Prep Baseball Report

2024 Team Preview: Live Oak High School

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

The 2024 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state.  Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Louisiana.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Sulphur, LA, home of the LHSAA State Championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality.  We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Louisiana.  We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews, followed by our Power 25 Rankings release, and our popular Game of the Week segment. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the bayou state.  Each week, we will be releasing our players of the week, updating our Power 25 Rankings, and many more pieces of content.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.


High School Name: Live Oak High School

Head Coach: Jesse Cassard

Classification: Class 5A (Non-Select D-I)

District: 5-5A

2023 Record: 30-8

2023 Playoff Finish: State Quarterfinalist

No. of Returning Positional Starters: 7

No. of Returning Pitchers: 6

Team Strengths: Pitching and Left-Handed Hitting

Top Returning Players: 2024 Kenny Berard, 2024 Mike Stephens, 2025 Sawyer Pruitt (Ole Miss commit), 2025 Cooper Smith (Louisiana Tech commit), 2025 Brock Davis (Northwestern State commit), 2025 Jude Weller (Tulane commit)

Top 2024 & 2025 Prospects: 2024 Kenny Berard, 2024 Mike Stephens, 2024 Jacob Galloway (Hinds CC commit), 2025 Sawyer Pruitt (Ole Miss commit), 2025 Cooper Smith (Louisiana Tech commit), 2025 Brock Davis (Northwestern State commit), 2025 Jude Weller (Tulane commit), 2025 Trevor Hodges, 2025 Cal Cassard, 2025 Brayden Allen, 2025 Cameron Washington

Top 2026 & 2027 Prospects: 2026 Zant Gurney, 2027 Cullen Weller (Tulane commit), 2027 Dekohta Jones, 2027 Lane Billings, 2027 Porter Rutledge, 2027 OF Kingston Johnson

Team Outlook

Live Oak had another solid season in 2023, after going 30-8 overall and making it to the quarterfinal round of the LHSAA Non-Select D-I playoffs.  The Eagles have been knocking on the doorstep of making the State Tournament and there's optimism in Watson, LA that 2024 may be their year to do it.  One of the big surprises of last season and the returning ace of the Eagles staff is 2025 RHP Sawyer Pruitt.  The Ole Miss recruit has a XL 6'6" 215 lbs. frame and can run his heater into the low-90's to go along with a developing CB and feel for a CH.  The Eagles options on the mound don't stop there, as guys like 2024 RHP Jacob Galloway (Hinds CC commit), 2024 RHP Mike Stephens, 2025 RHP Jude Weller (Tulane commit), and 2025 RHP Trevor Hodges are all back for another year of action.  The fall reports on Weller have been really good.  He should be a guy that plays a big role this spring, thanks to his competitive, bulldog-like mentality.  Keep an eye out for 2026 LHP Zant Gurney this spring as well.  The southpaw had a terrific fall for Live Oak and will be another factor in this year's pitching staff.  One of the bigger questions for the Eagles this coming spring is behind the plate.  2025 Cooper Smith, a Louisiana Tech recruit, unfortunately suffered an injury during the football season, which may delay his return behind this dish.  The good news for Coach Cassard and company, is that Smith will without a doubt be available as a bat, and they feel comfortable about their defensive backups to Smith, should he have to miss time.  2025 Brock Davis, a Northwestern State commit and former Future Gamer, returns at the shortstop position, after winning District 5-5A's Gold Glove award a season ago.  2024 Kenny Berard, an uncommitted senior, had a really good junior season for the Eagles and should hit in the middle of the order.  2024 Mike Stephens, another uncommitted prospect, should man centerfield this season for Live Oak and is an athletic right-handed hitter.  Juniors Brayden Allen and Cal Cassard also saw valuable playing time last spring as sophomores and will be relied upon more heavily this coming year.  Allen is a sure-handed defender on the infield with good bat-to-ball skills and Cassard is a left-handed hitter with a high baseball IQ, that can handle the bat and keep the lineup moving.  The Eagles also have a few incoming freshman who have the opportunity to earn playing time this spring.  2027 Cullen Weller, a Tulane recruit, has been a household name for quite some time, as he's known for his positional versatility and sweet right-handed swing.  2027 Dekohta Jones is a former Jr. Future Gamer, who has some of the best overall tools in his class with speed (6.84 laser-timed 60) and strength (94.3 mph max exit velocity).   2027 Lane Billings is another former Jr. Future Gamer who will see varsity action this season, after being one of the team's leading hitters over the fall.  Live Oak will once again have to battle with the likes of St. Amant, Dutchtown, and Denham Springs in a competitive District 5-5A.  The Eagles are one of the more competitive teams, year in and year out, but this year feels a little bit different, because they return so many guys who have been through the fire of a varsity season.  Couple that with what should be one of the best pitching staffs that Eagles have ever had, and it just may be the perfect combination of ingredients for Live Oak to take the next step forward this spring, and advance to the LHSAA State Tournament.


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