Head Varsity Coach:
Assistant Varsity Coaches:
Vianney's State Championship run was not only being recognized by the state of Missouri but it was also being recognized nationally from the start of the season to the end of the season. In the end the Griffins finished as the #3 ranked team in the nation. Not since the 1992 Soccer team has a Vianney team finished this high in the national rankings. That year the Griffin soccer team went 30-0-2 and finished ranked #1 in the Nation. This year's baseball team finished the season a remarkable 37-2 and finished anywhere from #3 to #7 in every major national end-of-the-season poll, and in the end,when Max Preps released their Super 25 Composite Poll, the Griffins ranked as the 3rd best team in the United States. Listed below are all of the Final Polls recognizing Vianney's tremendous season.
#1 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
#1 - Missouri High School Coaches Association
#1 - Missouri Prep Baseball Report
#1 - Max Preps Midwest Region
#1 - USA Today Midwest Region
#3 - Max Preps Top 25 Composite Ranking
#3 - Collegiate Baseball National Ranking
#6 - Baseball America Top 25
#6 - USA Today Top 25 Poll
#6 - BCA (High School Baseball Coaches Association of America)
#7 - Perfect Game Super 50
#7 - Max Preps Excellent 25
Luke Mann's senior campaign is one that will not only go down as one of the best seasons ever by a Vianney baseball player but also as one of the best ever in the St. Louis area and the state of Missouri for that matter. Not only was Luke an amazing 10-0 on the mound with 102 strikeouts against only 20 walks in 70 1/3 innings pitched and a miniscule 1.09 ERA, but he also became only the 4th player in Vianney history with a .500 or better batting average (.513) and set school marks for Hits (60), RBI's (61), Total Bases (114), Extra Base Hits (28) and Home Runs (12). For his efforts Luke has garnered possibly the most post season honors of any other player in Vianney Baseball history. Listed below are the majority of awards bestowed onto Luke following the 2018 season.
Collegiate Baseball 1st Team All-American
ABCA 2nd Team All-American
Perfect Game/Rawlings HM All-American
ABCA 1st Team All-Region 5
Perfect Game/Rawlings 1st Team All Central Region
USA Today 2nd Team All-American
USA Today/American Family Insurance Missouri Player-of-the-Year
Missouri Gatorade Player-of-the-Year
Perfect Game Missouri Player-of-the-Year
Prep Baseball Report (PBR) Missouri Player-of-the-Year
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player-of-the-Year
MHSBCA 1st Team All-State
Metro Catholic Conference Player & Pitcher-of-the-Year
(first time given to same player)
Greater St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall-of-Fame Rising Star Award Winner
With the State Championship still fresh in everyone's mind and the completeness of finishing the season at 37-2, it was easy for people to see that this was not a one man show. No, it was a complete compilation of a group of young men that help put this masterpiece together, and as the saying goes, with the riches comes the spoils. Many of the players were recognized for their accomplishments and were bestowed the following post season honors. Luke Mann led the list, but his are listed in a separate article.
|12-Andrew Keck||33-CJ Cepicky||17-Noah Niznik|
|MHSBCA 1st Team All-State||MHSBCA 1st Team All-State||MHSBCA 2nd Team All-State|
|Post-Dispatch 1st Team All Metro||USA Today 1st Team All-State||Post-Dispatch 1st Team All Metro|
|1st Team All-MCC||Post-Dispatch 1st Team All Metro||1st Team All-MCC|
|1st Team All-MCC|
|2nd Team Max Preps All-American|
|16-Nico Hagen||26-Mitch O'Dekirk||25-Anthony Altobella|
|MHSBCA 2nd Team All-State||MHSBCA 3rd Team All-State||2nd Team All-MCC|
|1st Team All-MCC||1st Team All-MCC|
|20-Brendan May||13-Michael DiPiazza||1-Dominic Moro|
|2nd Team All-MCC||2nd Team All-MCC||2nd Team All-MCC|
|5-Devin Ward||22-Brock Daniels||23-Ryan Insco|
|2nd Team All-MCC||2nd Team All-MCC||2nd Team All-MCC|
With all of the success of the Vianney baseball team this season it allowed Head Coach Scott Brown reach two major milestones in his 26 year coaching career, the last eight at his alma mater, Vianney. Coach Brown's first milestone of becoming the all-time winningest baseball coach at Vianney was reached during the district championship victory against St. Louis University High School. The victory marked the 219th victory in his eight years at Vianney, breaking the previous mark set by his former coach, Mr. Jerry Boeckman, who recorded 218 victories in his 19 year stint as the head coach at Vianney.
Coach Brown's reached his second milestone the very next game in the State Sectional win over the visiting Lafayette Lancers. The win marked the 500th victory of his 26 year career. To go along with the 220 wins he has garnered at the helm of the Griffins, Coach Brown also won 280 games during his 18 years as the head coach of the CBC Cadets. He is also the winningest baseball coach in the history of CBC.
The game started off on a slow foot but by the time the game hit the fifth inning the Griffins were ready to put an end to the sluggish start and get the bats going. In the end the Griffins (35-2) came away with a 9-2 victory over the pesky host, the Jackson Indians (22-9). Down 1-0 heading the the bottom of the 4th the Griffins squandered what looked to be a great scoring opportunity but still came out of the inning tied 1-1, but quickly gave the lead back in the top of the 5th on the Indians second solo home run of the game, but that would prove to be the end of the scoring for the Indians as Mitch O'Dekirk came on in relief of Noah Niznik and shut the door the rest of the way and that's when Vianney's bats really got hot on the 90+ degree day. Three runs scored in the home half of the fifth, to go up 4-2, was just a prelude of things to come.
Following a quick 1-2-3 top of the sixth by O'Dekirk the Griffins really jumped on the Indians relievers and scored 5 runs in the inning to give some much needed breathing room going to the last inning. The big blow was a mammoth grand slam home run by senior Luke Mann on the first he saw in his fourth at bat of the day. The blast fittingly landed just in front of Vianney's Right Field Rooters to send all of them into pandemonium. Despite giving up a couple baserunners in the top of the seventh, O'Dekirk was able to get out of the inning unscathed to preserve the 9-2 victory.
The Griffins will next take on the Blue Spring South Jaguars (22-8) on Thursday, May 31 at Car Shield Field in O'Fallon, MO. Car Shield Field is the home of the Frontier League's River City Rascals. First pitch is set for 4:00 PM. Admission to the game is $8.00 and there is free parking in the lot across the street from the stadium. The other semifinal in Class 5 is set for 6:30 PM Thursday and will be a matchup of Hickman (26-10) against fellow MCC team, DeSmet (21-7). The winners will play for the State Championship at 1:30 PM on Friday, while the losers will play in the third place game at 11:00 AM Both games are also at Car Shield Field.
Not even the weather could slow the Griffins (33-2) run through the Class 5 District 4 Championship this past week. Originally scheduled to run Monday-Tuesday the storms which rolled through the area on Monday and pushed games back to Tuesday-Wednesday were only a prelude to the thunder of the Vianney offense as they rolled by Ladue in the semifinals by a score of 9-2 then run-ruled SLUH 12-0 to make it back-to-back district championships against the Jr. Bills. In the process Luke Mann pitched a 5 inning no-hitter against the Jr. Bills, striking out 8 and walking no one. Mann also went big fly in the semifinal game against Ladue while Devin Ward and Andrew Keck went deep in the championship game. Keck's 3-run home run walked off the game in the bottom of the fifth as his home run pushed the score to 12-0.
Next up for the Griffins will be at home against the Lafayette Lancers (16-9) in the State Sectional game on Tuesday, May 22. First pitch in the game is scheduled for 4:00 pm.
The regular season was a special one for the Griffins, but now the real season begins with everyone back to 0-0. The Griffins rolled through the regular season with a 31-2 record and an MCC Championship, the Lindbergh/Mehlville Championship and the Midwest Classic Championship, but playoff season is just around the corner and Vianney will entered Class 5 District 4 play as the #1 Seed. While district play begins on Saturday the Griffins will have to wait until Monday for their first game where they will take on the winner of the Ladue Rams/Webster Groves Statesmen game in one District Semifinal game. First pitch for that game will be at 7:00 PM at SLUH's Fr. Sheridan Field. In the other District Semifinal on Monday the SLUH Jr. Bills will take on the Kirkwood Pioneers at 4:30 PM also at SLUH. The two winners will meet on Tuesday evening at SLUH for the District Championship with the first pitch slated for 6:00 PM
It may have taken a whole lot longer than the originally scheduled week long tournament was scheduled for, but in the end, a month later, the Vianney Griffins are your Midwest Classic Tournament Champions for the third time in tournament history. The Griffins beat the Francis Howell Vikings 12-1 on Wednesday, a little over a month from when the tournament was scheduled to end, but due to weather delays during the original week of the tournament and scheduling conflict to try and get the semifinals and finals rescheduled proved to be worth the wait in the end.
Mitch O'Dekirk pitched the complete game giving up only one unearned run in the five inning game while Luke Mann paced the offense with 5 RBI's on the day with a homerun to start the scoring in the 1st inning and capped off his day with a bases clearing double in the 3rd inning. Luke was named Tournament MVP while Mitch and shortstop, Nico Hagen were named to the All-Tournament team.
During the rain soaked week of the tournament the Griffins beat Sikeston 4-3, Rolla 9-4, Ft. Zumwalt South 5-0 and Lindbergh 5-2. With the win the Griffins moved to 28-2 on the season.
The Vianney Griffins have done something that no other school has done in the history of MCC Baseball by winning 5 Metro Catholic Championships in a row. This breaks the tie they held with the teams of DeSmet from 2001-2004. The Griffins technically broke the record on April 24 with their 4-1 win over the Spartans but on Tuesday they won the conference outright with a 4-3 victory at the new Chaminade Stadium against the Red Devils. During their reign in the MCC the Griffins have won 4 of the 5 outright while being co-champs with SLUH in 2017. During the DeSmet stretch they won the conference outright 2 of the 4 years and were co-champs the other 2 seasons.
At the annual banquet of the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall-of-Fame, held at the Westport Sheraton Chalet, Luke Mann was named the winner of the 2018 Rising Star Award. Luke had found out in January that he was one of five finalists from the St. Louis area but it wasn't until the evening festivities that he found out he was the overall winner. The other finalists were Patrick Connor of Ft. Zumwalt West, Kevin Graham of Westminster, Hayden Juenger of O'Fallon (IL) Township and Austin Schmitt of Valley Park High School. Luke has had an amazing career and a record breaking senior season for the Griffins, both on the mound and at the plate. Congratulations to Luke on this tremendous accomplishment. The only other Rising Star winner from Vianney was Matt Brown in 2013.
The Vianney Griffins rode a strong pitching performance by Brendan May and some timely hitting by Brock Daniels, Nico Hagen, Devin Ward and Dominic Moro to come away with a 9-4 victory over the Lindbergh Flyers at Lindbergh High School to capture the 48th Annual Lindbergh/Mehlville Championship. The Championship was the 10th for Vianney in the 48-year history of the tournament, second only to Oakville's 11 titles in the storied history of the tournament. May pitched a complete game to finish off the Flyers. Daniels was 4-4 on the day while Hagen was 3-4 in the game. Ward had 2 hits and Moro had 2 RBI's on the day.
With the victory the Griffins also beat Lindbergh in Game 2 of the DH which was a makeup of a rained out game in the Midwest Classic and followed that up with a DH sweep at Lee's Summit West on Saturday to move to 19-0 on the season. Next up for the Griffins is a conference game at home with SLUH on Tuesday followed by a conference game at CBC on Thursday.
The Vianney Griffins picked up a nice feather in their cap when Collegiate Baseball Magazine tabbed the Griffins as the No. 18 team in their preseason poll. Coach Brown commented that he was very humbled by the ranking but emphasized that it is simply a number based on last year's success and the number of players back. The big test will be for this team to come together and live up to some of the expectations that have been set before them. He went on to say that baseball is a game that will catch up with you fast if you don't put the work in that needs to be done for the success to happen. It can humble you in a hurry. To see the complete list of Collegiate Baseball's Top 30 preseason teams click on the magazine's logo below:
Congratulations go out to Luke Mann who was named a first-team Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. The honor comes on the heels an outstanding first three years of varsity play at Vianney. Luke has been a top-notch pitcher since he stepped foot in the door but this past season really opened a lot of eyes with the bat. Luke will have the opportunity to pitch and play the field next season when he moves his game to Columbia and starts his collegiate career for the Missouri Tigers. When asked about the honor Luke said, "I am honored to be a preseason All-American. It is truly awesome to be recognized at that level for my work. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to be named to two Area Code teams and play for the Reds Scout Team in some high level national competitions. To see my name alongside some of those guys that I have competed with and against is just really cool for me." Click on the tab below to see the complete list of Collegiate Baseball's 1st and 2nd Team All-Americans.
The Vianney Griffins picked up their first preseaon recognition as they were voted the Preseason #1 team in Class 5 in the state of Missouri. The honor was given to the Griffins based on their 32-7 finish a year ago and the fact that they have nine seniors signed to play baseball in college. Coach Scott Brown noted that he was well aware going into the voting that it would more than likely come down to the Griffins or the Staley Falcons, who also had a strong showing last season and have several senior signees as well. Coach Brown was humbled by the ranking but stated that it is just preseason and that they will have to work hard to live up to that challenge. The season starts February 26 while the Griffins' first game is on Friday, March 16.
MHSBCA Class 5 Top 10: 1. Vianney, 2. Staley, 3. Blue Springs South, 4. Liberty (KC), 5. CBC, 6. Ozark, 7. Holt, 8. Ft. Zumwalt West, 9. Marquette, 10. Webb City.
Senior Luke Mann was named one of the five finalist for the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall-of-Fame Rising Star Award. The winner will be announced at their Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the Sheraton Chalet at Westport. The other finalists are Patrick Connor of Ft. Zumwalt West, Kevin Graham of Westminster, Hayden Juenger of O'Fallon (IL) Township and Austin Schmitt of Valley Park High School.
The depth and talent in this year's senior class was on display for everyone to see on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, the National Letter of Intent Signing Day for baseball players. Eight seniors signed their Letters of Intent during a ceremony honoring them in the Media Center of St. John Vianney High School. Signing their letters were: Anthony Altobella (Rockhurst), Caleb Buehrle (Truman St.), Michael DiPiazza (Rockhurst), Tommy Jones (Rockhurst), Andrew Keck (Southeast Missouri St.), Luke Mann (Missouri), Brendan May (Webster) and Noah Niznik (Southeast Missouri St.). The eight signees marks the largest number of early signees in Coach Brown's lengthy tenure as a head coach. Coach Brown also noted that there could be several other seniors that get the chance to play college baseball.
NOTE: Make it ELEVEN! Senior middle infielder Aaron Klar made it nine seniors who will move on to play college baseball next year when he verbally committed to Millikan University in Decatur, IL. Corner Infielder Jimmy Lahrman made it ten when he verbally committed to Missouri Valley College in Tarkio, MO, Jimmy will also be participating on the football team as a kicker. Left handed pitcher Alex Welborn made it eleven signees when he verbally committed to Quincy University. All three verbally committed following the early signing period and will make it official in April during the next baseball signing period.
Here are some pictures from Signing Day:
The 2018 Varsity Baseball Schedule was released on Friday, October 13. New this year is a doubleheader at Lee's Summit West and Niles North out of Chicago takes the place of Highland Park in the Tri-DH with Parkway South. The two tournaments that the varsity participates in have not been released yet. Those will be posted when they become available. To see all the games click on the tab on the left for the varsity schedule.
Vianney alumnus Mike Paradoski '99 shares his Griffin sports photos with fans. See them here.