June 29th, 2017

All-Catholic Baseball team

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Paul Najjar

Senior Writer


All-Catholic Baseball team
Brandon Pfaadt throws a pitch / photo by Carol Heil

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network is pleased to announce this year’s All-Catholic baseball team. We formed the teams based on input we received from the coaches and staff that covered the LCSN teams this season.

You want excellence in sports? Look no further than the LCSN baseball teams and the massive successes they accrued in 2017.

Seventh Region champion Trinity was ranked No. 1 for a good portion of the season while St. X was ranked among the top five teams in the state all year. Sixth Region rivals DeSales and Holy Cross won 22 games each with the Colts dropping the regional title game to eventual state champion PRP in a 1-0 classic.

The state champion Panthers recorded a 40-5 record with three of those losses coming at the hands of LCSN teams Trinity (10-0), St. X (6-1) and Holy Cross (7-6). DeSales dropped two one-run decisions to PRP, one in the regular season and the season-ending defeat in the Sixth Region championship game. Not to mention the Cougars winning the state All “A” Classic tournament held in Lexington in early May.

In one of the most successful baseball seasons in recent years, the four LCSN teams combined for a 104-47-3 record (68.9 win percentage). Among those four very good teams were individual players well worthy of All-District, All-Region and All-State honors.

Tops among those players include a quartet of Trinity student-athletes. Pitcher/OF Brody Heil, a first-team All-State selection and a Louisville signee, P/DH Brandon Pfaadt (Bellarmine), OF Matt Higgins (Bellarmine) and junior catcher Ben Metzinger (Louisville commit) led the Rocks to their first regional title since 2009.

Heil and Pfaadt were a significant lefty-righty duo at the top of the rotation while Metzinger (.368 ave., four home runs, 25 RBIs, 44 runs and 14 stolen bases) and Higgins (.461 ave., five home runs, 38 RBIs, 45 runs and 21 stolen bases) was the most prolific top of the order combo in the region.

DeSales’ senior Alec Brothers enjoyed another stellar season on the mound, in the field and at the plate while Holy Cross pitcher/outfielder Ray Steilberg led the Cougars to their 22-win season.

St. X had a wealth of experience with seniors Sam Hedges (Northern Kentucky), Chris Esselman and Sam Mudd leading the team. Junior Trey Sweeney provided solid play in the field and with sophomore Cam Scheler (Cincinnati commit) posting a breakout season at the plate, the Tigers are poised to return a strong lineup for 2018.

But it was Pfaadt (9-2) and Heil (7-1) receiving the most votes for the LCSN Baseball Player of the Year honor.

Pfaadt’s pitching line was outstanding. He posted a 0.90 ERA in 57 innings, seven earned runs, 36 hits, 81 strikeouts and 15 walks. The lefty Heil put up equally impressive numbers: 63 innings, 1.33 ERA, 12 earned runs, 36 hits, 100 strikeouts, and 20 walks.

The 6-foot-2 righty Pfaadt started Trinity’s state tournament game against No. 2-ranked McCracken County and dropped a hard-luck 1-0 defeat. He struck out 12 in what he and his coaches said was the best performance of the season. He hit .375 on the season with six home runs and 30 RBIs.

LCSN PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brandon Pfaadt - Trinity

FIRST TEAM (listed in alphabetical order)

  • A.J. Arnold (Trinity)
  • Alec Brothers (DeSales)
  • Sam Hedges (St. Xavier)
  • Brody Heil (Trinity)
  • Matt Higgins (Trinity)
  • Ben Metzinger (Trinity)
  • Cam Scheler (St. Xavier)
  • Gilly Simpson (DeSales)
  • Ray Steilberg (Holy Cross)

SECOND TEAM

  • Hunter Adams (Holy Cross)
  • Michael Blair (Trinity)
  • Dylan Byerly (Trinity)
  • Chris Esselman (St. Xavier)
  • Clayton Mehlbauer (Trinity)
  • Sam Newkirk (DeSales)
  • Chase Phillips (Holy Cross)
  • Brayden Recktenwald (DeSales)
  • Trey Sweeney (St. Xavier)

HONORABLE MENTION

  • Noah Baugher (Trinity)
  • Gavin Foushee (Holy Cross)
  • Garrett Matthews (DeSales)
  • Sam Mudd (St. Xavier)
  • Chase Patton (St. Xavier)
  • Christian Schulten (Holy Cross)
  • Ethan Short (Holy Cross)
  • Mitch Sirohman (DeSales)
 

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