High School Team Preview: No. 17 Holy Cross




Trey Sofio
Louisiana Scouting Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will be posting high school team previews every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Holy Cross
Preseason Rank:
No. 17
2016 Record:
14-16
District:
9-5A
LHSAA Class:
5A
Head Coach:
Cass Hargis
Playoff Run: Missed Playoffs
2016 Final Rank: NR
Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers:
4

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Cyle Clayton, RHP/3B, 2017 (Nicholls State)
Cole Nalesnik, C/1B, 2017
Brenden Taravella, RHP, 2017 (Loyola New Orleans)
Chris Collet, C/OF, 2018
Mickey Toscano, RHP/OF/1B, 2017
Alex Wiltz, SS/RHP, 2018
Frank Timphony, INF, 2018
Chase Rouzano, CF/LHP, 2019
Ashton Goldring, OF/IF, 2018

X-FACTOR
Nicholls State recruit, Cyle Clayton, made a jump during the summer months playing with the Holy Cross American Legion team, which will give the Tigers a legitimate front of the rotation ace in 2017. Clayton will pitch 85-88 mph, touching 89 mph, throws strikes, and spins a quality breaking ball with 12/6 shape, depth and fastball arm speed. In addition, Clayton will man the hot corner, when not pitching, and provide thump in the heart of the Holy Cross lineup.

OUTLOOK
The Tigers struggled in 2016, eventually narrowly missing the playoffs, but showed flashes of an aggressive, fast-paced style of play. Coach Cass Hargis will be entering his second season at the helm, and expect the aggressive style of play to become more consistent in 2017, as the program has a year under their belt learning the new system. The Tigers will benefit from an incredible wealth of experience on the mound, as they return nearly every inning pitched from 2016. In addition to Clayton, the Tigers will have Loyola New Orleans recruit, Brenden Tarravella, 2017 Mickey Toscano, and 2018 Alex Wiltz, that will log significant and meaningful mound time for the Tigers in the upcoming spring.

BOTTOM LINE
Coach Hargis likes to put pressure on defenses, and the Holy Cross lineup has a quality mix of power and speed, as well as, left-handed and right-handed hitters throughout the batting order. 2018 C/OF Chris Collet, is one to watch this season. Collet is a physical imposing athlete, that runs well, and has clear present strength. The right-handed hitter has quality bat speed with strength at contact, and can provide the heart of the Tiger order with a unique combination of power-hitting potential and base-stealing ability. 2018 Frank Timphony, 2019 Chase Rouzano, and 2017 Cole Nalesnik, also give the Tigers three quality left-handed bats to sprinkle in the lineup, making matching up ever so difficult on opponets. District 9-5A is always an extremely competitive league, and anything can happen during district play. Although Holy Cross looks to be strong in 2017, battles against rivals Jesuit, John Curtis, Brother Martin, Rummel, Shaw, and St. Aug, loom large.

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