Ascension Parish’s impact was felt heavily in the Baton Rouge Area’s All-Metro baseball teams. Altogether on the two squads, there were 13 parish players that made the cut.
First, there was the 4A & 5A team.
There were six Ascension selections on this squad. All three of the parish’s Class 5A schools placed two standouts on the team.
Though, there were only two Ascension players that made the first team. Both of these athletes came from Dutchtown.
Leading the Griffins was junior infielder Brayden Caskey. In addition to being nearly flawless from the field, Caskey hit .365 with 16 RBIs.
Senior pitcher Jack Merrifield was a two-way threat for Dutchtown.
As a hitter, he maintained a .305 average with 26 RBIs. And from the mound, he was one of the best pitchers in the Baton Rouge area. Merrifield struck out 85 batters in just over 70 innings of work.
He and Caskey helped Dutchtown make a run to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.
The Griffins pulled off upsets over No. 10 Mandeville and No. 7 Northshore through the first two rounds.
Another Ascension squad that made a run to the state quarterfinals was St. Amant. It was their fourth trip in the past six years.
The Gators caught fire at the end of the season, winning eight of their final nine regular-season games. In the playoffs, they upset Destrehan in the first round and swept a pesky H.L. Bourgeois squad in the regional.
St. Amant placed two players on the All-Metro second team. Both were seniors.
Pitcher Dwain Guice made the team. The Southeastern signee made it despite having his production limited by an arm injury.
Guice was forced to sit out most of the season. He finally returned at the end of the year when the Gators made their run.
Joining him on the second team was first-baseman Landen Lieux. In his first year as a starter, Lieux emerged as one of St. Amant’s best hitters.
East Ascension also placed two seniors on the All-Metro team.
In his first season as a full-time starter, Chad Kennedy proved to be the Spartans’ most consistent pitcher in 2018.
He was joined on the second team by utility player Cameron Schexnaildre.
Both players helped East Ascension have a productive season under first-year head coach Kade Keowen. The Spartans went 7-3 in District 5-5A, their best league record since 2012.
The team with the most parish selections was the one team in Ascension to bring home a state championship.
The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs placed seven players on the 3A & Below All-Metro squad. Four made the first team.
Senior Charlie Gianelloni was their lone senior on the first team. He hit .402 with 47 RBIs and four home runs from the plate. From the mound, he went 9-2 with a 2.38 ERA.
His pitching cohort Tre’ Medine also made the first team. The junior went 7-3 with a 2.31 ERA this season.
From the outfield, junior Mason Zeringue had a huge year, leading the team with a .426 batting average. He produced 33 RBIs, and he led the Bulldogs with 49 runs.
From the infield, junior shortstop William Dunn was the team’s final first-team selection. Dunn hit .386 with 21 RBIs.
Three Ascension Catholic players made the second team.
From the outfield, both Brock Acosta and JB Broussard made it.
Junior Rodney Blanchard made the team as a utility player. Blanchard played first base and was also the team’s No. 3 pitcher.
Ascension Catholic head coach Todd Landry was named the All-Metro team’s Coach on the Year.
In his 12th season as the Bulldogs’ skipper, he led his team to a 29-9 record and a Division-IV state crown. Ascension Catholic went 23-1 in their final 24 games.
The state championship was the program’s first since 1994.