Teurlings Catholic’s Josh Taylor outduels Benton’s Jackon Rutledge in 1-0 win _lowres

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Teurlings' Austin Kirkpatrick hits the ball against Benton on March 21 at Louisiana-Lafayette's M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

The flight of Nick Webre’s majestic home run in the bottom of the seventh Friday carried with it significant implications for Teurlings Catholic’s baseball program.

Not only did the Rebels emerge with a 6-5 victory over nationally ranked Blessed Trinity of Roswell, Georgia, but they also realized a long-range goal that began taking shape after last year’s Class 4A state runner-up finish.

“Coach (Mike Thibodeaux) sat us down and told us about how much potential we had,” said Teurlings senior center fielder-pitcher Jacob Richard, an LSU-Eunice commitment. “He said why not shoot for the stars and get a national ranking. It’s something we started focusing on last May.”

On Tuesday, Teurlings learned that it cracked this week’s MaxPreps.com Xcellent 50 Rankings which listed the Rebels (24-3) at No. 28.

Coppell, Texas (20-0) remained No. 1.

Teurlings is also the No. 2 rated team behind Mira Costa High-Manhattan Beach, California, according to the same media outlet in its Medium Schools poll, a ranking for schools with 1,000 students.

“We’re certainly excited about it. It’s awesome,” Teurlings coach Mike Thibodeaux said. “We’re proud of our players for the recognition they’re earning. They’re definitely having an awesome season.”

Teurlings has been the state’s top-ranked team in Class 4A, according to the LHSAA’s unofficial power ratings.

The Rebels have dealt with a formidable schedule from the start, including a pair of losses to Class 5A teams Sam Houston and Sulphur in the first week.

Teurlings reeled off nine consecutive wins until a 3-2 loss against Class 5A’s Catholic-Baton Rouge. They’ve responded with 12 straight wins and carried a one-game lead in District 4-4A play into Tuesday’s game with Beau Chene.

“As a staff, we’ve really pushed this group,” Thibodeaux said. “We’ve said that anyone can be average, but we wanted to see how good we could be.”

That included scheduling Blessed Trinity, which also played Parkview Baptist and St. Thomas More during its spring break.

Blessed Trinity brought in a gaudy No. 8 national ranking, 18-0 record and impressive 49-game winning streak into a game that fell right in the middle of Teurlings’ district season.

“It was an awesome challenge,” Thibodeaux said. “It was to help us get better, to accomplish our goals within our state. It was a great experience playing against a great team.”

Against Blessed Trinity, Teurlings jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first before having to rally from a 5-3 deficit with two runs in the fifth, setting the stage for Webre’s heroics that had far-reaching effects.

Webre went 3-for-4 and added a double, while Austin Kirkpatrick and Chaney Dodge each added two hits. Brett Weber earned the win with four innings of scoreless relief.

“It felt good to able to go toe to toe with them,” Richard said. “We grew a lot as a team and program. It helped us build as a team.”