Five area baseball players make All-State

Kyle Riviere
Ascension Catholic's senior infielder Rodney Blanchard made first-team All-State after hitting .434. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Last week, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association released its Class 1A All-State baseball team, and five players from Ascension Parish made the cut.

Four of those players came from Ascension Catholic High School.

The Bulldogs had another sensational season that saw them reach the state tournament in Sulphur for a third straight season. That's only the second time that feat had ever been accomplished in the program's history.

Ascension Catholic played a treacherous schedule that was chocked full of bigger teams. In fact, in their 30 regular-season games, they played 21 upper-classification schools. The Bulldogs went a terrific 16-5 in those games.

They went 24-6, were runners-up in District 6-1A and entered the Division-IV playoffs as the No. 2 seed.

In the opening round, they swept Lafayette Christian. That pushed them through to the state quarterfinals for the sixth straight season.

Once there, they pulled off another sweep--this time it came against seventh-seeded Cedar Creek. That punched their ticket to the semifinals for a third straight year.

However, the Bulldogs fell short in winning back-to-back state titles. They were upset by Opelousas Catholic in the semifinal round.

They finished with an overall record of 28-7.

Leading the charge on the 1A All-State squad was senior pitcher Tre' Medine. Medine went 10-2 with a 2.44 ERA this season. He was a first-team All-State selection.

Senior Rodney Blanchard was also a first-teamer from the infield. The second-baseman hit a booming .434 this season with 27 RBIs. He also collected 11 doubles.

The Bulldogs' final first-team selection came from the outfield. Senior centerfielder Mason Zeringue earned the honors after hitting .374 with four home runs and eight doubles. Zeringue is an LSU-Eunice signee.

Making honorable mention for Ascension Catholic was sophomore third-baseman Jacob Dunn.

There was also a player for Ascension Christian that made the All-State team.

The Lions had arguably their best season in program history in 2019. They went 19-8 during the regular season.

In the first round of the Division-IV playoffs, they went on the road to face third-seeded Covenant Christian. Not only did Ascension Christian upset them, but they swept them in two games.

In claiming their first-ever best-of-three playoff series victory, the Lions reached the quarterfinals for only the second time in school history. However, like parish rival Ascension Catholic, their season was ended with a loss to Opelousas Catholic.

Senior Nic Montalbano made first-team All-State. He had an absolutely phenomenal season for the Lions.

From the plate, he hit a ridiculous .604. That was the best batting average in the state--regardless of class. He also collected 46 RBIs and three home runs. His on-base percentage was .632.

From the mound, he led the team in both ERA (2.64) and strikeouts (58). Montalbano also won four games in 45 innings pitched.

Montalbano is a Nunez Community College signee. He recently signed with the school, along with his twin brother Sal. Like Nic, Sal was also a first-team All-District 6-1A selection. He also pitched and played the infield.