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.
Go Tigers! Read the rest of this entry
Story by Tanner Passafiume
The Tigers’ pitching got it done for them again. Coming off two very strong pitching performances at Lexington Catholic over the weekend, the Tigers trotted senior J.D. Mundt out to the mound against the Bullitt East Chargers for the home opener. The Tigers got another mercy rule victory, winning 12-0 in five innings. Mundt picked up right where Cam Revelette and Grant Wessling left off. He worked efficiently through the Chargers lineup, striking out two and allowing just two hits in five innings, on only 46 pitches. When asked about his performance Mundt said, “My goal was to get ahead, throw a lot of first pitch strikes, and I think I did a really good job with that.” Mundt was able to get ahead of ten of the sixteen batters he faced and this helped keep the Charger’s batters on edge.
The pitching was not the only story, however. The defense behind Mundt was as solid as it has been all year. In the Tigers’ first three games, the defense has been great. The defense behind this great pitching staff has not put any additional pressure on the starters, committing exactly zero errors on the season.
“I know they’re not going to make a mistake,” Mundt explained. “If they do, they’re not going to make another one.”
The defense in this game was highlighted by junior second baseman Casey Simon’s sliding catch out in right during the second inning and junior third baseman Daniel Fischer’s backhand pick and throw across the infield in the fifth.
Without hitting, however, a great pitching staff and solid defense are irrelevant. This season, the Tigers have made sure their pitching and defense do not go to waste. Over the first three games, St. X has produced 33 runs. The offense has come from all throughout the lineup, whether it be from the top of the order, with Adam Elliott hitting a two-run homerun in the first game, the middle of the order, in the form of Dalton Dedas’ three RBI’s in 3 at bats against Bishop Brossart, or the bottom of the order, with Avery Lane knocking in 4 runs in the first three games.
“I’m just letting the ball hit the bat, taking what the pitcher gives me, and just putting it in play somewhere,” said junior center fielder Adam Elliott, who went 2-4 against the Chargers.
Lane echoed this philosophy when he spoke about his three RBI double in the second inning.
“I was just trying to put anything in play,” Lane explained. “I made it work and took the ball to the right side.”
Many other hitters also contributed including Trent Revelette, who drove in 4 runs against the Chargers, bringing his season total to 8. But this is not a one or two player offense; eight different players drove in runs against Bullitt East. They could be celebrating their scorching start to the season, but they aren’t. They know how long the season is and aren’t letting anything get ahead of them.
“We’re just staying humble,” Lane said. “You can’t get too cocky. We’re just doing what we do best.”
With this attitude, performances like the one last night at Mueller Field will become commonplace. That, is something we could all get used to.
Go Tigers! We Are!
Saint Xavier Baseball begin the 2015 season just they way it wanted to, with two blowouts that showcased the wealth of ability and potential the Tigers have in all aspects of the game. First, St. X defeated Bishop Brossart 10-0 in a Mercy Rule, five-inning game. The nightcap saw the Tigers batter Newport Central Catholic by a final line of 11-0 in a Mercy Rule, six-inning game. It was a pair of performances that team manager Aidan Dunn said will probably be common this season.
“Nobody has the depth that we have,” Dunn explained. “Nobody goes 12 deep in the pitching staff. This team finishes games really well.”
These two games showed first and foremost, that the pitching rotation for St. X is deadly. In the first game against the Mustangs, Cam Revelette fanned 7 in four innings, allowing no runs and only four hits. Daniel Fischer pitched a flawless last inning when Revelette was taken out because of pitch count. In the second game against the Thoroughbreds, Grant Wessling had a perfect game with two outs in the 6th inning, when junior St. X right fielder Kurt Ramser made a diving play for a fly ball. The ball landed in Ramser’s glove, but the momentum of the dive caused the ball to squirt out of his grasp before the catch was completed. Ramser was assessed an error, so Wessling still finished with a no-hitter, which is nice. It’s rare when a pitcher and the fans around the pitcher are disapointed with a no-no, but that’s just how high the bar is set with this staff. Wessling was utterly dominant, going the distance and punching out 11.
The offensive stars in the first game against Bishop Brossart were two juniors. Center fielder Adam Elliott (@DatDude_AE on twitter; he is a good follow) put the first home run on the board for the Tigers, launching a two-run shot to right field in the bottom of the third inning. Catcher Dalton Dedas also had an outstanding game, finishing 3 for 3 with three singles, three RBI, and a walk. He said the key to his performance was not trying to do too much.
“I just wasn’t trying to swing too hard, just trying to make contact and see what the ball does,” Dedas said. “It did good things.”
Senior left fielder Trent Revelette, Cam’s cousin, was the offensive star of the show in the nightcap, as he went 3-4 with three singles, one RBI and two runs. One of those singles turned into an inside-the-park home run when the Newport Central Catholic center fielder misplayed the ball and let it slide right under his glove. He wasn’t looking for his own offense, either.
“I was just trying to do what’s right for the team, hit good pitches and move runners around,” Revelette explained. “I think we played as a team, and pitching really showed out today. That was probably the reason why [we won so easily].”
Dedas was on the same wavelength with Revelette on the topic of pitching.
“The pitching and defense was outstanding,” Dedas said. “It’s unreal.”
The Tigers’ next game is a matchup with Bullitt East High School at home on Tuesday, March 17th. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Go Tigers!
On a beautiful saturday afternoon, a rematch of the quarterfinals of the 2013 KHSAA Baseball State Tournament took place at Carl and Rosemary Mueller Field. Last June, it was the Panthers earning the victory en route to a State Championship.
On Saturday, however, the Tigers got revenge.
St. X defeated PRP by a score of 2-1, and the Tigers were led by junior pitcher Cam Revelette, who pitched six innings of one-run ball to set up St. X for a victory.
Sophomore catcher Dalton Dedas started the scoring for St. X, shooting an RBI single into left field that plated Sam Springer from second base. After Revelette surrendered his only run of the game, Hayden Ford rocketed an RBI double off the wall in left-center field that scored Josh Finerty all the way from first base.
The Tigers did not blink from there, as junior pitcher J.D. Mundt came on in the seventh inning to close out the Panthers 1-2-3 to seal the win.
Revelette (5-1) picked up the win, and St. Xavier is now 15-6 on the season.
The Tigers will be back in action Wednesday, as they travel to Western Kentucky’s Nick Denes Field to take on Brentwood Academy (TN). Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.