After being graced with a veteran squad for the past five years, the Pios returned just three starters from the 2011 season and they were faced with using a number of first-year varsity players to fill the void left by the six graduating seniors.
A tough task, indeed.
That is unless you are Timmy Robichaux.
Robichaux guided his group of newcomers through a brutal non-district schedule before winning eight of their 10 league games to claim their third straight district championship. His Pios finished 18-14 on the season and earned the No. 6 seed in the Class 3A playoffs and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs where they were defeated by eventual state champion North DeSoto.
Notre Dame’s accomplishments, which far exceeded most people’s expectations, were more than enough to earn the Pios the top two honors on the Crowley Post-Signal’s All-Acadia Parish Baseball team that was released today.
Robichaux was tabbed as the Coach of the Year while senior slugger Connor Goss earned the Most Valuable Player award. The two earned similar honors on the District 4-3A team released earlier this month.
“I think we exceeded everyone’s expectations but our own,” said Robichaux. “We didn’t have a great start, but we played a tough schedule to get them ready.”
The Pios won three of their first four games to start the season, but then dropped eight of their next nine contests. The bulk of those losses were at the hands of teams in a higher classification, including Teurlings, Acadiana, St. Louis, St. Amant, Sam Houston and East Ascension.
“We did compete throughout the first part of our schedule,” said Robichaux, whose team had quality victories over Zachary, Livonia, St. Michael and St. Louis. “We had some big wins against some bigger schools and we competed in other games. I just think with so many new starters, experience wise, they just needed a chance to get on the field and get enough games under their belts to start playing with more confidence.
“That’s why we play such a tough schedule and I think we gradually got a little better and better as the season went on.”
One constant throughout the season for the Pios was Goss.
“Connor had a good season for us and, really, he has just had a really good career here,” said Robichaux, of Goss who started in some capacity every since he was a freshman. “He was a big contributor and difference maker for us.”
Goss did most of his damage at the plate where he led the Pios in nearly every offensive category. He hit .439 on the year and had a slugging percentage of .786. In addition, he hit .457 with runners in scoring position and racked up 14 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 43 RBI during his senior campaign.
Goss also filled in on the mound for the Pios and went 3-0 in district play with a 2.63 earned run average in 18 2/3 innings. He also had two saves.
“We weren’t real deep in pitching this season so he helped us a lot by getting up on the mound,” said Robichaux. “And he did a very good job. He helped us win on the mound as well as at the plate with his hitting.”
Goss is joined on the AP squad by five of his teammates - pitcher Nick Gossen, first baseman Gavin Bourgeois, outfielder Matt Venable and utility players Hogan Guidry and Dillan Gilbert.
Gossen went 6-3 on the season with a 1.45 ERA. He also logged three saves.
Bourgeois, the Pios leadoff hitter, hit .370 with one double, three triples and 13 RBI while Venable hit .324 with eight doubles, one triple and 16 RBI. Guidry hit .298 with 10 two doubles and 10 RBI and Gilbert, a freshman, hit .318 with five doubles, two triples and 14 RBI.
Crowley High nailed down three spots on the team in catcher Brody Deshotel, outfielder Taylor Doughty and pitcher Mackay Mouton.
Deshotel hit .364 on the season and led the Gents with 28 runs driven in. He also had seven doubles, one triple and one home run.
Doughty led the team with a .427 average and had five doubles, three triples and 15 RBI. The speedy LSU-Shreveport signee also stole 17 bases.
Mouton, a sophomore, who got the bulk of the starts this season, posted an earned run average of just over 3.0.
Northside Christian was awarded three spots on the team. Joseph Trahan made the squad at shortstop, Josh Wheeler got on as one of the four pitchers and Nick Zaunbrecher made it as a utility player.
Trahan, a Class C All-State selection, hit .619 with four doubles, two triples and two home runs in league play en route to being named the 5-C All-District MVP.
Wheeler posted an ERA of 1.75 in 10 innings of work during league play. He also hit .522 with three doubles, one triple, one home run and seven RBI.
Zaunbrecher, the Warriors starting catcher, had the second highest average on the team at .609. The sophomore also had two doubles and drove in seven runs.
Rayne and Church Point each grabbed two spots on the team.
Rayne’s Tyler LeJeune made the squad at pitcher after posting a 4-2 record with a 2.5 ERA. The sophomore hurler struck out 30 batters in 42 innings.
Grant Menard, also from Rayne, is one of the team’s three outfielders selected. The sophomore hit .415 with 10 doubles, one home run and 12 RBI.
Church Point’s Brett Richard made the team at second base while Jake Morvant made the team as a utility player.
Richard, a sophomore, hit .371 with eight doubles and 15 RBI while Morvant, also a sophomore, hit .470 with eight doubles, one triple, one home run and 24 RBI.
2012 Crowley Post-Signal
All-Acadia Parish Baseball Team
Pos. Player School Class
P Nick Gossen Notre Dame Sr.
P Mackay Mouton Crowley Soph. P Josh Wheeler Northside Soph.
P Tyler LeJeune Rayne Soph.
C Brody Deshotel Crowley Sr.
1st Gavin Bourgeois Notre Dame Soph.
2nd Brett Richard Church Point Soph.
3rd Connor Goss Notre Dame Sr.
SS Joseph Trahan Northside Soph.
OF Taylor Doughty Crowley Sr.
OF Matt Venable Notre Dame Jr.
OF Grant Menard Rayne Soph.
UT Hogan Guidry Notre Dame Jr.
UT Nick Zaunbrecher Northside Soph.
UT Jake Morvant Church Point Soph.
UT Dillan Gilbert Notre Dame Fr.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Timmy Robichaux, Notre Dame
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Connor Goss, Notre Dame
Honorable Mention: Notre Dame’s Brennan Corzine, Clint Faul; Crowley’s Steven Bertrand, Bradley Ancelet, Mickey Morgan; Northside’s Jordan Monte, Nick Gotte, Ben Morgan; Iota’s Kyle Smith, Keegan LeJeune; Church Point’s Todd LeJeune, Brett Thibodeaux; Rayne’s Jacob Stelly, Hunter Keely.