Prep Baseball Report

2023 Team Preview: St. Louis Catholic High School

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

The 2023 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, our staff is excited for the upcoming spring season.  Players and coaches have been working all fall and through December, in preparation for the upcoming season and as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Louisiana.

Programs across the state have goals and aspirations to finish the year in Sulphur, LA at the LHSAA State Tournament, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes a reality.  We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams and players across the state, as we preview many of the great programs from Louisiana.  We will take you right up to the first pitch of this season with these team previews and we'll continue providing coverage throughout the spring. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season, as we strive to be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across Louisiana.  Each week we will release our players of the week, as well as our Power 25 Rankings, which encompasses the top 25 teams in the state, regardless of class.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.  If you did not receive a questionnaire and would like to fill one out, please send an email to [email protected].

-High School Name: St. Louis Catholic High School

-Head Coach: Matt Fontenot

-ClassificationClass 3A (Select Division II)

-District: 3-3A

-No. of Returning Positional Starters: 6

-No. of Returning Pitchers5

-Team Strengths: Starting Pitching, Offense, and Defense

-Team Weaknesses: Some Position Player Inexperience

-Top Returning Players: 2023 C/RHP Jake LaRocca (Louisiana Tech signee), 2023 3B/RHP Reid Snider (Louisiana Tech signee), 2023 SS/RHP James Reina, 2023 RHP Hank Milligan, 2023 MIF Gavin Phillips, 2023 OF Brooks Habetz, 2024 RHP/OF Kemonni Pullard, 2024 1B Kennedy Leggett

-Top 2023 Prospects: 2023 C/RHP Jake LaRocca (Louisiana Tech signee), 2023 3B/RHP Reid Snider (Louisiana Tech signee), 2023 SS/RHP James Reina, 2023 RHP Hank Milligan, 2023 MIF Gavin Phillips, 2023 OF Brooks Habetz

-Top 2024 Prospects: 2024 RHP/OF Kemonni Pullard, 2024 1B Kennedy Leggett, 2024 OF Silas Deville, 2024 RHP/UTIL Ryder Devall

-Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects: 2025 OF Brecken Bordelon, 2026 INF/RHP Konnor Boudreaux



Team Outlook

St. Louis finished the 2022 season with a 26-14 overall record and made another Final Four appearance, before falling to eventual 2022 State Champion Vandebilt Catholic, by a score of 3-1, in the semifinal round of the playoffs.  Head Coach Matt Fontenot has built a winning program during his time as the head man of the program, as the Saints won the 2021 state title by defeating Parkview Baptist.  Expectations are once again high for Coach Fontenot and company, heading into the 2023 season, as they return a good chunk of their lineup and have a deep pitching staff.  One of the main goals of this year's Saints team, is to get off to a faster start than they did last year, as the Saints will go to battle with the likes of Barbe, Benton, and St. Thomas More during the first four weeks of the season, before district play begins.  St. Louis has their own version of a "Big Three", who return this year, in seniors Jake LaRocca, Reid Snider, and James Reina.  LaRocca, a Louisiana Tech recruit, is one of the top backstops in the state and was a 1st team All-State Selection last year, after finishing the season with a .407 AVG.  In addition to his catching duties, LaRocca will also serve as one of the Saints top arms on the mound with a FB up to 90 mph.  He'll also see time at shortstop when Reina moves to the mound.  Reina is one of the top uncommitted guys in the state's 2023 class and is a "throwback" type of player.  He's a high baseball IQ guy, and will once again be the team's everyday shortstop, as well as one of their top of the rotation arms with a FB into the mid-80's.  Snider is another Louisiana Tech recruit, who will man the third base spot for the Saints, and will also be relied upon on the mound, more than likely in a reliever/closer type of role.  The fall reports on Snider as a pitcher, have been really good so far, as he's already been up to 91 mph in the early part of the season.  The likely #1 starter on the mound for the Saints will be junior Kemonni Pullard, who keeps trending in the right direction.  He's got a projectable, long, and lean frame with a loose arm that really works.  Pullard works his FB in the 84-86 mph range, and we wouldn't be surprised if that keeps ticking up, as we move deeper into the spring.  Senior Hank Milligan is also, another starter on the mound, that is back for Coach Fontenot this spring.  Milligan is a competitive strike-thrower, with a three-pitch mix, and was a 1st team All-District performer a season ago.  Junior Ryder Devall is another strike throwing, competitive guy with a three-pitch mix, that is expected to log innings this spring.  Behind the plate, the Saints have LaRocca, but they will need another guy when LaRocca goes to the mound and possibly, when LaRocca goes to shortstop while Reina takes over on the mound.  It's a competition right now between juniors Zack Buxton and Ethan Posch, who are both vying for playing time at the position.  On the infield, there will be some shuffling, with Reina and Snider both expected to log a considerable amount of innings on the mound.  At second base, you've got senior Gavin Phillips returning, who's another tough, hard-nosed, scrappy player.  At first base, you've got junior Kennedy Leggett, who's a prime candidate for a breakout 2023 campaign.  The physical 6'2" 230 lbs. right-handed hitter has real power and can drive the ball to all fields.  He recently recorded a 100 mph exit velocity at one of our January Preseason ID events and the most impressive thing, was his ability to drive the ball up the middle and to the opposite field.  In the outfield, Pullard will man centerfield and the Saints also return senior Brooks Habetz in leftfield.  Rounding out the outfield will be junior Silas Deville and sophomore Brecken Bordelon, who will both play important contributing roles.  A freshman to keep an eye on is Konnor Boudreaux, who's a really good all-around player, that could see time as a defensive substitute on the infield and/or in some type of role on the mound.  When playoff time comes, St. Louis will likely have to go to battle with the likes of St. Thomas More, Teurlings Catholic, and University Lab, who finished as the state runner-up last year.  We expect the Saints to accomplish their goal of getting off to a hot start in 2023, which will set them up to be one of the top seeds in the playoffs and a favorite to make it back to Sulphur, with the chance to win their second state title in three years.

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