July 23rd, 2012
LCS.com Year In Review: Baseball
Tigers return to state tournament, fall short in quarterfinals
LouisvilleCatholicSports.com chronicles the 2011-2012 sports year in review. We will bring you every sport, every season, every team’s results in a capsule each weekday until we're finished. From Cross-Country to Softball and all sports in between, here’s what happened in 2011-2012 on the Louisville Catholic sports scene.
Much success was had by the local baseball teams this season with St. Xavier repeating their regional championship. DeSales put forth a solid season and advanced to the All-A tournament championship game and made the semifinals of the 6th region tournament. Trinity took top honors in the 22nd district before bowing out of post-season play against St. X.
Here is a look back at the local teams for the 2012 baseball season.
DeSales – record: 21-18. 22nd District champs; Lost 2-0 to PRP in 6th region semifinals; All-A finalists
Hunter Tipton was the top gun for coach John Hodges’ Colts, and he led the team on the mound and at the plate. The senior Tipton, who touched 90+mph on the radar gun, was a stalwart for four seasons at DeSales and led the team to an appearance in the All-A championship game in 2012. The Colts’ starting rotation of Tipton along with fellow senior left-handers Patrick Remines and Nick McNiff and right hander Jarett Luckett were the teams’ strong suit.
But this team could hit, too. The Colts averaged 6 runs a game including a 24 run output against Evangel. They scored 10 runs or more in 10 of their 39 wins. DeSales’ eight seniors were a major force for the team. In addition to the four senior pitchers, they were led in the field by senior catcher Blake Dewsnap and seniors Ryan Seigel (P, SS), Ryan Selent (CF) and Ryan Ritchie (2B).
The Colts dropped a tough loss in the All-A championship game to Lexington Christian, 4-1. But they also had two four-game winning streaks and a six-game win streak at the end of the season before bowing out to eventual 6th Region champion and traditional state power Pleasure Ridge Park 2-0 in the semifinals of the regional.
Holy Cross – record: 9-20; 21st District runners-up and 6th Region quarterfinalists
The Cougars had a rocky start to the season, losing 10 of the first 12 games they played. But they finished the season 7-10 in their last 17 games and showed marked improvement with wins over Fern Creek in the L.I.T., and over Beth Haven, Fort Knox, Valley and Waggener.
Pitching and defense were two areas where the Cougars needed a little help. The team allowed nearly 7 runs a game and averaged only 4.7 runs per game.
St. Xavier – record: 30-12; 25th District semifinalists; 7th Region champions; State quarterfinalists
First year head coach Andy Porta had the Tigers repeating as 7th Region champions and that was no small feat with teams like state ranked Male, Eastern and KCD to contend with, not to mention arch-rival Trinity.
But the story of the 2012 Tigers’ season was the outstanding pitching they received from senior Colin McFarland, junior Sam Melchior, junior Matthew Lasley and junior Ben Britt, and others. Tigers’ pitchers allowed only 2.05 runs per game and recorded 10 shutouts in the process. The pitching staff was so good, that they allowed more than three runs only 8 times in 42 games.
With an offense that averaged 5.5 runs/game, the Tigers piled up the wins and recorded winning streaks of four games, five games and nine games during the season. They were ranked among the top 5 in the state all season long and made their second consecutive trip to the Sweet 16 baseball tournament in Lexington.
A strong defense led by slick-fielding junior shortstop Nate Stemle was the backbone of the team. Seniors Alex Mercer (CF) and Andrew Willinger (1B) along with sophomore Andrew McCormick (DH/1B/OF) were the big hitters for the Tigers, with Mercer having an outstanding stretch of games at the end of the season. Though the Tigers were shut out in their regular season meeting with Trinity, St. X took care of business in the quarterfinal round of the 7th Region tournament with a resounding 7-0 win over their arch rivals. The Tigers also split regular season games with district rival Male H.S., with each team winning 1-0 on the road. Though Male handed St. X a 6-1 loss in the 25th district championship game, the Tigers avenged that loss in a stirring come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Bulldogs in the 7th Region championship.
Trinity – record: 20-19; 27th District champions; 7th Region quarterfinalists
The Rocks’ Austin Warner enjoyed one of the best three-game stretches of any pitcher in the state this season. He threw a no-hitter and struck out 19 against Seneca, then followed that with a two-hit, seven strikeout shut-out of St. X and finished his stretch with a 14 K shut-out performance at Christian Academy. Three games; 40 strikeouts; zero earned runs.
But the Rocks had some strong performances at the plate, too. Junior 2B Tyler Marshall and sophomore 3B Sean Dageford supplied some punch and speedy leadoff hitter senior Jonah Liebman helped set the table at the top of the order. Juniors Bobby Graven and Branndon Pitman were two of the bigger, more consistent bats in the lineup. The Rocks averaged 5 runs/game and allowed 4.3 every contest.