Four parish baseball players college bound

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
From left to right, Larson Fontenot, Kolby Blanchard and Trent LeBlanc are headed to BRCC, and Jacob Spell is headed to LSU-Eunice.

The baseball season might be over for most of the players in the parish, but that didn’t keep four of Ascension’s standouts from celebrating over the weekend.

On Sunday night, four parish players came together with their friends, family members and teammates at St. Amant High School for a ceremony honoring their commitment to college programs as preferred walk-ons.

Preferred walk-ons are athletes who are recruited by college programs, but are not offered scholarships for their freshmen seasons. Usually, these athletes will be assured roster spots prior to committing and receive many of the privileges scholarship athletes also enjoy.

St. Amant infielders Larson Fontenot and Kolby Blanchard and East Ascension pitcher Trent LeBlanc will all be headed to Baton Rouge Community College. St. Amant pitcher Jacob Spell is on his way to LSU-Eunice.

The Gators had a tremendous 2017 season.

After a memorable run to the state quarterfinals last year, St. Amant went 15-4 down the stretch to finish the 2017 regular season with a 19-13 record and earn a second-place tie with Dutchtown in District 5-5A.

They earned the No. 19 seed in the Class 5A playoffs and pulled off an upset of 14th-seeded Ruston in the opening round.

Their season ended with a second-round defeat to third-seeded Sam Houston—a team that has reached the state tournament in Sulphur.

Spell was a contributor to a solid Gator pitching staff that head coach Troy Templet said steadily improved throughout the year. On the mound, Spell was joined by LSU signee Blayne Enlow, Collin Schutz and Dwayne Guice.

Fontenot emerged this season as one of the Gators’ most consistent hitters.

As a first-year starter, Fontenot worked his way into the “cleanup” spot in St. Amant’s lineup. He finished the season as a first-team all-district performer.

Blanchard was also a starter for the Gators in 2017. He was a second-team all-district selection.

East Ascension had an up-and-down season, but they put things together when they had to—winning six of their final seven games.

They headed into the playoffs as the No. 22 seed in the 5A playoffs. There, they fell to 11th-seeded New Iberia in a razor-thin 2-1 affair.

LeBlanc served as one of the key cogs in the Spartans’ pitching rotation, along with Noah Fontenot, Brandon Foncree, Reese Hebert and Blaise Foote.

LeBlanc was also a productive pitcher for the parish’s Gauthier & Amedee American Legion team last summer as they made a run to the state semifinals.