Sulphur High pitcher Kale Breaux doesn’t have the size or sizzle of most top high school baseball pitchers but more than made up for it with command, control and deception.
Breaux went 9-1 with a 0.75 ERA and two saves. He allowed one unearned run during the regular season. In 75 innings, he struck out 125 and allowed only 14 walks. He hit .387 with three home runs and 24 RBIs as the leadoff hitter.
Those intangibles and numbers added up to Breaux’s selection as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Farm Bureau/Mr. Baseball winner. The award is given annually to Louisiana’s outstanding player in all classifications. Breaux led the Tornadoes to a 35-3 record and the Class 5A semifinals.
In four years at Sulphur, the Mississippi State signee compiled a 28-12 record with 425 strikeouts in 282 innings.
Breaux said a strong summer showing got his big year started.
“The summer before my senior year, I went to the (USA Baseball) Tournament of Stars for the top 100 guys in the country,” Breaux said. “There were all these 6-foot-5, 6-6 guys there, but I just did what I had always done. Fastball, curveball, changeup, just kept my composure and I did really well.”
Breaux was selected for the USA national team that played in the Pan American tournament in Mexico. He started in a win over Cuba and helped Team USA win the gold medal.
“That was definitely the best experience I have had playing baseball,” Breaux said. “You play with the best players in the country. You play with them for a short period of time, but you feel like you have been knowing them forever.
“The coaches and staff were great. I got to meet David Eckstein, Craig Biggio, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols. Those are guys you grew up watching on TV, and now you are talking to them.”
After returning to Sulphur, Breaux sensed more good things were going to happen his senior season.
“This team was special,” Breaux said. “Not just on the field, but off the field too. We would bond together. We’d go to a camp together and have a good time. Everybody bought in, and it clicked for us. We knew we had talent; we just had to be brothers.”
The Tors ran off 24 straight wins to start the season.
“We started the first tournament undefeated, then we played Kinder. We were down 4-0, but nobody panicked,” Breaux said. “We just focused in and won. We got to 9-0 and started to get national attention.
We were 18-0 before the first Barbe game. We had played some good teams and gotten lucky a couple of times. We made it to 24-0, then got that first loss (to Lafayette). It wasn’t a big deal. Everybody was like ‘So what? Just keep your head up and keep working.’”
It should come as no surprise that Breaux wants to approach his college career at Mississippi State the same way.
“I can’t wait to get over there, get with the players and coaches and get started on a run to the College World Series,” he said. “The fans are great, they set a record for single game attendance in college baseball. The facilities are awesome, and it is a small town like Sulphur.”