The New Braunfels Christian Academy baseball team has once again established itself as one of the premier programs in all of TAPPS.
The Wildcats narrowly missed clinching back-to-back state championships this season after falling 5-3 to San Jacinto Christian Academy in the Division IV finals at Crosby High School. However, the fact that NBCA made it back to the state tittle game is a testament to their will and overall toughness.
New Braunfels Christian dealt with numerous injuries this year but kept chugging along en route to a district championship and another 20-win season. Head coach Billy Nicholas said having a roster at full strength likely would have made a big difference down the stretch.
“Was a good season overall,” Nicholas said. “We battled through injuries, but the boys competed. Levi Rostedt suffered from a fracture in his back and continued to push through and played in every game. No doubt if he’d been 100 percent, it would have changed the outcome of our season.”
Rostedt was one of six players who earned TAPPS District 4-IV first team status, and the Wildcats saw three players — Brett Nicholas, Brandon Andrews and Dalton Janysek — claim all-state recognition.
Brett Nicholas and Andrews each landed on the all-state and all-district first team, while Janysek took a spot on the all-state second team in addition to garnering all-district first team designation.
Brett Nicholas had an outstanding year from the mound for the Wildcats, as the junior went 9-1 with a 1.83 ERA and 98 strikeouts. He also batted .536 with seven home runs, 37 runs scored and 29 RBIs.
“Brett Nicholas dominated from the mound all season, with his best game coming against Tomball in the quarterfinals in which he pitched a 16-strikeout no-hitter,” Billy Nicholas said. “He also batted .650 in the playoffs.”
Andrews, a senior transfer from New Braunfels High School, made an instant impact at NBCA and finished the 2019 campaign with a batting average of .528, 38 runs scored, 27 RBIs and a team-high 11 doubles.
Janysek, who overcame a broken nose to continue playing for NBCA in his senior year, hit .475 with 26 RBIs for the Wildcats.
Rostedt, who transferred from Smithson Valley prior to his sophomore season, also landed on the all-district first team after batting .317 with 18 RBIs. He was joined on the league’s first team by Joseph Francis and Luke Thompson.
Francis, a senior, was a reliable pitcher all year and finished with a record of 5-1 to go along with an ERA of 2.66 with 35 strikeouts. He also batted .333 with 21 runs scored and 20 RBIs.
Thompson, who is set to play soccer for Blinn College, posted a batting average of .356 while scoring 16 runs and driving in 11 this year.
New Braunfels Christian placed another three performers — Grant Miglicco, Jacob Francis and Austyn Dean — on the district’s second team.
Miglicco, a junior, notched a .273 average and scored 20 runs this season, while Jacob Francis, a sophomore, went 2-0 from the mound with a 0.60 ERA and 20 strikeouts in addition to hitting .343 with 15 RBIs. Dean, a senior, sported a batting average of .302 and scored 19 runs for the Wildcats.
NBCA also saw the trio of Brett Nicholas, Joseph Francis and Miglicco all earn academic all-state honors.
NBCA bid farewell to six seniors — Andrews, Joseph Francis, Dean, Thompson, Janysek and Wyatt Spahn — this year but will reload in an effort to make it back to the state title game in 2020. Billy Nicholas said his team will likely lean on Brett Nicholas and Rostedt next season.
“Those two returning starters will be the key to our success next year after losing five starting seniors this year,” the coach said. “Coming up a game short of back-to-back state championships is disappointing, but we had a great ride. A 42-2 record over the past two seasons is an unbelievable accomplishment for this group of young men.”
The Wildcats were 20-2 overall this season and outdueled Hallettsville Sacred Heart in a tiebreaker for first place in the district standings.