Players from Catholic schools in St. Louis living their dream

Brian Howard pitches during a recent game for the Vermont Lake Monsters in baseball's minor leagues. Earlier this year his 12 strikeouts tied the single-game College World Series high.

Players from Catholic schools in the archdiocese were well represented at the Major League Baseball draft in June. The draft lasted three days, with 40 rounds and 1,215 selections, and three players from St. Louis Catholic schools were drafted.

Jake Burger was drafted 11th overall in the first round of the 2017 Major League draft by the Chicago White Sox. He was undrafted after attending Christian Brothers College High School and chose to attend Missouri State University, where he was a three-time All-American. This year, he hit .328 with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs.

Confident St. Pius’ crew thrive at bat, in the field

St. Pius X shortstop Eli Dale tagged out Whitfield’s Legend Alicea on a steal attempt. St. Pius’s pitching, hitting and fielding was top-notch April 17 in a 14-0 win vs. Whitfield High School. Senior catcher Zac Meyer led the offense with three doubles, a home run and three runs batted in. Sophomore Jeremy Isenman struck out five in three innings, giving up one hit, to lead a quartet of pitchers in the shutout.

Players on the St. Pius X High School baseball team are a confident bunch, and it shows in their crisp play in the field and at bat.

Yet, for all of that confidence — "swagger," as their coach calls it — they're quick to recognize the importance of their teammates for their success.

New Mizzou coach stands out for stress on core values

Southeast head coach Steve Bieser watches the from the sideline in the fourth inning against Belmont at Capaha Field on Friday, May 20, 2016. Belmont won 4-3.

Steve Bieser's coaching is built on four cornerstones. The first is faith — the core values of players, their integrity and the character they represent as well as self-worth, purpose and respect. Family, education and service are the others.

His record shows those cornerstones built a strong foundation.

St. Louisan puts strong faith, arm to use at TCU

Brian Howard, a St. Louis University High school graduate, threw a pitch for the TCU baseball team in a game against Oaklahoma univeristy at Lupton Stadium on the TCU campus in Fort Worth, Texas, April 16. Howard was drafted by the Houston Astros but will play another year at TCU.

Praise came from Baseball America, D-1, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram — even the St. Raphael the Archangel Parish bulletin.

St. Vincent’s talent, attitude lead to good start

Lisa Johnston | | twitter: @aeternusphoto

Crystal City High School second baseman, Logan Grove missed the throw, allowing St. Vincent High School’s Noah Niswonger to reach second base. St. Vincent High School beat Crystal City 4-1 March 28.

St. Vincent High School's players are having fun and serving the Lord while winning games early in the spring baseball season.

Behind a one-hit, 15-strikeout performance from Jordan Rellergert, St. Vincent won 4-1 March 28 against Crystal City, its third consecutive victory to open the season.

With six seniors providing leadership, "I couldn't ask for a whole lot more out of those guys," St. Vincent coach Tyler Search said, adding, "There's not a whole lot of holes (in the lineup). We just have to continue having quality at-bats."

Sportsmanship comes naturally to Ritter ballplayer

Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School baseball player Quentin Phillips threw out a ceremonial first pitch of the St. Louis Cardinals game June 12 at Busch Stadium. He was honored along with other McDonald’s Academic Excellence Award scholarship winners and also received the Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship from the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Quentin Phillips' friends joke that if they can't find him, he's probably doing something baseball-related.

He's been playing baseball since age 5. "It's my passion. I have a batting cage in my yard," he said. "It's just fun."

He enjoys playing, coaching and watching the game, a passion that he gained from his grandfather, Pianki Nefakara. To Phillips, sportsmanship is a natural follow-up to that passion.

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