MS High School Team Preview: Sacred Heart Crusaders

PBR Mississippi Staff

The 2023 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 Mississippi.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Pearl, MS at Trustmark Park as they compete for a state championship, 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 Mississippi. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing other pieces of content covering the Magnolia State.

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each MHSAA classification as well as a Power 25. 

*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: Sacred Heart Catholic School

Coach’s Name: Larry Watkins  

Classification: MHSAA 2A 

2022 Record: 14-9

District Number: District 8 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Good group of young players 

Top Returning Players: 

Top 2024 Prospects:

  • OF Jack Hasselbring
  • 1B Keith Collins

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

  • C Britton Busby
  • OF Gary Duckworth
  • OF Jackson Gamber
  • INF Aiden Gibbs
  • INF/OF Gabriel Pipkins
  • UTL Levi Green

Team Outlook:

Sacred Heart Head Coach Larry Watkins heads into 2023 in somewhat of a rebuilding phase with his program as he returns 3 positional starters and 3 pitchers. The Crusaders are coming off a 14-9 record in 2022 with a first round appearance in the 2A state playoffs. Coach Watkins is excited about the future, with a solid group of young players on the roster and valuable in-game experience ahead of them. 

Top returners for the Crusaders include senior Andrew Grubbs (C/RHP), and sophomore’s Brad Marrero (SS/RHP) and Khai Welch (3B/RHP). Grubbs, who will provide senior leadership, led all returning Crusaders with a .365 average and will be expected to produce once again this spring. Marrero led all returning players with 26 RBI’s, while gaining valuable experience as a freshman. Welch also played a key role in the team's success in 2022 hitting at a .360 clip, also as a freshman. 

Other players Watkins expects to contribute this season will be junior’s Jack Hasselbring (OF) and Keith Collins (1B), sophomore’s Britton Busby (C/1B), Gary Duckworth (OF), Jackson Gamber (OF/P), Aiden Gibbs (INF), and Gabriel Pipkins (INF/OF), along with freshman Levi Green (UT/RHP).

With so many underclassmen getting valuable experience this season the foreseeable future looks bright for the Crusaders. 

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Upcoming Events

Preseason All-State (Invite-Only) 1/21 Mississippi College - Frierson Field (Clinton, MS)
Super 60 Pro Showcase 2/5 The MAX - (McCook, IL)
South Mississippi Rising Stars ID 3/25 Southern Performance Institute - (Madison, MS)
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