Prep Baseball Report

2023 Team Preview: St. Thomas More 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. Thomas More High School

-Coach’s Name: Cass Hargis

-ClassificationClass 4A (Select Division II)

-District: 4-4A

-No. of Returning Positional Starters: 4

-No. of Returning Pitchers: 5

-Team Strengths: Starting pitching, athletic/dynamic offense, infield defense

-Top Returning Players: 2023 SS Tanner Hornback, 2023 1B Colton Harrison (University of New Orleans commit), 2023 LHP Thomas Couvillon (University of Louisiana commit), 2024 RHP Wilton Taylor (University of Louisiana commit), 2024 RHP Hutch Swilley

-Top 2023 Prospects: 2023 SS Tanner Hornback, 2023 1B Colton Harrison (University of New Orleans signee), 2023 LHP Thomas Couvillon (University of Louisiana commit), 2023 C/OF Connor Stelly, 2023 RHP/1B Noah Melancon (Nicholls State commit)

-Top 2024 Prospects: 2024 RHP Wilton Taylor (University of Louisiana commit), 2024 RHP Hutch Swilley, 2024 UTIL Hayden Hernandez

-Top 2025 Prospects: 2025 RHP/OF Jacob Froehlich (University of Louisiana commit), 2025 MIF/OF Cade Wilkerson



Team Outlook

St. Thomas More has long been one of the better high school baseball programs, year in and year out, in the state of Louisiana.  For the last 13 seasons, Gary Perkins had been at the helm of the Cougars program and led the team to state championships in 2014 and 2015.  After falling in the quarterfinal round of last year's playoffs to Parkview Baptist, Coach Perkins retired, so the St. Thomas More baseball program has a new head man in charge in Cass Hargis.  Coach Hargis had been an assistant coach on Perkins staff for the past two seasons and prior to joining St.Thomas More, he served as the hitting coach at McNeese State University in 2020.  Expectations remain the same for Coach Hargis in his first year at the helm, as the Cougars return a good crop of players from last year's team, especially on the mound.  Junior RHP Wilton Taylor pitched in a lot of big games last season for the Cougars and looks to take another step forward in his progression this season.  Taylor was a member of our Future Games team this past summer and committed to the University of Louisiana soon after.  His repertoire includes a mid-upper 80's FB with good ride and life through the zone, but the separator for Taylor is his 70-74 mph CB and 74-77 mph SL, that both average 2600 RPM's.  The Cougars also return Senior LHP Thomas Couvillon, who was relatively unknown heading into last season, and is now another Ragin Cajun recruit.  We had the chance to see the southpaw against St. Louis Catholic last spring and the 6'3" left-hander didn't disappoint, as he ran his FB up to 90 mph and comfortably sat 85-89 mph.  There's tons of upside and a lot of "swing and miss" for Couvillon, who averaged 1.5 strikeouts per inning in 2022 .  Junior RHP Hutch Swilley is another returning arm who was successful last season, holding opponents to a .144 BAA.  Swilley works his FB in the low-mid 80's and pairs it with a 72-75 mph SL.  Lastly, the Cougars will also rely on Senior RHP Noah Melancon, a recent Nicholls State University commit, to log meaningful innings this spring.  Offensively, the Cougars will have an athletic, dynamic, and aggressive offense and Coach Hargis has told us that their offense all starts with Senior SS Tanner Hornback.  One of the top remaining uncommitted infielders in the state's 2023 class, Hornback was last year's District MVP and only struck out four times for the entire season and also swiped 21 bags.  In the middle of the order, the Cougars return Senior 1B Colton Harrison, who is a University of New Orleans recruit.  Harrison is a physical 6'0" 205 lbs. right-handed hitter who tallied 7 HR and 39 RBI last season for the Cougars.  Sophomore UTIL Cade Wilkerson is another returning bright, young prospect that saw a lot of playing time last spring for St. Thomas More and was another member of our Future Games team this past summer.  Coach Hargis and the Cougars will again have to battle rival Teurlings Catholic for the District 4-4A title, as well as North Vermilion, who was the Class 4A State Runner-Up last spring and the Class 4A State Champion in 2021.  St. Thomas More, however, returns three Division I recruits on the mound in Couvillon, Melancon, and Taylor, and they also return the MVP of the district in Hornback, so we fully expect Coach Hargis to have the Cougars in the hunt for another state title this coming spring.


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Upcoming Events

Baton Rouge Preseason ID 1/14/23 Zachary Youth Park (Zachary, LA) 
Lake Charles Preseason ID 1/15/23 Sam Houston High School (Moss Bluff, LA)  
Hammond Preseason ID 1/22/23 St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Hammond, LA)     
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