Prep Baseball Report

2024 LHSAA State Tournament Review: Division I (Non-Select & Select)

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

It's Monday May 13, 2024, and another high school baseball has come to pass.  It seems like the high school baseball season goes by faster and faster each year, and with this being my fourth year at the helm of Prep Baseball Louisiana, this season definitely went by too quick.  As with every year, the 2024 season concluded this past weekend with the 2024 LHSAA State Tournament at McMurray Park in Sulphur, LA, where ten state champions were crowned, across the Non-Select and Select sides, with five divisions in each.  This year's LHSAA State Tournament was a memorable one, as many players left their mark for their respective high school programs with clutch performances.  There's also another reason that this 2024 season was special for me, and that's because of the staff that we put together for this spring.  Not many people know this, but for my first three seasons covering high school baseball in Louisiana, I was essentially a "one-man" show trying to cover every nook and cranny of the state.  As hard as I tried to cover the state alone, it was never enough, so after the completion of the 2023 high school season, I made it my mission to put together a staff that could help me give the players in our great state the coverage that they deserved.  I want to personally thank Tyler Leary, Davis Johnson, and Addison Armand for their hard work and dedication this season, because without them, this season wouldn't have been near the success that it was.  In total, our staff was able to see a combined 74 teams, across 85 games this spring, and we didn't miss one game at this year's State Tournament.  I know I'm biased, but I am confident in saying that there is nobody who gets out and covers the state of Louisiana like we do.  With that being said, it's time to close the book on the 2024 season.  Below, we review the Division I (Non-Select & Select) LHSAA State Tournament.  



After the 2023 Non-Select Division I State Title Game, between Barbe and West Monroe, every high school baseball fan predicted and were wanting a rematch this year, and that's exactly what we got.  The Bucs took down Benton in the semifinals and the Rebels took down Sam Houston in the semifinals to set up the rematch.  West Monroe opened up the scoring in the top of the 2nd inning, when 2024 OF Isaiah Shivers hit a line drive triple to CF to put the Rebels up 1-0.  The Louisiana-Monroe recruit was stellar all weekend, especially his defense, as he came up with a big-time diving catch in the bottom of the 5th inning, and had he not caught that ball, then the Rebels deficit would've been cut to 3-2.  2024 John Pearson cemented his West Monroe legacy against Barbe Saturday night in the State Title game as well.  The Louisiana State recruit hit a mammoth solo homerun in the top of the 3rd inning to put the Rebels up 3-0.  The Rebels will graduate several key pieces from this year's senior class that's been to four straight State Title games, but the future looks to be bright as well.  2027 Peyton Starr came through with one of the biggest hits of the tournament for the Rebels.  In the bottom of the 4th inning, against Sam Houston in the semifinals, Starr blistered a FB up in the zone for a bases-clearing, 3 RBI double to LCF that swung the momentum in favor of the Rebels to put them up 4-1.  Starr also had a highlight reel over-the-head catch against the Bucs in the State Title game.  2026 LHP Bradyn Cupit was given the start for West Monroe in the State Title game against the Bucs, and was fantastic.  The Louisiana State recruit worked his FB up to 92 mph and allowed only 1 ER on 2 H with 4 BB and 5 K's across 5 1/3 IP, to finish off a stellar sophomore campaign.  Speaking of pitching, 2025 RHP Drew Ferguson had arguably the best pitching performance at this year's State Tournament.  The former Future Gamer and Louisiana Tech recruit tossed a complete-game against Sam Houston in the semifinals, allowing only 1 ER on 4 H with 2 BB and 10 K's.  West Monroe will have to replace quite a bit on offense, but they return their top two arms in Cupit and Ferguson, so we're sure that they'll once again make noise in 2025.  As for the Bucs, not all is lost in the losing effort to West Monroe.  The Bucs got dealt a bad case of the "injury bug" this season, so the fact that they made it all the way to the State Title game is a feat in itself and speaks to the coaching job that Head Coach Glenn Cecchini and his staff did this season.  They'll have to replace their #1 on the mound in 2024 LHP Diego Corrales, but they return their #2 in 2027 LHP Lawton Littleton, who was stellar all season for the Bucs.  Offensively, is where Barbe will likely improve, as they will return six out of their nine starters from the State Title game against West Monroe.  The Bucs have all the pieces in place to make another State Title run in 2025 and we certainly won't be betting against Barbe to do just that.

+ 2024 John Pearson (West Monroe HS)

+ 2024 Isaiah Shivers (West Monroe HS)

+ 2025 RHP Drew Ferguson (West Monroe HS)

+ 2026 LHP Bradyn Cupit (West Monroe HS)

+ 2027 INF Peyton Starr (West Monroe HS)

+ 2024 SS Owen Galt (Barbe HS)

+ 2026 INF/C Myles Ledoux (Barbe HS)

+ 2027 OF Jordin Griffin (Barbe HS)


Catholic BR became the first team to start the season as the #1 team in our Power 25 Rankings and maintain that #1 ranking each week throughout the spring.  The Bears capped off their magical season on Saturday night with a 5-0 win over John Curtis Christian to claim the Select Division I State Championship and finish with an impressive 38-2 overall record, which puts them as the likely 2024 National Champion as well.  After losing to Rummel in the semifinals to Rummel in 2023, we knew that this year's Catholic BR team would be super motivated, but they would also have to live up to the lofty expectations set in front of them, and that's exactly what they did.  Check this stat out...the Bears went a perfect 6-0 in the playoffs this spring and outscored their opponents 51-3 in those six games.  One of the moves that was talked about a lot at McMurray Park this past week, was the Bears decision to start 2024 RHP Ryder Loup in the semifinals against Acadiana, saving heralded LSU recruit 2024 RHP William Schmidt for the State Title game, if the Bears got past the Rams, and that decision proved to be the right one.  Loup, a Loyola-New Orleans recruit, filled up the zone from his first pitch and until his last pitch, on route to picking up 4 K's with 0 BB in the 5 IP complete game two-hit shutout of Acadiana.  His performance set the stage for the Bears to roll out their ace, in Schmidt, in the State Title game against John Curtis and he capped off his senior campaign in impressive fashion.  The projected first-round pick in this summer's MLB First-Year Player Draft tossed a complete game one-hit shutout with 2 BB and 9 K's, while sitting 94-98 mph with his FB.  Schmidt finished his senior year with one of the most dominant season's by a high school pitcher in our state with a perfect 10-0 record, 0.44 ERA, and 102 K's across 63 2/3 IP.  Yes, Catholic BR's pitching staff was deep and dominant, but their offense was just as good as well.  2025 SS Jack Ruckert, a Louisiana State recruit, led the team with a .452 avg, to go along with 5 HR, 15 2B, 2 3B, and 40 RBI.  Former Future Gamer and UL-Lafayette recruit 2024 OF Brooks Wright had a monster senior season, as he hit at a .422 clip with 1 HR, 8 2B, 4 3B, and 29 RBI, while also swiping 22 bags, which was tied for the team lead.  Another former Future Gamer and UL-Lafayette recruit in 2025 OF Noah Lewis also had a stellar season, finishing with a .421 avg, 7 2B, and 14 RBI, hitting out of the leadoff spot for the majority of the season.  A guy that probably doesn't get talked about enough is 2025 Andrew Clapinski, who is one of the top uncommitted players in the state.  Clapinski did a fabulous job handling the Bears staff all spring, and was also one of the most productive hitters in the entire lineup.  He finished the year hitting .396 with a team-high 6 HR and 45 RBI, while also finishing second on the team in 2B's with 14.  2024 Trip Dobson, another former Future Gamer and Houston recruit, leaves Catholic BR as one of the better hitters in the program's history.  Dobson finished the year with a .343 avg, 4 HR, 12 2B, 2 3B, and 26 RBI.  2025 OF Davis Emonet wasn't a starter to begin the season, but quickly cemented himself in the lineup after the first couple of weeks, and finished off a fantastic junior season hitting .370 with 1 HR, 5 2B, 2 3B, and 18 RBI, while also tying Brooks Wright for the team-lead in SB with 22.  When the season started, we all knew that this Catholic BR team had the ingredients to do something special, but they had to go out and prove it, and that's exactly what they did.  Hats off to Head Coach Brad Bass and the entire Catholic BR program for a 2024 season that won't soon be forgotten.  As for John Curtis, their 2024 season should be viewed as a success as well.  Much like Barbe, there were many who didn't expect the Patriots to get the State Title game, so hats off to the entire program for finding a way to get back to the State Tournament.  They faced one of the best arms that our state has ever since, but they were not afraid or intimated.  The Patriots displayed a tough, hard-nosed, blue-collar style of play that wins in Louisiana.  Like any program, they'll have to replace some key pieces oiff this year's team, but they do have several starters coming back.  2026 OF Nate Alario and 2026 SS Connor Micheu were mainstays in the Patriots lineup this spring, as was 2025 Juan Washington, who is another talented two-way coming back next season.  The Patriots won back-to-back State Titles in 2017 and 2018, and it seems as if they've got things rolling in the direction to possibly have one of those types of runs again.  

+ 2024 RHP William Schmidt (Catholic BR HS)

+ 2024 RHP Ryder Loup (Catholic BR HS)

+ 2024 3B Trip Dobson (Catholic BR HS)

+ 2025 SS Jack Ruckert (Catholic BR HS)

+ 2025 OF Noah Lewis (Catholic BR HS)

+ 2025 C Andrew Clapinski (Catholic BR HS)

+ 2025 RHP/1B Juan Washington (John Curtis Christian HS)

+ 2026 SS Connor Micheu (John Curtis Christian HS)


Lake Charles Summer ID LA 05/19 Barbe High School - Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles Rising Stars ID LA 05/19 Barbe High School - Lake Charles, LA
North Louisiana Summer ID LA 06/04 Louisiana Tech University - Ruston, LA
North Louisiana Rising Stars ID LA 06/04 Louisiana Tech University - Ruston, LA
Louisiana Top Prospect Games (Invite-Only) LA 06/11 University of Louisiana - Lafayette
Baton Rouge Summer ID LA 06/25 Zachary Youth Park - Zachary, LA
New Orleans Summer ID LA 07/02 Tulane University - New Orleans, LA


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