By CHRISSY SMITH
Slidell Sports Editor
SLIDELL — Pope John Paul’s Alex Ramirez got his big break from an unlikely source.
Ramirez was recommended to Springhill’s baseball coach by rival team St. Thomas Aquinas’ coach.
“Yeah it was pretty nice of him. The coach called me at the end of the season and we started talking then,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez had been PJP’s starting first baseman since his freshman year. He has also seen time at third base and on the mound for the Jaguars. Batting clean-up, Ramirez hit for a .470 batting average. In his senior season, in his 89 at-bats, Ramirez acquired 39 hits, including 13 doubles and five homers. He was responsible for 36 RBI’s and hit .455 when runners were in scoring position. He is a two-time, first-team all-district player who lead the Jaguars in RBI’s, home runs, base-on-balls (24) and on-base-percentage (.591).
“I was worried because by the end of my senior year, no one had offered me yet. I was hoping it would work out and fortunatley it did,” Ramirez said.
He said he’s very excited at the opportunity, and wanted to get a dual-degree in the engineering program. He will attend Springhill on a mostly academic scholarship.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at the next level at a very nice school,” Ramirez said. “I think coach (Andrew) Hickman helped me a lot to get to where I am.”
Frank Sims, head coach at Springhill, said he feels like Ramirez is a good pick-up for his squad.
“He’s a good, solid, all-around player. Our first baseman is a senior so we’re hoping he fits the bill to step in when he’s gone. Long term, I hope he will be a gap-to-gap power guy,” Sims said.
Springhill has a good track record of student athletes getting degrees. Sims, who has been the head coach since 1985, said he has graduated every player that’s been a four-year player for him.