Baseball leads way with college commits

Senior Wendell Champion throws home in last year’s TAPPS State Championship against Concordia. Champion is committed to play at the University of Houston next year.

Baseball is the most successful sports team at this school; their twenty-three state titles solidify that fact. Consequently they seem to lead the school in college recruitment every year.

This was true last year, with the team’s biggest contributors Michael Rodgers, Ben Condara, Jordan Bautista-Rosales and Rawlings Elam all signing letters of intent to continue playing baseball in college.

With the Eagles coming off a state championship win, it is not surprising that this year’s seniors are also being recruited to play in college. Five of whom have already signed their letters of intent before the first pitch of the new season has even been thrown.

Starting short-stop, and lead-off hitter, Max Machiorlette will be going on to play baseball at Princeton University. Fellow returning starter Wendell Champion has also committed, he will be staying in Houston to play at the University of Houston come next year.

“Both of these guys started every game for us,” Lousteau said. “It was very contributive to our offense and I think they’re both going to have good college careers.” Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee has snagged a duo from St. Thomas. Pitcher John Ganucheau and catcher/designated hitter Chris Winter will both be playing for the Lynx’s next year. The pair will join fellow St. Thomas alum Ryan Olive on the diamond. In addition, fellow pitcher Matt George has committed to play for the Tigers of DePauw University in Indiana.

“It means a lot to us, it’s one of the things that we focus on, helping get these kids into a college program, we probably average four or five a year and right now we have five that are committed for next year and I think we might be able to add a few to that number.”

-Ryan Lousteau, Head Baseball coach

These seniors, and especially Machiorlette and Champion, will be looked upon to be leaders for the Eagles this season. The squad is full of youth, but these players have the advantage of being able to focus solely on baseball. “One of the big things for this group is that they can relax knowing they have a place to play next year,” Lousteau said. “They can focus on the team aspect, focus on winning, and not have to focus on their individual accolades trying to get themselves into a college. They have that already secured, they can focus on their senior year at St. Thomas as opposed to ‘what’s my future going to hold’.”

That may prove to be a very crucial thing as the season starts rolling along. With Concordia Lutheran hot on their trails, the Eagles cannot afford to take their foot off the gas and lose any momentum they still have from last year. The Eagles open the season against Fort Bend Christian, come out and see these college prospects defend their state title.