Veteran Lafayette High baseball coach Sam Taulli likened the precision pitcher Bo Hardin used through District 3-5A — arguably one of the state’s toughest leagues — to that of former Atlanta Braves ace Greg Maddux.
Not overly overpowering, but extremely crafty and effective.
The Louisiana High School Baseball Coaches Association thought so much of Hardin’s overall performance — an 8-1 record, 1.11 ERA and 43 strikeouts — to name the junior its Class 5A Player of the Year.
“He was the MVP in a really tough district,” Taulli said. “He shutout Barbe, Sulphur and Sam Houston on the road, which was a tremendous accomplishment. He also hit (.333) really well. He had a great year.”
Hardin’s selection atop the Class 5A team led an impressive showing on the LBCA’s all-state team that was released Tuesday.
Class 4A state champion Teurlings Catholic swept top honors with senior Brett Weber (10-0, 1.47 ERA) winning Pitcher of the Year, junior Nick Webre (.444, six HRs, 42 RBIs) Player of the Year and Mike Thibodeaux Coach of the Year.
The Rebels (35-4) also had first-team selections in pitcher Josh Taylor (11-1, 1.75), catcher Austin Kirkpatrick (.340, 38 RBIs), third baseman Chaney Dodge (.347, 28 RBIs), outfielder Jacob Richard (.287, six doubles, 25 RBIs) and utility player Hayden Cantrelle (.398, nine doubles, 29 RBIs).
Central Catholic, which captured its fifth overall Class 1A state championship, took two of three top honors with senior Samuel Guarisco named Player of the Year and Tyler Jensen Coach of the Year.
“That’s an award because our team had so much success,” said Jensen, who guided Central Catholic to a 28-4 record. “I put that on our assistant coaches who do such a good job with helping. I’m more excited for our guys that were honored.”
Guarisco batted .403 with 10 doubles and 31 RBIs. The shortstop was one of the catalysts in CCMC’s state-title run, delivered his team’s game-winning hit — a bases-loaded single — that lifted the Eagles to a 7-6 victory over Oak Grove in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Guarisco was one of four Eagles to earn first-team status, joining pitchers Blake Hidalgo (7-1, 2.11) and Gregory Leger (6-3, 1.89) and second baseman Stefano Guarisco (.373, 28 RBIs, 24 stolen bases).
Class 4A state semifinalist Breaux Bridge placed three players on the first team with catcher Tyler Thibodeaux (.354, 25 RBIs), infielder Julian Leon and utility player Alex Franks (.303, 18 RBIs, 5-1 record).
Erath, which advanced to its first 3A quarterfinals, landed pitcher Luke Young (7-2, 1.25), infielder Mason Granger (.432, 45 RBIs) and utility player Bren Faulk (.340, 30 stolen bases).
Class 1A state semifinalist Vermilion Catholic also had a trio of first-team selections in pitcher Gage Trahan (8-1, 2.32), catcher Emile Trahan (.454, 10 doubles, 26 RBIs) and utility player Hunter Frith (.422, eight doubles, two homers, 26 RBIs).