Crusader Baseball - 1
#9 Team All-Time
The July 20, 2003 Times-Picayune ran a article on the Top Ten baseball teams in New Orleans prep history. The 1984 Brother Martin Crusaders were ranked #9. Coach Barry Hebert's state champs compiled a 25-4 record. Here are the TP's comments.
Highlights: Martin fielded one of the state's most potent postseason offenses. In five playoff games, the Crusaders scored 15, 14, 14, 13 and 10 runs. Wendy's, based at Brother Martin, had reached the American Legion World Series in 1983. Martin lost the Catholic League championship to Shaw 11-10.

Top players: Pitcher-infielder Keith Schmitt (10-0, .354 average), second baseman Jeff Schwaner (.350), third baseman Brian Muller (.380) and outfielder Chito Martinez (.396) were chosen All-Metro. Tookie Spann had six hits in three games in the tournament, with 10 RBIs in the first two games. Schmitt had nine hits and Martinez eight in the tournament. Three of the 15 All-State selections were Crusaders: Muller, Martinez and Schmitt.

1984 State Baseball Champs
Pitchers Prevailed
1964 was the Year of the Pitcher, both for first-year coach Don Landry's Crusaders and the opposition. Some examples.
  • Saturday, March 15 at Perry Roehm Park: Righthander Tom Ranlett threw a one-hitter to defeat Redemptorist 2-0. He struck out nine while walking five.
  • Tuesday, March 18 at Kirsch-Rooney: De La Salle's ace Jerry Schoen pitched a no-hitter. However, the Crusaders led 1-0 with two outs in the seventh (last) inning when southpaw Art Troncoso surrendered his fifth hit, a single that plated the tying run. In the extra frame, a walk and two singles gave the Cavaliers the victory.
  • Sunday, April 13 at Kirsch-Rooney: Repeat performance by Troncoso and Schoen. Art surrendered only two hits to Jerry's three but DLS again prevailed, 1-0.
  • Thursday, April 24 at Roehm: Troncoso was superb again, defeating Jesuit 2-0 on a three-hitter.
1964 Hurlers
Ace hurlers Tommy Ranlett, Art Troncoso, and Ronnie Bruner carried the pitching load for the '64 season
So Close Twice
The 1958 St. Aloysius baseball team had a frustrating season in the typically tough Catholic league.
  • Henry Perret's diamond aggregation defeated Holy Cross 11-4 to end the first round tied with the Tigers for first. However, the Crusaders lost a 9-8 thriller in the playoff game. HC jumped out 4-0 in the first, but the Crusaders pecked away at the lead. They scored one in the third on a single by Larry Bettencourt, a stolen base, and two errors. After the Tigers pulled ahead 6-1, SA scored four in the fifth on a single by Louis Comeaux and a triple by Joe Spano. Then three in the sixth put the Saders ahead 8-6 until the Crossmen scored 3 in the seventh, the telling blow being a two-run HR by Solis.
  • Aloysius tied De La Salle for the second round lead but lost that playoff by one run also, 2-1, at Muny Park. The Cavaliers scored both their runs in the third without a hit on four walks and a HBP. This wildness cost Comeaux the victory despite twirling a one-hitter. The Saints' only run came in the third on a HR by 2B Norman Regouffre.
Baseball 1958
Legion Success
The 1957 St. Aloysius summer American Legion baseball team, coached by Henry Perret, was sponsored by Coca Cola.
  • The squad "copped second place after bowing to the De La Salle La Roccas in the final playoff for the championship. It was a thrilling eleven inning game with the score winding up 5 to 3.
  • In the first round, the St. Aloysius team had eight victories. These were over the De La Salle, Holy Cross, Warren Easton, and Fortier.
  • In the play-offs for the first round, Coca Cola lost to the Jesuit Tulane Shirts.
  • All of the pitchers did an outstanding job winning 16 and losing only two.
  • Bobby Foret and Joe Spano did marvelously at the plate averaging about .330 each." Source: The Aloysian
Baseball Returns
Al Liska
A note in The Aloysian in the early spring of 1940:

After dropping out of baseball and track for several years, the Crusa­ders are returning to competition in those sports this year.

The baseball team would be the first in three years. The article does not say why the two sports were dropped. A good guess would be financial conside­rations at the tail end of the Great Depression.

The baseball team did not enter Prep competition but played a practice sche­dule to prepare them for league competition in 1941. The coach was supposed to be Danny Lyons who had come to Esplanade Avenue only eight months re­moved from attaining "Little All-American" status for Loyola's basketball Wolf­pack. However, Lyons resigned to work for General Motors. So Brother Ralph was made the coach of the fledging diamond men. Al Liska took Lyons' classes for the remainder of that school year.

Brother Ralph's top players were senior C Roy Cosse and senior P Al Briede, "who has a speedy smokeball but who is a bit wild as yet." Another RHP was football sensation Johnny Campora.

  • After a practice game with S. J. Peters was cancelled by bad weather, the squad opened its abbreviated season May 7 with a 5-4 victory at Gulf Coast Military Academy in Gulfport.
  • A week later, GCMA returned the visit and lost again, 3-2.
  • The squad fell 22-8 to Maumus (forerunner of Chalmette High School). Campora was "doing fine until the 5th inning when the Owls scored 14 runs."
  • The season concluded with a one run loss to the "Seminarians at Cov­ington," who scored the winning run in the bottom of the last inning.

The school planned to field a Legion team under the sponsorship of John Golden (my father's name but no relation). The team would be called the "Golden Athletics."

Picture from the Past
Baseball 1931
This is the 1931 St. Aloysius varsity baseball team coached by "Kip" Kessler. The box scores published in The Panther yearbook reveal that high school games were usually nine innings in length in those days. The team defeated "Jesuits" (as the yearbook labeled the school on Banks Street) 4-3 in 10 innings in the second game of the season. Jesuits took the second tilt later in the season 15-5 in nine innings. The Panthers finished the season with a 6-4 record.

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#9 Team All-Time

Pitchers Prevailed

So Close Twice

Legion Success

Baseball Returns

Picture from the Past - 1931


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