Lion baseball standout signs with Louisiana College

Kyle Riviere
Josh Diez signed with Louisiana College, along with (left to right) Athletic Director Josh Puryear, Superintendent Mark Pellegrin and assistant baseball coach Evan Pellegrin. Photo provided.

The Ascension Christian baseball program has continued to grow and taste steady success over the last few years. One of the constants during this great run has been senior standout Josh Diez.

Diez has had a tremendously-accomplished career with the Lions and has been there to see the program achieve many milestones. Now, he has reached a milestone of his own.

Recently, Diez signed with Louisiana College.

“He’s been a starter for four years, two years with me,” Ascension Christian head coach Conrad Gayle said. “He’s a leader. He had some arm trouble this year, so his pitching numbers weren’t quite what they were in the past, but he hit really well.”

The Lions’ best seasons have all come during Diez’s time there.

Under head coach Paul Burgard, he became a starter as a freshman. Initially, he was the team’s ace on the mound.

He quickly established himself as one of the top pitchers in the area as he made first-team all-district as a sophomore.

That year, Ascension Christian took a big step forward as a program when they hosted their first ever playoff game.

In the offseason, Burgard stepped away from the team he helped build up to take a coaching position at Baton Rouge Community College. In his place came Gayle, who was an assistant coach at Dutchtown and the head coach of the parish’s Gauthier & Amedee American Legion team.

In his first season under Gayle, Diez continued to shine as a junior. He was still a top pitcher for them, but he also became a productive outfielder and a solid hitter.

The Lions again took huge steps forward as they finished as runner-up in District 6-1A, and they recorded their first-ever victories against St. John and Episcopal.

Ascension Christian went on to win the program’s first playoff game and reach the state quarterfinals.

Diez was a second-team all-district selection.

This season, Diez couldn’t pitch as much as he had in the past due to an arm injury, but he transitioned well to playing the infield and he became one of their best hitters from the plate.

He was once again named second-team all-district.

“He’s the best utility guy that I’ve had, because he’s played almost every position,” Gayle said. “He’s pitched in some big games, he’s been my three and four-hole hitter, he’s played first base, second, third and he was in the outfield last year. He’s just a good player that’s versatile, and you can always count on him. We went 46-20 over the last two years, and there’s no way we pull that off if not for Josh Diez.”

Diez now has his sights set on joining the Louisiana College baseball program. Coach Gayle said that he thinks Diez has the potential to be a very successful collegiate player.

“With him being so versatile, that helps him out a lot, because he can really play anything,” Gayle said. “He’s not just a pitcher or a catcher; he can play a number of spots. That opens the door for so much. As a coach, you always want those multiple-position players. He’ll hit the weights hard, and I know Josh will give it his all. I’m very proud of him, and I know he will go on to represent Ascension Christian well.”