Parish baseball players to watch in 2021
The high-school baseball season officially begins this week throughout the state.
After 2020 was cancelled midway through due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the baseball players in Ascension Parish are chomping at the bit to return to action in 2021.
Here are some of the parish baseball players to watch this season:
Jacob Dunn (Ascension Catholic)
As a sophomore in 2019, Jacob Dunn was the Bulldogs' starting short stop as they made a run to the state semifinals. That season, he was both first-team All-District 6-1A and first-team All-Parish. He was also All-State. In addition to being Ascension Catholic's top returning hitter in 2021, he'll also be one of the Bulldogs’ top pitchers.
Kael Babin (East Ascension)
In 2019, sophomore outfielder Kael Babin emerged as one of East Ascension's best players. Babin hit .296, stole 20 bases and scored 40 runs. As a result, he was first-team All-District 5-5A and first-team All-Parish. With his speed, Babin is a consistently tough out, and he's lethal whenever he gets on base.
Will Dotter (Dutchtown)
Dutchtown lost most of its top pitchers from last year, including all-district hurler Brock Barthelemy. One of the most experienced arms the Griffins return this season will be Will Dotter. In the shortened 2020, Dotter went 2-0 with one successful save. He struck out 20 batters in 19 innings and had a superb 1.50 ERA.
Aubrey Gathright (Ascension Christian)
Ascension Christian will return one of its best players in 2021. Last season, prior to cancellation, short stop Aubrey Gathright was hitting .371 for first-year head coach Jared Kleinpeter. In addition to being one of Ascension Christian's top hitters, the Lions are also expecting him to be one of its top arms from the mound.
Slade Zeppuhar (St. Amant)
In Brandon Bravata's first year as the St. Amant head coach, Slade Zeppuhar was off to a huge tear to begin 2020. He was both a standout from the mound and the plate. As a batter, he hit .333 and scored 18 runs. As a pitcher, Zeppuhar struck out 10 batters in 13 innings of work.
Baylor Leonard (Ascension Catholic)
Ascension Catholic will return a two-year starter from the infield in Baylor Leonard. As a sophomore in 2019, he helped the Bulldogs go 24-6 and make a trip to Sulphur. In doing so, he was a second-team all-district selection. Along with playing the infield in 2021, he'll pitch for the Bulldogs.
Jacob Falgoust (East Ascension)
East Ascension will bring back its starting catcher in 2021. Jacob Falgoust has been great for the Spartans in that capacity over the past two seasons. Back in 2019, he was first-team all-district and first-team All-Parish as East Ascension reached the second round of the playoffs.
Tanner Vadnais (Dutchtown)
Dutchtown will bring back one of its top hitters in 2021. Tanner Vadnais was off to a great start last season, hitting .378 with two doubles, two triples and 10 RBIs. His batting average was second on the team, only to graduating senior Carter Landry (.400).
Josh Denton (St. Amant)
The Gators will bring back starting second-baseman Josh Denton. Denton was red-hot before the remainder of the 2020 season was cancelled. He was hitting .467 with a whopping seven doubles. His batting average was second on the team, only behind graduating senior Lathan Bourgeois (.488).
Braxton Hudnall (Ascension Christian)
Ascension Christian will bring back its top hitter in 2021. Prior to the rest of 2020 being cancelled, second-baseman Braxton Hudnall was batting .458. Hudnall and the Lions will be seeking a second straight trip to the state quarterfinals. Ascension Christian reached the quarterfinals in 2019.