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Best parish baseball teams of the decade

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic cancelled the second half of the high-school baseball season, putting an end to the championship dreams of all of the players throughout the state.

With no state tournament games being played this year, it prompts us to look to the past and reflect on all of the great parish teams that made memorable runs.

By the time the next baseball season begins, it will be a new decade. Here is a look back at some of the best Ascension baseball teams of this decade, years 2010-2020.

The only team to win a state championship during that time was the 2018 Ascension Catholic Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs went 28-9 that year, winning 22 of their final 23 games and beating district rival St. John, 4-3, in the Division-IV title game. It was their first championship victory since 1994.

Leading that team was LSU-Eunice signee Mason Zeringue and Charlie Gianelloni, who was named the Ascension Parish MVP in 2018.

Zeringue and Gianelloni also led the Bulldogs to Sulphur for the state semifinals the year prior.

That season, Ascension Catholic fell just short of the championship game. They lost an 11-inning classic to Central Catholic.

In addition to Zeringue and Gianelloni, that team was led by LSU-Eunice signees Landon Clifton and Nick Bellina.

Finally, the 2019 Bulldogs squad reached the state semifinals for a third straight season. Although, they too failed to reach the title game. They lost to eventual state champion Opelousas Catholic.

Ascension Catholic went 28-7 that season and was led by Ascension Pitcher of the Year Tre’ Medine.

The 2010 Dutchtown Griffins also reached the state semifinals. It was a year removed from finishing as state runners-up. They were eliminated by eventual state champion Catholic, 8-6.

That team was led by Ole Miss signee and eventual Major League Pitcher Jacob Waguespack and Coastal Carolina signee Troy Lewis.

Those two also helped the Griffins make a memorable state quarterfinal run in 2012.

They won their first two playoff games by a combined margin of 13-0. Unfortunately, in the quarterfinals, they dropped a 2-1 affair to eventual champion Barbe.

Along with Waguespack and Lewis, that team also had Cole Stapler, who went on to pitch at Nicholls and was later drafted by the Diamondbacks. They also had a young Austin Bain, who went on to start at LSU.

Bain also led the 2014 Griffins to the state quarterfinals.

They upset fourth-seeded Denham Springs in the second round, before getting swept by St. Amant in two tight games.

Along with Bain, that team had LSU-Eunice signee Dillon Abbess and a young duo of Northwestern State signees in Caleb Ricca and Payton Stafford. Ricca went on to get drafted by the Mariners last year.

St. Amant eliminated the Griffins in 2014. They went on to reach the state semifinals, where they lost a 2-0 contest to eventual state champion Barbe. That Barbe squad, led by the Jordan twins, went on to be named national champions.

The Gators won 20 of 22 games heading into the semifinals. They finished the year 29-9 overall.

They were led by Nicholls signee Blaine Schexnaydre and Brennan Grant.

The 2016 Gators upset No. 9 Sam Houston in the first round, and then upset No. 8 Brother Martin in round two. They lost to eventual champion Barbe in the quarterfinals.

The Gators had a stacked roster that year. They were led by Ascension Pitcher of the Year and District 5-5A MVP Blayne Enlow. Enlow went on to get drafted in the third round by the Twins in 2017.

They also had Florida International signee Adam Sevario and Nicholls signee Ivan Prejean.