Running with the best
High school baseball's postseason honors continued last week as the All-Metro teams were named from 4 and 5A. From Ascension, Dutchtown and St. Amant each placed three players on the squad.
For Dutchtown, all three of its selections were on the first team. The trio was headed by pitcher Cole Stapler.
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Nicholls State signee dominated when he was on the mound as he helped lead the Griffins to a 13-1 district record and yet another District 5-5A title. Along the way, the Griffins amassed a 24-9 overall record--which included a 13-game winning streak--and a first-round home playoff game.
It was there that they were upset by parish and district rival St. Amant 8-4 in their fourth meeting of the year. It was Stapler's only loss of the season as he finished up the year with a 6-1 record and compiled a stellar ERA of 1.74. For such strong play, Stapler was also named District 5-5A MVP.
Joining him on the first team was teammate Robbie Podorsky. The Griffin infielder was a near impossible out all year with his hitting ability and tremendous speed.
As Dutchtown's lead-off hitter, he batted an impressive .414 and once on base, he continuously kept defenses on edge with his 23 stolen bases.
As great as he was from the plate, his teammate Austin Bain was even better.
Bain was named first-team All-Metro as a utility player. Not only was he impressive from the infield and the pitching mound, but he also did great things with his bat throughout the season--hitting .420 with 12 doubles and 36 RBIs.
Along with the Griffins, three St. Amant Gators found their way onto the All-Metro team.
The Gators had a tremendous season. After getting into a funk toward the end of the year and going just 3-3 during a six-game stretch, they quickly turned things around and finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak.
They rode that momentum into the playoffs as they upset No. 15 Dutchtown 8-4 in the opening round and in regionals, they rolled past No. 2 Destrehan 6-2 to punch their ticket to the State Baseball Tournament.
It was their first trip to Tulane's Turchin Stadium since 2007. Unfortunately for St. Amant, they weren't able to make it past the quarterfinals as they were beat by eventual state runner-up Zachary 7-2.
One of the main reasons the Gators were able to finish the regular season a solid 25-9 and make a run to the state quarterfinals was their offense.
Their lineup was chocked-full of great hitters--the best being outfielder Jacob Morales.
Morales seemed to get a hit every time he was at the plate. He batted a superb .436 for the year with 14 doubles and 36 RBIs.
Joining Morales on the All-Metro's first team was St. Amant utility player Cole Benoit. Benoit was always at his best with Gator runners in scoring position.
Along with hitting .380, belting out 13 doubles and two home runs, Benoit led the team with 38 RBIs.
Finally, to round out the parish's selections to the 4 and 5A All-Metro teams, there was St. Amant's Brennan Grant. Grant was a second-team selection for the Gators from his first base position.