Cazeaux’s gang strives to improve on last season
Last year, Hahnville’s season came to an emotional jolt, losing to St. Paul’s in the regionals 4-2. With the disappointing loss, the Tigers finished the season with an overall record of 31-4, an undefeated district season and a district championship. But, as always, they were looking for more.Those departed from their last staff include Jordan Brown, Steven Burns, Jake Champagne, Jessie Dunn, Brad Fonseca, Daron Friloux, Raymond Guedry, Charlie Harrell, Andrew Hickman, Chris Lanaux, Ryne Madere, Aramie Melancon and Adam White. Those departed seniors leave a hole, but one that Coach Frank Cazeaux thinks can be filled.
“Last year’s was a pretty good team; it had a bunch of seniors that I inherited from Coach Sims. The style I taught was different for them from Coach Sims because I like to run and bunt as a coach,” said Cazeaux. “Hopefully, this team they take to my style.”
“I told the guys, ‘Last year, we went 31-4 and we had nothing to show for it other than a district championship.’ We want to try and get to that next step. That big dance which is the state tournament,” said Cazeaux.
“We are looking for a good year, but we started off kind of slow,” said Cazeaux, starting off 2-2 but expectations always run high for the Tiger Nation. “Once you get to that state tournament anything can happen. This is a team that can do that.”
As for who to look for as leaders this season, Cazeaux said, “We got six seniors. We are going to have to lean on them,” adding that senior centerfielder Jordan Frickey, who will be the leadoff man, and his cousin, Daniel Frickey, playing first base will lead the team each day.
Pitching is the backbone of Hahnville, with Aaron Loup, who recently signed a scholarship to pitch for Tulane. Loup will be the ace on the mound for the Tigers. Loup will also be a designated hitter when he is not scheduled to pitch. In addition to Loup, senior pitchers Eric Fey, Tyler Thigpen and Reid Pichon comprise an experienced laden pitching staff that will be one of the Tigers’ strengths.
Junior Wesley Thigpen behind the plate is another star for Cazeaux. “He’s a very good defensive catcher who thows the ball very well,” said Cazeaux. Junior Jordan Stephany is another vital part of his lineup as his starting shortstop.
Cazeaux said that fundamental baseball will be the type of ball that they hope to play. “Make the routine play, that’s what we ask the kids to do. Offensively, the game is going to dictate what we have to do. We are going to bunt when we have to; we are going to steal when we have to,” said Cazeaux, and he says the goal to is to improve each week. If that happens, he thinks they will be playing in May when the playoffs start.
“I think we are going to be able to compete on the mound. They are starting to get a feel how to play baseball,” said Cazeaux. Gelling in to a cohesive unit is his biggest challenge. “Once we understand the little things about baseball, we are going to be in good shape. That’s what’s been hurting us.”
With the 6 seniors, Cazeaux’s staff has 10 sophomores. But he said that sometimes in baseball seniors can be the hardest to focus, especially since the season falls at the end of the school year and the older kids are worried about college choices, senior trips and other distractions.