Four parish players make All-State baseball team
Being considered to be among the best in the state is no universal honor. It’s a bit of prestige restricted to only Louisiana athletes that had truly special seasons.
There were four such Ascension athletes in 2017.
Recently, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association released its All-State baseball teams, and players from the parish’s two most successful squads from this past season made the cut.
One player from St. Amant was a first-team All-State selection on the Class 5A team. Predictably, that distinction went to ace pitcher Blayne Enlow.
Enlow helped lead the Gators to another highly successful season in 2017.
After losing so many key starters from the previous season, St. Amant got off to a slow start as they stumbled to just 4-8.
They were struggling from behind the plate and from the field.
The Gators actually lost a game early in the season in which Enlow allowed just one hit. Three critical errors gave way to a loss to Brother Martin.
Though, St. Amant began to put things together midway through the season. They closed the year on a 15-4 run in their final 19 games.
It led to them finishing tied with Dutchtown for second in District 5-5A.
In the playoffs, they went on the road in the opening round and upset 14th-seeded Ruston, but in the regional series, they were swept by third-seeded Sam Houston.
Overall, Enlow went 5-3 for the season with a near flawless 1.00 ERA and 101 strikeouts.
In addition to being an LSU signee, an Olympic Gold Medalist and widely considered as one of the best Major League prospects in the country, he was named District 5-5A MVP and the Parish’s Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season.
In last Tuesday’s Major League Baseball Draft, Enlow was drafted 76th overall (first pick of the third round) by the Minnesota Twins.
Of all the parish teams, Ascension Catholic had the greatest season, and that was made evident when they had the most players named to the LSWA’s All-State squad.
On the Class 1A team, three Bulldogs earned All-State honors.
Ascension Catholic had one of their best seasons in recent memory.
The Bulldogs went 19-12 during the regular season and finished third in the district, but when the Division IV playoffs came around, they took their game to the next level.
They won their first two playoff matchups by a combined margin of 17-3 to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 2005.
There, they pushed top seed and defending Class 1A champion Central Catholic to the absolute limit. The game went 11 innings, before Central Catholic finally pulled out the victory.
Leading the charge were two LSU-Eunice signees that are now first-team All-State.
Pitcher Landon Clifton went 10-4 during the season with a superb 1.95 ERA. Clifton was also first-team all-district and first-team All-Parish.
From the plate, the Bulldogs were led by Nick Bellina.
Head coach Todd Landry said that Bellina always stepped up in big moments, and he was right.
In their quarterfinal victory over Catholic of Pointe Coupee, Bellina crushed a grand slam that put the game away. In the semifinal game, he had two RBIs.
Overall, Bellina finished the year hitting .420 with 39 RBIs.
He was also named first-team all-district, and he was the Parish MVP.
Also making the All-State squad was sophomore outfielder Mason Zeringue. Zeringue was a second-team selection.
He earned first-team honors on both the all-district and All-Parish teams.