June 5th, 2018

Sweeney the rock for St. X baseball

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Sweeney the rock for St. X baseball
St. X's Trey Sweeney plays shortstop / photo from Trey Sweeney's Twitter

St. Xavier baseball star Trey Sweeney isn’t the most vocal of players, but when his voice is heard, the shortstop teammates stop and listen.

“He has so much respect from his teammates,” St. X head coach Andy Porta said. “He’s not a terribly vocal guy. But, when he speaks, they know it’s important, and listen. He’s not a terribly ra-ra guy, but they see how steady he is and how consistent he plays. He doesn’t have to do anything fancy to look good and he’s so sharp. The coaching staff, players, fans, and parents respect the heck out of him because of that.”

The Eastern Illinois signee is the guy that the team looks to when times get tough or the team needs a spark.

“It’s my job to keep everybody up in the dugout,” Sweeney said. “If the team makes a couple of errors it’s my job to settle everyone down and get the focus back up. I need to make sure my teammates are positive.”

Off the field Sweeney is the same way.

“I had him in class when he was a junior,” Porta, a math teacher at the school, said. “He’s pretty much the same. He worked his tail off. He’s a quiet kid. You know Trey is going to do what’s right regardless of who is around. He doesn’t have to have somebody tell him what he has to do, he’s going to do the right thing by himself. He’s a constant professional.”

He’s a two-year starter and was in the dugout as sophomore when the Tigers captured the state championship two years ago.

Sweeney never did make it out on the field as St. X beat Greenup County, West Jessamine, McCracken County, and Campbell County to win their second title in three years.

It’s now his turn to play a major role as one of the senior captains in trying to help the prestigious program win their third title in five years.

“Words can’t describe what it has been like to play baseball for St. X,” Sweeney said. “It has been life changing. I’m so close to all of these guys and it’s like I have made a new family. This feels like my home every time I step on this field and I’m comfortable every time I’m here. It’s going to break my heart when I have to leave so hopefully I can go out the right way.”

And the shortstop is one of the top players in the state.

Sweeny is hitting .379, tops on the team, has drawn 16 walks, and has a stellar .471 on-base-percentage, second best among starters.

The senior has hit two home runs, driven in a team high 34 runs, and swiped 13 bases, also best on the team.

“I’ve played with Trey since before I even arrived at St. X,” St. X junior Cam Scheler said. “Trey is such a great leader. He always has great energy. He brings a lot to the table baseball wise. He’s a vocal leader and always keeps the team focused.”

While Sweeney can make the big plays, he can also do the little things, his three sacrifice bunts, is tops on the team.

The senior is a very efficient hitter, in 95 at bats, the shortstop has only struck out three times, that’s means he has a 97 percent chance of getting contact if not walked.

“I’ve had classes with him, I came in with him as a freshman, and I have seen him grow,” St. X senior pitcher Evan Burnett said. “I’ve been with him on and off the field with him and I have upmost respect for him. When he steps on the field, he almost always helps us. You’ll watch film and it’s Trey singled, Trey walked, Trey did this.”

Porta will rely on Sweeney in the dugout and on the field come Thursday night when the Tigers face defending state champion Pleasure Ridge Park in the opening round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament.

First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Lexington’s Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

The Tigers defeated the Panthers 17-5 back on May 2nd scoring 12 of those runs in the sixth and seventh innings to break a five-all tie. 


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