thomas would finish with ten hits total with Casey Artigues and Logan Pierre each collecting two hits while Drew Milton added one hit and a pair of RBIs.
The Falcons defense was solid as they did not commit a single error with Hunter Michel having the most chances in the field with seven. The Falcons were also effective on the base pads stealing four.
Foster is brilliant fanning ten to down Riverside.
Falcons defeat the Riverside Rebels 9-1!
HAMMOND, LA—Junior Gavin Foster put on an impressive performance fanning ten Riverside batters to pace a 9-1 victory in the third day of play in the annual Saint Thomas Aquinas Baseball Tournament. The victory improved the Falcons record to 12-1.
The Falcons started fast plating five runs in the first inning as Jordan Trapani, Justin Domiano, and Hunter Michel each had RBIs in the big inning. Michel and Dominao would each finish with two hits.
Foster lasted six innings, allowing three hits and zero runs while striking out ten and walking zero. Hayden Asprion threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.
Falcons hold off Hornet rally.
Saint Thomas outlast Albany to claim an 8-6 win.
HAMMOND, LA—The Saint Thomas Falcons outlasted the visiting Albany Hornets to earn an 8-6 victory in the second day of the STA Tournament. The Falcons enjoyed a 5-1 lead heading in the top of the sixth when the Hornets responded with four runs including a 2-run dinger by Brody Miller to knot the score at five. The Falcons had an answer as a single by Casey Artigues scored a run and got a three-run burst going for Saint Thomas.
Logan Pierre was credited with the win on the mound. The righthander lasted six innings, allowing seven hits and five runs while striking out four and walking one. Braeden Bovie and Austin Davis entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.
Pierre and Artigues each collected two hits to lead Saint Thomas as the Falcons collected 11 total hits.
Falcons stun West Feliciana in walk off fashion with big fifth inning.
Saint Thomas puts on a hit parade to dismiss the Saints in five innings 11-1.
HAMMOND, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons made it two quality wins in a row Thursday night. After upsetting 5A Walker 4-3 Tuesday, the Falcons opened their annual tournament stunning West Feliciana 11-1 in five innings. The Falcons put on a hit parade collecting 11 hits as six different Falcons notched hits. Junior Logan Pierre and senior Jaden Collura both went three-for-three with Pierre collecting three RBIs and Collura two. Junior Dane Watts lasted four and a third innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out seven to get the win, and junior Gavin Foster threw two-thirds of an inning in relief out of the bullpen.
The Falcons jumped out to a 4-1 lead after three innings and exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning to dismiss the Saint with the ten-run rule. Pierre, Collura, Jordan Trapani, and Layton Pittman all moved runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.
Falcons host annual tournament March 11-13.
Eight teams and the Falcons will compete over the three-day event.
HAMMOND, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons will host their annual baseball tournament this week beginning Thursday. The tournament will feature eight teams and host Saint Thomas Aquinas to include Albany, East Saint John, Loranger, Mandeville, Northlake Christian, Pope John Paul II, Riverside, and West Feliciana.
The Falcons enter tournament play with a record of 9-1 and are coming off a win over 5A Walker and will open play Thursday against the West Feliciana Saints (6-2). The Saints have quality wins over Doyle and Lutcher and plated 21 runs in their most recent outing against Slaughter Community Charter. Friday the Falcons will play Albany (1-8) and on Saturday Riverside (2-7).
GAME SCHEDULE at STA Games at two other locations ...
Thursday at STA
4 p.m. PJP (4-2) vs. Loranger (1-8)
6:30 p.m. FALCONS (9-1) vs. West Feliciana (6-2)
Friday at STA
4:00 p.m. FALCONS vs. Albany (1-8)
6:30 p.m. Northlake Christian (2-7) vs. Mandeville (5-6)
Saturday at STA
10:00 a.m. FALCONS vs. Riverside (2-7)
12:30 p.m. Riverside vs. West Feliciana
3:00 p.m. Northlake Christian vs. Albany
5:30 p.m. Albany vs. Mandeville
Falcons score huge road win over 5A Walker.
Late rally secures 4-3 win for the Falcons.
WALKER, LA—The Falcons used a late rally and a solid complete game pitching performance by junior Layton Pittman to score a 4-3 upset of 5A Walker. The Wildcats had entered the game with a 9-1 record. ittman lasted seven innings, allowing three hits and three runs while striking out six.
The game was tied at three with the Falcons batting in the top of the seventh when Jordan Trapani doubled on a 2-1 count, scoring one run. Casey Artigues and Pittman all managed multiple hits for Saint Thomas. Senior Jaden Collura delivered a key hit for a triple and two RBIs.
The win improved the Falcons season mark to 9-1. The Falcons will host their annual tournament this Thursday through Saturday.
Falcons make it two in a row to improve to 8-1 on the season.
Gavin on the bump earns 6-1 win over Pearl River.
PEARL RIVER, LA—The Falcons continued their new winning streak Saturday improving to two in a row to extend their season mark to 8-1 with a 6-1 win over home-standing Pearl River. Junior Gavin Foster worked the bump for Saint Thomas getting the win lasting six innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out seven and walking none. Junior Hayden Aspiron worked one inning out of the bullpen to finish off the contest.
The Falcons scored in the top of the first when Layton Pittman grounded out scoring a run, but the Rebels answered in the bottom half when Roy Smith grounded out, scoring one run. Saint Thomas broke it open in the third plating three as senior Jayden Collura smacked a double to drive in two runs.
Junior Dane Watts led the Falcons at the plate with a pair of hits and the Saint Thomas defense kept it clean in the field with zero errors.
Falcons get back to winnings ways with 3-2 win over Rayne.
Falcons improve to 7-1!
COVINGTON, LA—Freshman Justin Domiano reached on an error in the top of the eight and Dane Watts grounded into a double play but scored Dominao as the Falcons took a 3-2 lead to secure a win over Rayne. Junior Logan Pierre earned the win for Saint Thomas surrendering two runs on six hits over eight innings, striking out two and walking one.
The Falcons tallied eight hits with Jaden Collura and Dane Watts each racked up multiple hits.
Welcome to THE PITT!
Junior Layton Pittman roughs up the Hammond Tors fanning 12 and allowing just two hits.
HAMMOND, LA—The visiting Hammond Magnet Tors entered the “Pitt” Wednesday night and were roughed up by Layton Pittman as the junior right-hander fanned a dozen Hammond batters and limited the visitors to just two hits in a 9-0 shutout.
Pittman worked all seven innings in earning the win. “Layton was definitely dialed in tonight,” said Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Cole Catalano. “It is the best I am see him pitch so far. The guys did a good job running the bases and we got some key hits.”
The Falcons got their offense started in the first inning when when Logan Pierre drew a walk, scoring one run. They extended their margin in the second inning plating four runs and seniors Casey Artigues and Jaden Collura each drove in runs.
The Falcons put the contest away in the bottom of the sixth scoring three more runs as junior Dane Watts scored on a bases loaded walk, Collura scored on a Pierre sac fly, and junior Drew Milton scored on a passed ball.
Artigues went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Falcons in hits. The Falcons did not commit a single error in the field as Jordan Trapani had the most chances in the field with 12.
Josh Bluain and Josh Fleming each had a hit for Hammond. Konnor Graham took the loss for Hammond. Graham surrendered six runs on four hits over three innings, striking out six.
Saint Thomas collects two more wins to improve to 5-0!
SLIDELL, LA—The Falcons collected two more wins over the weekend blasting Salmen 18-1 and dismissing Loranger 8-1 to improve to 5-0! Saint Thomas has racked up 57 runs in five outings
while surrending only six runs. As a team, the Falcons are hitting a .360 average and tearing up the base pads with 26 stolen bases.
Saint Thomas continues their march through District 6-5A.
SLIDELL, LA—Saint Thomas Aquinas continued their march through District 5-6A with their third win in a row over teams in this league. The Falcons posted another double-digit score handing the Slidell Tigers an 11-1 setback in tournament action Friday. The Falcons have out-scored all their first three 5A opponents 31-4.
Junior Dane Watts was on the mound for the Falcons. The lefthander went four innings, allowing one run on one hit and striking out two. Fellow junior Austin Davis threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen fanning five Slidell batters.
Junior Jordan Tranpani broke the game open for Saint Thomas with a dinger in the top of the fifth scoring two runs to make the score 3-1. The Falcons poured it on in the sixth and seventh innings collecting eight more runs.
Saint Thomas tallied ten total hits with juniors Logan Pierre, Gavin Foster and Trapani each with two hits. Trapani accounted for five RBIs while Pierre added two more.
The Falcons also tore up the base pads stealing four bases.
Saint Thomas bring their big sticks to Slidell.
SLIDELL, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons brought their big sticks to Slidell Thursday and pounded out an 11-2 win over Northshore. The Falcons collected 10 hits with junior Dane Watts leading the way with two singles and a dinger to total three RBIs. Fellow junior Logan Pierre added a pair of hits and one RBI. Casey Artigues, Hunter Michel, Jordan Trapani, Justin Dominao, and Gavin Foster all had hits for the winners.
Layton Pittman led the Falcons to victory on the pitcher’s mound. The righthander went four innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out six. Foster and Blaine Colona entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.
Justin Domiano led Saint Thomas with two stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with seven stolen bases.
The Falcons took the lead for good with three runs in the third inning. In the third Jordan Trapani doubled on a 1-1 count, scoring two runs and Logan Pierre singled on a 2-0 count, scoring one run.
Saint Thomas uses balance attack to score a 9-1 win over Covington.
HAMMOND, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons made the most of opening day getting a solid pitching performance by junior Dane Watts, six hits and some impressive base-running to collect a 9-1 win over the visiting Covington Lions.
The Falcons fired up the offense in the first inning, when Jordan Trapani singled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run. Saint Thomas padded their margin in the third posting three runs as big bats were led by Jaden Collura, Trapani, and Gavin Foster, all driving in runs in the inning.
Watts got the win for Saint Thomas Aquinas. Watts went four and a third innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out five. Logan Pierre and Braeden Bovie entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.
Watts led the Falcons with two hits in two at bats.
Youth is served in Falcons first scrimmage.
Saint Thomas scores 13-1 win over Episcopal in seven inning scrimmage.
HAMMOND, LA—A pair of underclassmen took the mound for the Falcons to open the scrimmage against visiting Episcopal and the results were impressive. Sophomore Austin Davis and freshman Braeden Bovie each worked
a pair of immings to start the scrimmage limiting Episcopal to just one run. The Falcons wwere impressive at the plate racking up a dozen hits scorining 13 runs.
BACK to the FUTURE ... the return of baseball.
“When I am playing baseball, there is nothing else going on … it’s just me, the bat, the ball, and the glove …”
HAMMOND, LA—For the senior athletes who played baseball in 2020 there is no do over. A pandemic shut their season down before it hardly had begun. While this loss for them likely still lingers, for those coming back in 2021 there is a future. Baseball is back. High school sports returned to Louisiana this past fall and the boys of spring expect to get back on the diamond once again.
The Saint Thomas Falcons who managed to play 13 games before the season was halted even scheduling a double-header on the last day of play finished 8-5 and said goodbye to four senior starters who helped lead the team to a semi-final playoff in 2019.
“With guys seeing that something can be taken away, they have learned to appreciate just the chance to go to practice,” explained Saint Thomas Aquinas head coach Cole Catalano. “They don’t treat it as a chore anymore but see it as an opportunity and while no one sees much good about a pandemic, learning to not take the things we love for granted is a good thing.”
Indeed kids will always seem to find a way when it comes to playing a game they love. “When we were shutdown back in the spring and summer and we did not know what we might be able to do as a team or when, I had no worries about this group doing things on their own to stay ready,” continued Catalano. “They like to work. Whether just throwing a ball around in the backyard or finding a batting cage that might be available, the guys found ways to work on their game and stay in shape. As coaches, we are most proud of their mental toughness working on their game when there was no promise they would play again anytime soon.”
“The guys stayed in touch before we were able to practice again as a group,” said STA senior Hunter Michel. “Usually a couple of us would get together and toss a ball and practice grounders, but if not that I would toss a ball with my dad, and I went running around my street to stay in shape.”
“The pandemic situation really changed our perspective because you could not practice like normal or go class like normal so now we really appreciate that we get to practice and do a lot of things we would take for granted in the past. We are just all excited about getting back out there and start working again,” said Falcon senior Casey Artigues.
Since 2014, the Falcon baseball program has compiled a record of 163-49 (a winning percentage of .768), collected a state championship, a state runner-up trophy, and a state semi-final appearance and two quarterfinal playoff appearances. Yet, the key players from those days are finally all gone and with two large freshmen classes making the team over the past two years and only three seniors on this year’s squad there is a lot more new than old.
“There is no one left from some of the great teams in the recent past, and I challenge our guys all the time that they will have to establish their own identity,” said Catalano. “Those teams that accomplished so much had an identity and they bought in and that made them great. We have a lot new guys now and it is their turn and responsibility to step up and find that identity. We always like to play fast and that has been our motto. We challenge them every day to play the game the right way
Catalano and his coaching staff including Gabe Woods and Brandon Efferson all played at Southeastern and he sees that as a plus in teaching the game. “All my coaches share the same philosophy and approach so it helps us to be able to instill this into our players and challenge them to develop that identity so they can leave their own mark on the program.”
Among all the NEW one is older in senior Jaden Collura who enrolled in Saint Thomas Aquinas this past fall will be playing baseball next season at Nicholls State University. Playing at another high school last season he had his own challenges getting through loss of the season and working to earn a baseball scholarship
“Obviously this pandemic has been very tragic on a lot of levels, but when it hit during my junior year of baseball everything just stopped and it ruined the whole season,” said Collura. “I just thought to myself that I guess this happened for a reason and it just made me push harder to work on myself and my game, and I ended up coming to Saint Thomas. There are guys here that want to do the work to play Division I baseball and that is what I wanted to do.”
“It is not easy working hard at something you do every day,” continued Collura. “The junior season is when you are starting to get down to the end of high school and you want to be in the right place and start letting colleges know about you and get your name out there and get that scholarship so you can just enjoy your senior year.”
Collura comes to the Falcons as an established catcher, a position often associated as “doing the dirty work and a real grind” but the new Falcon senior has embraced the position and joins a team with another good catcher and hitter in junior Jordan Trapani. The two are expected to share duties and be better able to stay fresh without one guy doing all the work. “It is not often you have two good catchers that can hit on the same team so we as a coaching staff have quality depth,” added Catalano.
“Growing up I was always a bigger kid and I played first and I hit from the left side, said Collura. “When I was playing travel ball at a certain level, no one really wanted to be the catcher so I wanted to show that I could do it. It is one of the hardest positions to play well. Most players do not want to be on their knees and grind as much as a catcher has too.”
Falcon fans will see some new faces take the lead on the mound this season with the graduation of a pair of seniors in John Blanchard who pitched the 2018 state championship game and Parker Stewart who pitched the 2019 state semi-final.
“We have some guys like Layton Pittman and Hayden Aspiron that have pitched for us and they watched the guys before them like Blanchard and Stewart and now that those guys are gone it is their time to step up,” said Catalano. “I believe Layton is ready and Hayden was getting a lot of work last season. We have Dane Watts from the left side that can help us. We have a lot of guys on the rise that we believe can help us on the mound. You are always hopeful for that diamond in the rough to emerge once you start playing games. All our guys will have a role whether it is pitching five innings, or one, or coming in just to get one out.”
“Too often guys think they have to throw ninety miles an hour to be effective but that should not really be the mindset,” continued Catalano. “We do not have anyone this year with that overpowering arm so we are relying on guys just having the ability to pitch, to locate pitches for strikes and not issue a lot walks. It is always said the best pitch in baseball is strike one getting ahead of the batter right away. We work on getting guys to have the same confidence throwing a change-up that they would have throwing a fast ball. I am not concerned as much about all our pitchers being able to pitch. It is more developing the right mindset.”
Saint Thomas graduated four seniors last season and all were solid at the plate, but despite the loss, offense is something the Falcon coaches and players are excited about and confident about entering this new campaign
“We are going to be able to score runs this year,” said Catalano. “That is something I am very confident in doing. Right off the bat in the lineup we have three lefties coming to the plate that can really hit the ball. You have Casey (Artigues) and Dane Watts that I thought was one of our more consistent hitters last season, then you are adding (Jordan) Trapani, Collura, Pittman and on down the line. So one through nine we have some guys that can really swing it. You add to that all the depth we have among our younger players that are sitting there at ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen waiting for their opportunity, and you can get excited about this group at the plate.”
The Falcon seniors were quick to agree with their coach. “I believe we will be very good offensively, and we have a lot of young guys that are going to contribute,” said Artigues. “Personally, I have been working to improve my speed. Our coaches like to play fast and steal bags.”
“I see our offense as a real strength this year,” said Michel, and his fellow senior Collura echoed that saying, “We are a very good hitting offense and that is one of our strengths going into this season. We are also a very good base-running team. Base-running is going to be a real key to getting that extra run and moving people over.”
In baseball the middle of the field is key to playing good defense and for Coach Catalano he sees this area of his team as another strength. “From catcher to centerfield we are looking pretty. We are blessed to have two catchers, a senior at short and a centerfielder starting his third year as a junior. The best thing is we have depth behind them and other sophomores and juniors that have emerged as starters or will receive a lot of playing time. I am probably leaving someone out but guys like Milton, (Brayden) Thompson, (Bryce) Simoneaux, (Blaine) Colona, (Logan) Pierre and others that are going to help us.”
“With nearly forty players on the team this year, I told the coaches the other day that this year it is not so much that we will be coaching a team this year as managing a team,” added Catalano. “Putting guys in the right situations and at the right times will be key to our success.”
With such a large group of younger players this season the three Falcon seniors believe they have a big role to play and need to be solid leaders if this team is to reach its goals and with the virus still around, it goes beyond just what happens on the field and in games
New arriving senior Collura expressed it well. “All three of us seniors are very close, and we have built a good relationship that can help the team as a whole. Seniors are not necessarily leaders. It is something where you have to buy in and want to be an example and be vocal. Without a lot of seniors it is important that younger guys are leaders too. Younger guys leading is a big part of this program this year. It is important for everyone to do the right things on and off the field with the pandemic still here to ensure that we as seniors and all the guys can have a complete baseball season.”
Small schools have to share athletes in order to have a chance to be successful and two and three sport athletes are often encouraged. The core of the Falcons 2016 LHSAA 2A State Championship baseball team played football. This year’s Falcon team has multiple two and even three sport athletes. Among the upperclassmen, junior Drew Milton plays football and basketball and was recently named the District MVP at quarterback. Juniors Hayden Asprion and Dane Watts both played football this school year with both earning all-district honors. Seniors Casey Artigues and Jaden Collura played football and basketball respectively and both are headed to play college baseball.
“Playing football definitely makes you stronger and tougher, and it also helps you learn a lot of new things playing two sports and it makes you more coachable,” said Artigues. “Last year I did not play football and just worked on baseball and that was fun, but I missed being out there with the guys playing football. It has really helped me a lot this year to stay in shape and get ready for baseball season.”
“The mental mindset in basketball and all the running you do is helpful for me in playing baseball,” explained Collura. “You get tired with all the running and you learn to push through the pain of the moment and keep going. The brotherhood bond that I have had playing basketball this year is something I can bring over to baseball.”
District 10-2A was expanded last season to six teams to include new comers Pope John Paul II and Northlake Christian. With the season cut short the new district did not get to be played out, but coach Catalano is excited about now having six teams competing and believes that will make the title race more exciting and challenging.
“Before when we just had four teams in the district you played each other three times and that can get a bit old, but now with six teams in our league you get that true district feeling about it where you are competing every day for something with a variety of programs and talent,” explained Catalano. “It is going to be fun to see how it all plays out and great for the players and fans.”
“The Doyle coach is a really good friend of mine and I told him the other day on the phone that he has a really good ball club,” continued Catalano. “They were state runner-up in 2019 and a lot folks thought that they would win it all last year had the season not been cut short. That of course is not saying we and everyone else is just going to give in. Every chance you get you have to go out and compete and we have always had a great rivalry with teams like Springfield and Doyle. A lot of the players know each other on these teams and that brings out the juice when they play each other. The reality is you really cannot count out anyone in this district from game to game. Northlake has great tradition and French Settlement still has a solid core from when they reached the quarterfinals in 2019 and Pope John Paul is building a good program. Baseball is a streaking game and unpredictable so anyone can beat you.”
High school football, volleyball, cross country, and soccer were all played in 2020, but for baseball players and their fans it was the beginning of the end with the pandemic, but now ….
Baseball is BACK with a FUTURE.
STA’s Baseball Future takes the field.
13 incoming freshmen earn spots on the 2021 squad.
HAMMOND, LA—The 2020 high school baseball was season was cut short due to the pandemic but the future still looks bright for Falcon baseball as 13 incoming freshmen earned a spot on the 2021 team when head coach Cole Catalano held tryouts this past Monday. The freshman group included, Cace Reed, Hunter Gambel, Bradyen Gillies, Caden Dapprich, Collin Prescia, Beau Ruiz, Drew Sweeney, Trystian Bradley, Braeden Bovie, Cayden Cuti, Byron Gideon, Justin Luther, and Brock Boudreaux.
The incoming freshman were put through a series of fielding drills, hitting, and timed base-running. Youth will indeed continue to be served in 2021 as Saint Thomas graduated only four seniors and will have only two on the roster this coming season.
An additional tryout will be held later in the fall for those who may have been unable to attend the summer tryout.
Welcome class of 2024!
Blast from the Past makes good!
Hunter Stanley, former STA Falcon, named Third-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball!
HATTIESBURG, Miss—Southern Miss senior relief pitcher Hunter Stanley (Hammond, La.) earned third-team All-America honors Tuesday by the publication Collegiate Baseball, powered by Diamond. Stanley, who played in his second season with the Golden Eagles, appeared in eight games. The right-hander posted a 2-0 record with three saves and a 1.42 earned run average, while fanning 22 and walking just one over 12 2/3 innings in the team's abbreviated season due to COVID-19.
Southern Miss finished at 12-4. A preseason watch list member for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, Stanley went two or more innings in four outings and did not allow a run over his final three outings, spanning four innings. Stanley struck out a season-high six against New Orleans (2/18) over 2 2/3 innings with a walk to earn his first win of the year. In five outings during the year, Stanley whiffed at least three batters and ended the year with a two-inning outing against Troy (3/10), fanning three and walking one to earn a save.
He is the first Golden Eagle relief pitcher to garner an accolade from Collegiate Baseball since Nick Sandlin garnered third-team honors in 2017. Stanley also is the fifth player to achieve All-America status from the publication since 2017 as well.
Stanley led the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons to the State 2A Title in 2016. He plans to return Southern Miss in 2021 to play his senior season.
Falcons edge Hornets 3-2!
Blanchard delivers a complete game fanning six.
HAMMOND, LA—Despite collecting ten hits, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons could not pull away from the visiting Albany Hornets as the Falcons managed a 3-2 win on a complete game pitching performance by senior John Blanchard who allowed seven hits and two runs while striking out six.
The Falcons opened up scoring in the second inning. Hunter Michel drove in one when he doubled, and added runs in the third and fourth innings. Jordan Trapani and Tyler Domiano both collected multiple hits.
Colona and Trapani deliver in 11-5 win over Northlake!
Colona gets the win on the mound and Trapani smacks a dinger.
HAMMOND, LA—Youth was served Thursday night on opening day of the Falcon Baseball Tournament as freshman Blaine Colona went four and two-thirds innings in relief to earn the win on the mound and sophomore Jordan Trapani smacked a dinger to spark a big Saint Thomas rally at the plate en route to an 11-5 victory..
The Falcons were nursing a 4-3 lead when Trapani went yard in the fifth sparking a three-run burst by Saint Thomas to take a 7-4 lead. The Falcons kept the pressure on in the sixth adding four more runs. The seniors shined at the plate as Parker Stewart and John Blanchard each had three hits, while Matt Linn added two hits and two RBIs.
Stewart and Watts pace the running game as Stewart stole home from third for a run and Watts collected four stolen bases. The Falcons collected ten total hits and Nick Tarantino led Northlake Christian with three hits in three at bats, while Adam Mosher took the loss for Northlake Christian.
Falcons get a split in final day of play in Monroe Tourney.
Ouachita Christian defeats Falcons 8-4 and Saint Thomas rolls past Baptist Prep 11-1.
MONROE, LA—The Falcons watched the game slip away early and could not recover in an 8-4 loss to Ouachita Christian on Saturday. Ouachita Christian scored three runs in the first and one in the
next two innings to build a 5-0 lead. Jordan Trapani and Hunter Michel each managed one hit to lead Saint Thomas.
In their final game of the weekend, Saint Thomas found their stride at the plate racking up 13 hits in an 11-1 rout of Baptist Prep. Hayden Asprion earned the victory on the hill for St. Thomas Aquinas Falcons Varsity. He allowed two hits and zero runs over two innings, striking out two. Hunter Michel, Jordan Trapani, and Tyler Domiano each collected three hits to pace the Falcons offense.
Stewart on the bump gets the win.
Falcons defeat Opelousas Catholic 3-0.
MONROE, LA—Senior Parker Stewart earned the victory on the mound for Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons. He surrendered zero runs on one hit over six innings, striking out six, while sophomore Layton Pittman threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen inducing a groundout to finish off the contest.
Sophomore Dane Watts went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Falcons at the plate collecting one RBI. Sophomore Jordan Trapani and juniors Casey Artigues and Hunter Michel all added one hit.
Falcons start fast at 4-0!
Falcons score 6-4 win over 5A Northshore.
SLIDELL, LA—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Baseball Falcons has come out of the dugout swinging as they have plated 44 runs in their first four games to start the season at 4-0. The Falcons collected three wins in the Slidell Tournament including a 6-4 win over 5A Northshore. They also scored wins over St. Martin's Episcopal and Patrick Taylor Academy.
The Falcons will host 5A powerhouse Zachary Monday at 6:30 p.m. at SLU.
Falcons 20, Saint Martins 2
John Blanchard drove in five on three hits to lead Saint Thomas Aquinas past Saint Martin's Episcopal 20-2 on Friday. Blanchard drove in runs on a single in the third, a triple in the fourth, and a double in the fifth.
Blaine Colona earned the win for the Falcons. He lasted five innings, allowing two hits and two runs while striking out two.
Falcons 9, Patrick Taylor Academy 0
Senior Tyler Domiano did not allow a single run as the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons defeated Patrick Taylor Science & Tech Academy 9-0 on Saturday. Domiano allowed just three hits.
The Falcons collected 11 hits. Matt Linn, John Blanchard, Alston, and Artigues each managed multiple hits for Saint Thomas Aquinas. Linn went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Falcons in hits.
Falcons 6, Northshore 4
Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons stole the lead late in the game in a 6-4 victory over Northshore on Friday. The game was tied at four with the Falcons Varsity batting in the top of the seventh when Tyler Domiano singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run. Parker Stewart started the game for Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons Varsity. He allowed seven hits and three runs over five innings, striking out four. Layton Pittman got the victory on the hill in relief. He went one and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out one.
Sophomores step up on opening day...
Falcons score 9-2 win over Riverside.
HAMMOND, LA—It was sophomore day as several second–year players stepped up for the Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons to pace an opening day 9-2 win over the visiting Riverside Rebels. Layton Pittman delivered a solid performance on the mound fanning six and issuing no walks. Jordan Trapani went 2-for-3 from the plate with three RBIs to lead the offense, while Dane Watts and Logan Pierre made big catches in the outfield.
The Falcons started fast plating seven runs in the first two innings and then cruised to a 9-2 win. Matt Linn paced the senior effort with two hits, two RBIs, and a run scored. Senior Tyler Domiano, who hit a jack in the Jamboree, was not given a chance at the plate as he was hit by a pitch three times.
The Falcons managed only five hits but benefited from eight base on ball and ten stolen bases.
2016 State Champions
2021 District 10-2A
FALCONS 4-1, 20-4
PJP II 3-1, 13-6
Doyle 3-2, 17-8
Springfield 2-3, 16-7
Northlake 2-2, 6-14
Fr. Settlement 0-4, 5-11
2016 Two-Game rally over Notre Dame
2020 District 10-2A
Doyle 8-0, 0-0
Fr. Settlement 5-0, 0-0
FALCONS 8-5, 0-0
Springfield 6-5, 0-0
Northlake 4-5, 0-0
PJP II 2-6, 0-0
2019 District 10-2A Standings
Doyle 29-12, 7-2
FALCONS 24-10. 6-3
Fr. Settle. 15-15, 3-6
Springfield 8-22, 2-7
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
April 11, 2019
French Settlement 0
Luke Sweeney ... Perfect Game Winner.
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