State champion Pios top 5-AAA selections
CROWLEY – Timmy Robichaux and his Notre Dame Pioneers baseball team experienced more than a few changes since their 2009 baseball run to the state tournament.
First there was a change in the lineup after losing standout’s Matt Savioe and Bryant Gilbert to graduation last May.
Then there was a move in 2010 to a new district, where they faced new league foes like North Vermilion, Erath, Kaplan and Abbeville.
But despite those changes - and others - there was one thing that remained the same - the Pios’ dominance on the all-district team.
Once again, Robichaux’s team led the way in the six-team field after cruising to a perfect 10-0 league record en route to their first state championship since 1981.
For their efforts, the Pios garnered seven of the 17 All-District first-team spots and swept the top honors with Robichaux earning the Coach of the Year award and Ryan Leonards earning Most Valuable Player honors.
It was Robichaux’s third straight COY award and Leonards second straight MVP honor.
Notre Dame, which defeated Brusly, 10-2, last week in the Class AAA title game in Ruston, finished the season with a remarkable 31-5 record. Heading into the state tournament, the Pios had already beaten three of the final four teams in Class AAAA, including eventual champion Teurlings.
Leonards played a key role in Notre Dame’s success, both in the field and at the plate. The Louisiana Lafayette signee logged a record of 9-1 on the mound with an earned run average of 1.50. He gave up 19 runs (14 earned) on 47 hits and 22 walks while striking out 91 in 65 1/3 innings pitched.
He also played shortstop when he wasn’t on the mound.
Leonards’ numbers at the plate were just as impressive. He hit .517 on the season, had a slugging percentage of .949 and led the team in nearly every offensive category. He had 61 hits (13 doubles, seven triples, eight home runs), drove in 44 runs and struck out just 10 times in 118 plate appearances. He also hit .491 with runners in scoring position and stole 22 bases in 23 attempts.
Leonards is joined on the All-District team as a pitcher by teammate Austin Robichaux as well as Erath’s Grant Sonnier and North Vermilion’s Colby Roy.
Robichaux went 9-3 on the year with a ERA of 0.983. He gave up 20 runs (11 earned) on 42 hits and 25 walks while striking out 101 in 78 1/3 innings. He also has two saves to his credit.
Robichaux, like Leonards, was also a force at the plate, hitting .361 from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. He had 13 doubles, four triples and drove in 23 runs during his junior campaign.
Sophomore Connor Goss made the squad at third base while Pete Petitjean earned a spot at first base.
Goss, who went 6-for-6 with eight RBI in the state tournament, hit .449 on the year (.468 with runners in scoring position) and drove in 46 runs. He had 17 doubles, four triples and one home run while striking out just seven times in 98 at bats.
Petitjean makes the list for the second straight year after hitting .306 with seven doubles, one triple, one home run and 18 RB.
Goss and Petitjean are joined on the infield by Erath catcher Rynn Touchet, Abbeville second baseman Branden Trahan and North Vermilion shortstop Mark Frederick.
The outfield consists of Notre Dame’s Luke Bourgeois and Paiton McBride and Kaplan’s Justin Broussard.
Bourgeois was the Pios’ leadoff hitter and is also making his second straight appearance on the All-District team. He hit .331 this year with seven doubles, three triples and seven RBI. The junior speedster also stole 17 bases in 19 attempts.
McBride made the team for the first time after starting in left field for the Pios. He hit .289 with nine doubles, one home run and seven RBI. He also went 1-1 on the mound, striking out 22 in 20 innings.
Blaine Richard made the squad as a utility player along with Rayne’s Tyler Venable, Kaplan’s D.J. Faulk and Abbeville’s R.J. Frederick.
Richard, a first-team selection at catcher a year ago, hit .297 with one double and 25 RBI while Venable, a first- team selection at pitcher in 2009, hit .350 with four doubles and 20 RBI.
Notre Dame landed pitcher Tyler Melancon and second baseman Mitch Corzine on the second team along with Rayne’s Dakota Broussard.
Honorable mentions include Notre Dame’s Ricky Stoma and Rayne’s Austin Meche, Eric Miller, Mitch Richard, Andrew Abshire and Aaron Chaisson.