Yesterday, 12 athletes from 9 different sports signed on to play to the next level. Congrats to all these guys for all the hard work they have put in, it has certainly paid off. Good Luck to all these guys in college. Go Tigers!
Jake Zickel – Lacrosse (University of Indianapolis): Zickel is a three-year Varsity Letterman and two-year starter at midfield for the Tigers. In 2016, he was the team’s 4th leading scorer with 23 goals and 7 assists. This year, he has displayed skill as one of the best ball handlers around the crease, while racking up 17 goals and 11 assists.
Nic Malubay – Lacrosse (Centre College): Nic is a two sport Varsity Letterman, earning honors as an Attack on the Tiger Lacrosse team and as a Defensive Back on the Tiger Football team. After scoring 5 goals and assisting on 11 in 2016, he has emerged as the team’s second leading scorer this year with 25 goals and 11 assists.
Spencer Blandford – Tennis (University of Southern Indiana): Blandford was a state semi-finalist in Doubles this past season. Presently, he is a team captain and carries an 11-2 record in singles and 13-0 record in doubles this year. He is a four-year Varsity tennis Letterman, and his singles victory in 2015 and come from behind doubles court victory in 2016 helped the Tigers capture two recent team titles.
Ryan Guenthner – Cross Country and Track (University of Cincinnati): Ryan was the top senior finisher for St.X at the KHSAA State Championship meet in November, finishing 4th overall in 15:58. He was a 2017 Team Captain, a state competitor for 2016 &2017 back-to-back state Championship squads, and an integral member of the 2017 Nationally Ranked Cross Country team this past fall. During his four years at St.X, he has earned five varsity letters – 2 in Track and 3 in Cross Country.
Andrew Edwards – Track and Cross Country (Centre College): Andrew was one of the top seniors and a Team Captain as the 8th runner for the 2017 State Championship and nationally ranked Tiger Cross Country team this past fall. During his four years at St.X, he has earned four varsity letters – 2 in Track and 2 in Cross Country
Martin Nitzken – Swimming (Miami of Ohio): Martin was a four-year Letterman for the Tiger Swimming and Diving team. In 2017, he was a State Captain and a state finalist for the third time. For the second consecutive year he, along with his teammates, broke the Kentucky state record in the 200 yard medley relay at the KHSAA State Meet, earning both All-State and All-American honors.
Owen Johnson – Football (Elon University): Owen was the Tiger Football team’s 3rd leading scorer, kicking 8 field goals and 41 extra points. In addition, he was a valuable member of the kick-off team, consistently booming his kicks into the end zone, eliminating any chance for a return. Owen earned 2nd team All-Metro Area Kicker honors from the Courier Journal for his accomplishments this year.
Brad Middleton – Soccer (Bellarmine University): Brad was a 2 year Letterman at striker for the Tiger Soccer program. During his career, he scored 12 goals and had 4 assists to help lead the Tigers to 34 wins. With 8 goals and 4 assists this season, he was the team’s leading scorer.
Chris Esselman – Baseball (Centre College): Chris has been a varsity starter for the past two seasons as an infielder and right-handed pitcher. In 2016, he hit .278 with 4 doubles and was 1-0 pitching with 3 saves. In addition, he hit .364 in last year’s KHSAA State Tournament, helping the Tiger Baseball team claim their second title in three years. Currently, Chris is hitting .386 with 21 RBI and has earned two victories on the mound.
Joshua Schmidt – Wrestling (Lindsey Wilson College): Josh has earned four varsity letter in Wrestling and two more for the Tiger Powerlifting team during his four-year career. In 2017, he was a State Champion powerlifter as well as Jefferson County and Region 4 Wrestling Champion at 113 lbs. He also earned victories in the first two rounds of the KHSAA State Wrestling Tournament for the state-runner up team.
Sam Wilson – Baseball (Earlham College): Sam has been a stalwart on the mound for the past two Tiger Baseball seasons. In 2016, he had a 1.46 ERA in 24 innings pitched. In 2017, he has a 1.24 ERA in 22.2 innings while striking out 25 opposing batters and earning 3 wins in 6 appearances.
Ian Waldrop – Soccer (Hanover College): Ian was a two-year varsity Letterman for the Tiger Soccer program. During his career, he scored 5 goals and had 5 assists to help lead the Tigers to 34 wins. With five assists, he was the team’s second leading facilitator for the team in 2017.
Monday, April 17th | 6:00 PM | Louisville Slugger Field | Louisville, KY
Saint Xavier Tigers (15-6) vs. Trinity Shamrocks (14-3-3)
Monday, April 17th
Varsity Game – 6:00
Louisville Slugger Field
The Tigers and Shamrocks will face off for the second time this season when they play at Louisville Slugger Field tonight at 6:00 PM. The Shamrocks won the first outing by a score of 13-8 back in March. The slugfest saw both teams combine for 24 hits.
As the No.1 and No.2 teams in the state, both teams have a lot of talent, especially on the pitching end. The Shamrocks have an ace in Brody Heil, who is a University of Louisville commit, while the Tigers have Connor Holden, committed to Murray State. Both pitchers will most likely make starts tonight. Holden did not have his best day last game, but with that in mind, will bring a lot more to the mound tonight.
On the offensive end, this matchup could very well go hit-for-hit once more. The Shamrocks are strong at the top of their order, with their first three batters combining for seven hits in the last game. Meanwhile, Sam Hedges, Cam Scheler, and Chris Esselman will lead the Tigers at the plate and will need to make their presence felt early and often.
Overall, this should be another thrilling matchup for the top two teams in the state. The Shamrocks have won the last three games against the Tigers, St.X’s last win coming in 2014.
The Tiger Baseball team looks to begin the defense of their state title this Friday when they play DeSales High School @ 6:00 on Friday at Saint X. In the upcoming weeks we will look at their individual opponents, but first let’s look at the Tiger Baseball Team and what we can expect from them this year.
The Tigers lost their two aces from last season, Daniel Fisher, who was named to the postseason All-American Team, and Adam Elliot, who was the State Tournament MVP. The two University of Louisville signees almost single-handedly led the Tigers to the State Title. They teamed up to pitch the Tigers to the State Championship Game, giving up 6 runs in 4 games with a team ERA (earned run average) of 1.80. Others who were lost to graduation include Eric Hasselwander, Sam Porta, and Brian O’Neil.
A Key Returner on the Pitching Staff is Connor Holden, who pitched the Tigers to their 2nd state title in 3 years, throwing a 3 hit shutout with 8 strikeouts in the Tigers’ 1-0 victory over Campbell County in the State Championship Game. The Murray State signee will be one of the top pitchers in the state this year. As the No.3 pitcher last year, Holden had a 2.12 ERA and 38 strikeouts on the year. Other returning pitchers include Sam Wilson, Sam Mudd, and Matthew Logsdon with the addition of juniors Henry Sadlo, Ryan Hamilton, Evan Burnett, and Andrew Littlefield. Sam Wilson notably was the designated closer for the Tigers, so look for him to expand that role.
The Tigers lose 3-year starter Dalton Dedas, who was the catcher on the 2014 and 2016 State Championship teams. He was a natural leader on the team, who was a reliable backstop and a threat at the plate.
Sophomore Cam Scheler and Junior Chase Patton are the two catchers on the Varsity Roster this season. Both have experience playing Varsity, as they played a few regular season games last year when Dedas was given a day off. Scheler will be remembered for hitting a walk off last postseason with the bases loaded. Scheler should provide some offensive firepower for the Tigers this year and will be in contention for a lot larger role this year.
Corner Infield (1st and 3rd Base)
The Tigers have lost both of their First Basemen from last season, Daniel Fisher and Nick Nelson, who was also the backup Catcher and could play Third Base, as well. The Infield is where the Tigers have lost the fewest amount of players.
Seniors Chris Esselman and Ryan Davis are 2 corner infielders returning from last year’s state championship team. Also, Senior Chase Collins, who was cut from the team junior year, is on the team and will play some 1st base. Juniors that are looking to vie for time in the corner infield include Bryce Elmore and Ryan Hamilton.
Ryan Davis was playing solid before an injury ended his season last year. In 59 at bats he was hitting .305. Look for Chase Collins to have a big year for the Tigers as well. After being cut his junior year, he has worked extremely hard just to get back on the field. It’s paid off, but he has a lot more to prove. Notably, as a freshman, Chase threw a no-hitter while his twin brother Zac (committed to Purdue as a punter) was behind the plate at catcher.
Arguably one of the most important positions in baseball, the Tigers lost their starting shortstop, Casey Simon, who hit a solo home run in the state title game to give Saint X its single run. Simon is the only middle infielder that has graduated, so expect the Tigers to be solid at these positions.
Seniors Chris Esselman and Zeke Porta are both returning players from last season’s team, as well as the edition of Juniors Trey Sweeney and Ryan Hamilton.
Even last year, Esselman had the prettiest swing on the Tigers roster. He is a pure contact guy, and batted .266 last year. Zeke Porta also looks to make a big leap for the Tigers last year after serving mostly as a pinch hitter last year.
Seniors Adam Eliott and Kurt Ramser were both lost to graduation, but Outfield looks to be a strong-suit for this years team.
Seniors Steven Mitchell, Tanner Brown, Sam Hedges, and Sam Mudd, as well as Junior Andrew Littlefield will make up the outfield for this years team.
Mitchell one of the fastest players on the team, which will do him well on the defensive side on the ball, but just as much on offense. Mitchell batted near the top of the lineup last year and batted .287 with 21 runs scored.
Don’t let Sam Mudd’s size fool you, because he has all the tools. He has a strong arm, capable of making the furthest throws from the outfield, paired with a big swing. Look for Mudd to move out from the middle of the batting lineup this year.
Sam Hedges is the Tigers top overall player. He is an all around athlete with great speed and strength. He plays through the ball very well and is an an accurate thrower from the outfield. The Northern Kentucky commit is a great batter and takes advantage of the gaps in the field.
With 4 returning players, and 1 Junior, look for the Tiger outfielders to have a monster season.
Schedule and Other Notes:
Once again, the Tigers will play a strong out-of-town schedule with teams including Brother Rice (IL), a Spring Break Tournament in Nashville, Cincy St. X, and Elder High School.
In the state, the Tigers will field tough competition against Trinity and Ballard. Both of these teams are in the same region as St.X, and have a lot of talent. Notably, Trinity will have two UofL signees. Ballard’s Jordan Adell is a one man show, also committed to UofL, and looks to be a top prospect in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Overall, the Tigers do have a strong chance to go back to back and win the state title come this June. This feat has not been accomplished since Harrison County did it in the 1997-1998 seasons. However, if last year is an indication of how the Tigers play in the postseason, they know how to get it done when it counts.
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