April 28th, 2021

St. X Baseball

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


St. X Baseball
photo by Ed Peak

 Andy Porta has coached St. Xavier baseball teams to state championships in 2014, 2016 and 2018, among the eight the Tigers have won. Even though St. X has a young inexperienced lineup the Tigers could make noise in the Seventh Region.

 

The Tigers lost to rival Trinity in the regional championship two years ago and last season was cancelled because of the coronavirus. So the Tigers are hoping to make a run. St.X (12-4) had lost three straight going into last Wednesday’s game at Floyd Central, but a 4-3 victory snapped the streak.

 

“Honestly, we have struggled a little bit the last two weeks,” said Porta. “We’re trying to right the ship here. I like this group and I think we are going to be fine. This has been a rough stretch for us.”

 

The losing started with a 9-3 loss at rival Trinity. The Tigers trailed 3-2 in the fifth inning when Porta said the game got away from them.

 

Lead off batter and designated hitter, Braxton Flaker leads the team in hitting with a .407 average in 12 games. Flaker has 11 hits and seven walks in 27 plate appearances. He has stolen two bases.

 

Braden Wilson in 10 games was hitting .393 with five extra base hits which has two triples and a home run. Justin Lauersdorf, the number three batter and catcher, has a .382 average and leads the team with 17 rbi. He also had two homer’s. “He’s done a real good job for us,” said Porta.

Cleanup batter Parker Gulliume hit .351 in 13 games with 13 hits and 10 walks. “Parker has been a mainstay for us. He’s played center, left, right (fields),” said Porta. “He’s played about every game. Our pitching and defense and depth is going to help us. We do have some depth,” said Porta. 

 

Landon Akers batting average is only .211 but has been steady in the field. “He’s been all over the infield for us,” said Porta.

 

Jacob Bennett bats fifth and plays left field is hitting .265 while Cam Tegge batting hitting .333 in seven games. He has pitched in four game is 2-0 and has a 3.57 era.

 

Porta says his starting pitching changes from week to week. Senior left handers Sam Thompson (2-1, 4.11), junior Luke Lantz (2-1, 3.44) freshman Jake Gregor (1-1, 1.53) and Tegge are the usual pitchers. “Those four are some where from week to week somewhere between number and one and number four (in the rotarion),” said Porta.

 

The coronavirus forced the cancelation of last season and Porta feels that has added to some inconsistency by his team.

“Nobody played varsity ball last season,” said Porta. “Your looking at a senior class that hasn’t played varsity ball and a junior class with no experience. Your looking at a freshman class that has no experience. 

 

“Our plan is to kind of live with the mistakes early and grow early on. By the way time we get to May we expect to have all that ironed out. It’s growing pains and we’ll work with it,” said Porta.

This St. X team doesn’t have the raw home run power that the 2018 team had. “We do have some guys that will hit it out once in a while,” said Porta. “We do have good speed and this is one of the more atheltic teams (St. X) has had. We have to take the extra base when they give it to us. Some call it small ball. We call it baseball.”

 

Porta says this team has always had football players on the team but this year has an array of athletic players. “We’ve got everything, even a soccer guy. It shows some versatility. 

“We don’t have any pitchers only that don’t bat.  I’d say versatility is really, really big for us,” said Porta.

 

The Tigers are in a tough district with Male. St.X dropped a 7-3 decision to the Bulldogs last Monday.

 

Trinity (15-0) has a 9-3 win over the Tigers. “I’m not going to lie to you. They are very, good. I’d say (the region) is theirs to lose. But the bottom line it’s 16, 17, 18 year old kids. When you are in that single elimination format, who knows.

“We’ve had some teams we thought was the best in the state. That 2013 team we thought was the best and 2019. It obviously didn’t work out for us. I feel like this team is like our 2014 and 2016 team. We had double digit losses and put it together. Got on a run.”

 

Porta is hoping this St. X team peaks at the right time. The end of the season.

 

St. X (13-5) goes into Thursday’s game with Bullitt East with some momentum. After losing to Silver Creek 1-0, the Tigers have wins over Jeffersonville 6-5 and Floyd Central, 4-3. 

 
 

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