Concordia Lutheran vs. Barbe Scrimmage: Preview Story


Alex Armand & Phil Haig
LA & TX Scouting Directors

CONCORDIA LUTHERAN CRusaders

Fresh off a Runner up finish in 2021 in TAPPS Division one, Concordia Lutheran will look to make a run at the 2022 crown. The Crusaders return all of the headline names from last season and will be quite the force on the mound once again. Let's take a quick peek at a few of the players.

+ LHP Sean Fitzpatrick (2022), Arkansas signee
Fitzpatrick has continued to come into his own over the course of his high school career. The 6-foot-4 long limbed left hander creates a lot of hitting issues in the box. The Razorback signee throws with a slight crossfire delivery and a low ¾ slot, hiding the ball well and allowing his fastball to jump on guys. The fastball works into the low 90’s, generally topping 92, but sitting more 87-91 with a breaking ball that will work as his change of pace pitch.

+ RHP Alex Petrovic (2023), Auburn commit
Standing 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, the imposing righthander looks to be one of the workhorses for the 2022 season. The future Auburn Tiger, has all the makings of being another power arm to come from Concordia Luthern. Petrovic has an athletic/ clean delivery for such a big frame. Throwing from a high ¾ slot with minimal effort, the fastball will work in the mid to upper 80’s with plenty more in the tank. The breaking ball shows more curveball shape and spin working 72-75 mph as well as a changeup that is good enough to throw to both right and left handed hitters.

+ RHP/3B Jax Traeger (2022), TCU Commit Signee

Standing 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, the sturdily built righthander has been a mainstay with the crusaders for a few years now. The TCU signee pounds the zone with three pitches for strikes and pitches to contact. Traeger throws from a high ¾ slot creating some tilt when down in the zone. The fastball will work mid to upper 80’s, touching a 90 from time to time. To go along with the fastball, the strong right hander can mix in a quality changeup as well as a true curveball to both right and left handed hitters. 

+ C Nolan Traeger C (2024) TCU Commit

Behind most quality pitching staffs, there is a strong catcher leading the charge sixty feet, 6 inches away. Nolan Traeger is that guy for the Crusaders. Traeger has caught high end pitchers for a while now and handles them with ease. The future Horned Frog has the intangibles to play the catching position as well as will consistently be accurate with a 2.0-2.1 pop time in game. Traeger’s game doesn't stop on defense though. His bat will be the carrying tool as of now. With a smooth powerful stroke from the left side, look for Traeger to anchor the middle of the order and be a major contributor to the Crusader offense as well.





BARBE BUCCANEERS

 

High school baseball in the state of Louisiana officially kicked off on Monday, January 24th, 2022, with the first official practice day of the season with no restrictions.  The season is now here and the first official games will start in less than a month.  Over the course of the next couple of weeks, most programs will intersquad, scrimmage other teams, and participate in a jamboree.  This coming Saturday, the defending Louisiana Class 5A State Champion Barbe Buccaneers will travel west to Texas, to take on Concordia Lutheran High School.  The Bucs lost two key starters in Jack Walker (Mississippi State) and Kyle Debarge (University of Louisiana), but do return the majority of their lineup and pitching staff for 2022.  PBR Louisiana Scouting Director Alex Armand will be in attendance this weekend to get a closer look at this year’s Barbe team, as they look to win their 12th state championship in school history.  Below, we preview the Bucs and some of the things that we’re anxious to see ahead of Saturday’s clash with Concordia Lutheran.  



Pitching Staff

A big reason why Barbe went 39-2 last season and won their 11th state championship was because of their pitching staff that was virtually unstoppable. Jack Walker is now a freshman at Mississippi State, but the Bucs have a more than capable arm to replace him in 2022 Gavin Guidry (LSU Signee).  In a December look, Guidry was already up to 94 mph and has added a hard and sharp 80-85 mph slider to his repertoire.  Coming off of Tommy John surgery, 2023 J.C. Vanek (LSU Commit) will likely be the #2 starter in the Bucs rotation this spring and will be a big key to their success this season.  Vanek works mostly in the mid 80’s with his fastball, to go along with a curveball, slider, and changeup.  Rounding out the starting rotation will be 2024 Landon Victorian, who is currently ranked as the top prospect in our state rankings.  The 6’3” RHP has already eclipsed the 90 mph mark with his fastball and has improved his off-speed offerings this fall.  Outside of the top three guys for the Bucs, the biggest question is what the rest of the staff will look like, especially the bullpen.  2024 Owen Galt (LSU Commit) is the likely fourth starter for the first month of the season when four starters will be needed.  2023 Donovan LaSalle (Oklahoma State Commit), known primarily for his bat, is a bullpen option for the Bucs this season.  A host of other guys will have an opportunity on Saturday to earn spots on the varsity and is something that we are looking forward to seeing.   


Offense

Kyle Debarge is now a freshman at the University of Louisiana and will likely start at shortstop for Head Coach Matt Deggs and the Ragin Cajuns this spring.  Debarge took on catching duties last season and did a tremendous job behind the plate.  His replacement will likely be 2025 Presley Courville (Texas A&M Commit), who is the 4th ranked prospect in our state rankings and the top ranked catcher.  Courville, just a freshman, is an excellent defender by the plate, with excellent receiving and blocking skills.  He also has athletic footwork, a quick transfer, and plenty of arm strength, which should keep most teams honest on the base paths.  The Bucs pitchers are also really good at holding runners on, a staple of Glenn Cecchini coached baseball teams.  2022 Grant Comeaux (Louisiana Tech Signee) returns at 3rd base and Guidry returns at shortstop.  Galt, who saw time at shortstop last season when Guidry pitched, looks to be the starting second baseman this season.  In the outfield, the Bucs return 2022 Crawford Courville (LSU-Eunice), who is now back 100%, after an off-season shoulder surgery.  LaSalle will be in right field this season, after spending last year at second base.  In left field, Coach Cecchini has a few options this year and it will be interesting to see who grabs hold of that spot.  2022 Blake Moss is a really good defender with a good arm (90 mph) from the outfield.  2024 Kasen Bellard has also been working in left field for the Bucs, as well as the infield, and was one of the best hitters for Louisiana this past summer at the Future Games.  2024 Diego Corrales is also another option and would add a left-handed bat to the lineup.  All in all, this Bucs offense looks to be improved from last season, as the majority of this lineup now has a full varsity season of at-bats under their belt.

 

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