December 26th, 2017

No. 6 story of 2017: HC baseball, cross country, and softball win state titles

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


No. 6 story of 2017: HC baseball, cross country, and softball win state titles
file photo by Conor Revell

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network has chosen its top 10 stories of 2017 and is posting them in a series starting Dec. 19 with an honorable mention list. LCSN will have a story each day with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will run our top story of the year Dec. 31st.

It was a memorable year for the Holy Cross community as three state teams captured state championships.

SOFTBALL

The softball team won its third straight All “A” Classic Statewide title, the baseball team won its first ever All “A” Classic statewide baseball title, and the cross country team won its first ever Class A team state title.

For softball, it was business as usual as the Cougars won in dominating fashion. Holy Cross defeated Pikeville 6-0 in the final and outscored their four opponents 29-0 at Jack C. Fisher Park back in May.

“I don’t think our pitching and defense couldn’t have been any better,” Holy Cross head coach Tony Young said. “Our pitching and defense made this tournament look easy to win. It’s not an easy tournament to win. We had dominant pitching from all four of our pitchers and we didn’t give up a single run.”

The Cougars (17-9) defeated Wolfe County 4-0 in the first round, Raceland 11-0 in five innings in the quarterfinals, and Lexington Christian 8-0 in the semifinals.

“This tournament means everything to me,” Klein said. “I love bonding with my teammates. We get so close and we’re so happy being together. We have fun staying in the hotels and I just love being able to play with this team.”

Bowling dominated in the circle and was named MVP of the state tournament throwing 12 and 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and struck out 18 hitters over three games.

“I have felt every kind of emotions at this tournament,” Bowling said. “My first year we were overwhelmed and we didn’t know what we were doing. My second year we were a little bit more in-tuned with what was going on and played that thrilling and crazy championship game. Last year we had it won and then we almost lost.

“I think now we know what we have to do to be prepared. We try to come in and have fun because it’s one of the highlights of the year. And then to win a third straight year is such an amazing feeling. It has been a lot of fun.”

BASEBALL

It was a long Derby weekend filled with baseball and not horse racing as the Cougars won three games in less than 24 hours to win their first All “A” Classic Statewide Baseball Tournament championship.

“I think the main thing about this team is they believe they’re going to win,” Holy Cross skipper Pat Wiegandt said. “They’re going to go into every ballgame believing they’re going to win. That’s a big part of it. Our offense this year has been better than most, we have three good pitchers, they’re our 1A, 1B, and 1C and that keeps us in ball games. But most importantly we believe we’re going to win.”

Holy Cross (16-9) defeated Caldwell County 5-3 in 10 innings in the title game. The Cougars cruised past Monroe County 4-2 in the quarterfinals and ran through Middlesborough 8-0 in the semifinals.

“The Caldwell game was one of those games where you wanted it to end but you enjoyed the moment,” Ethan Short said. “Your stomach was sick every time they scored the run. You wanted the game to be over but you loved playing in it.

“When we got that final out, it was like finally. We had been waiting for that moment. We did it, we made our dreams come true, we fulfilled a goal, and now we can make our dreams go higher. There was a lot of happiness.”

The Cougars first round win over Monroe County made school history as the baseball team had never won a game at the state tournament let alone winning the entire thing.

Caldwell County was the home team in the title game. The Cougars scored two runs on an error in the top of the 10th inning and Ray Steilberg pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half to seal the deal.

Steilberg (third baseman and pitcher) was named MVP for his efforts at the plate and on the mound as he threw 122 pitches.

“It has been a few years since I’ve thrown that many on the same day,” Steilberg said. “I just wanted to throw strikes and stayed calm. I wanted to make sure that I gave us a chance to win.”

Hunter Adams (pitcher), Gavin Foushee (center fielder), Chase Phillips (pitcher, third baseman), and Short (first baseman) were named to the All-Tournament team.

“It’s a nice luxury to have three pitchers,” Wiegandt said. “It really is. Ray was close to dominant. He came in and threw a few innings in the final. Chase did a nice job against Monroe County. He got better as the game went on. Hunter made some good pitches when he had to. We had some nice defense behind him. He did solid.”

CROSS COUNTRY

All the tears and bitter disappointment for the Holy Cross cross country team have turned into excitement and glory after finishing as Class A state runner-up the past two seasons.

“I don’t know that this team is a lot different than some of the other good teams that I coached,” Holy Cross head coach Richard Reynolds said. “They have been runner-up the last two years so this was very much our moment.

“They knew they had a great chance, they knew their competition very well, and they came in with confidence. I had some guys that made every single practice, never missed one, and that was able to carry them through the entire race.”

Holy Cross finished with 68 points while second place Owensboro Catholic was well behind with 140 points.

Keeton Thornsberry led the way and won the individual state title for a second consecutive year with a time of 16:09.37, nearly 27 seconds ahead of St. Henry’s Ethan Snyder who finished second.

“I just had to make sure I got out of the gate,” Thornsberry said. “I had to get out and run my race. I didn’t want to do anything unusual.”

Caleb Bolus recorded a 16:40.70 time to place fifth, the junior placed 15th as a sophomore last year.

“What different about this year is that we actually had a pack,” Bolus said. “We actually had five guys that were all together this season while me and Keeton were generally ahead. Today, we had Josh (Meiman) and DK (Schneiders) separate and they fought through it all. That was good to see.”

DK Schnieders, only a freshman, crossed the finish line in 17:14 to come in 11th place.

Fellow freshmen Josh Meiman finished in 25th place. Sophomore Kaden Huiet (31st), senior Josh Thomson (33rd), and sophomore Josh Smalley (43rd) also ran for Holy Cross.

“Every one of my kids had a tough time going on stage today without Josh,” Reynolds said. “He was a great leader for us this season. And, I had another senior - Tanner McCauley - he did everything that we asked him to do this year even though he knew he wasn’t going to run again.

“But, he had to stay off his ankle because it’s a serious injury. He will probably never run again . He did what he could do even though he wasn’t able to out there. His attitude is something special, I don’t know if I could do what he did this season. Tanner has been walking around and you can see the tears of happiness in his eyes.”  

 

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