Presenting the Clarion Herald’s Elite Baseball Team
How does one distinguish between the pitching performances of seniors Emerson Gibbs and Mitch Sewald to decide which of the two is the more outstanding hurler?
Simple – one doesn’t.
Each merited the respect they deserve by their performances on their pulpits in the center of the infield.
Jesuit’s Gibbs compiled a 10-1 record with a save in 13 appearances on the mound. He completed nine games in 11 starts, limited the opposing batters to a .176 average and struck out 66 in 88 innings.
Among Sewald’s accomplishments was a perfect game and a 5-1 record.
One might be correct calling Sewald a victim of bad fortune. He pitched brilliantly in four other games – twice against District 9-5A champion Jesuit – only to get no decision. But the 6-3 right-hander finished the season with 86 strikeouts in 64 innings and posted an earned run average of .098.
Both deserve the co-honor as the Clarion Herald’s Outstanding Pitchers on its 2012 Elite Baseball Team.
McNeil was most versatile
Schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans are blessed with an abundance of baseball talent, so to choose which student athlete is the best requires an extraordinary achievement.
St. Charles Catholic junior Chad McNeil surfaced as such a player. As a pitcher he compiled an 8-1 record with 48 strikeouts in 52 innings and an ERA of 1.87.
When not on the mound, McNeil was a stalwart at first base. He held a .375 batting average, hit four home runs and led the Greater New Orleans area in runs batted in with 42.
This Comet flew high and is rewarded as the Clarion Herald’s Most Outstanding Player.
Coach of the Year honors are shared by two deserving mentors.
Nick Monica coached a Rummel team that was inconsistent at the plate, but which possessed a solid defense with strong pitching. Although the Raiders and Brother Martin placed second to Jesuit in District 9-5A, by the time the playoffs came around, Monica had his team ready to extend its season.
The Raiders won seven straight games entering the 5A finals. As a No. 10 seed, Rummel lost a 3-2 decision to Barbe in the finals and finished the season with a 26-11 record.
Moving up a notch to Class 4A, Holy Cross also posted a 26-11 record and gained a spot in the championship game by upsetting No. 1 seed, St. Thomas More, in the semifinals. Battistella is recognized for the second straight year for his coaching success.
The Elite team also includes pitcher J.P. France, Archbishop Shaw; catchers Cody Ducote, Brother Martin, and Barrett Juneau, De La Salle; infielders Gregory Deichmann, Brother Martin; Donnie Savoie, St. Charles Catholic; Raymond Veit, Archbishop Rummel; Sammy Capielano, Holy Cross; and Alex Ramirez, Pope John Paul II; outfielders Rivers Frederick, Brother Martin; Brandon Zimmer, St. Charles Catholic; Connor Olivier, Pope John Paul II; and Garret Shano, Archbishop Shaw; utility players are Dane Stubbs, St. Paul’s; Spencer Miller, Jesuit; and Justin Sinibaldi, Archbishop Rummel.
Honorable mentions include: Jonathan Billings, Holy Cross; Jonathan Hess, Jesuit; Jacob Seward, Brother Martin; Ryan Taylor, Holy Cross; Mike Hess, Archbishop Hannan; Handsome Monica, St. Paul’s; Furquan Shorts, St. Augustine; Lorenzo Doss, St. Augustine; Derek Bivona, De La Salle; and Austin Weber, St. Charles Catholic.