Tournaments : : Story
Monday, April 01, 2013

Showdown: Blessed Trinity

Jeff Dahn         Todd Gold        
Photo: Perfect Game
2013 Perfect Game High School Showdown event page

Perfect Game High School Showdown Team Previews:

Florida Georgia
Venice Indians Parkview Panthers
Sarasota Sailors Blessed Trinity Titans
Mater Academy Lions
Cartersville Hurricanes
Montverde Academy Eagles Savannah Christian Raiders

Blessed Trinity TitansRoster | Schedule

Rome, as we've all been told, wasn't built in a day. And that may be why the level of excellence that head coach Andy Harlin has established in a very short time with the baseball program at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Ga., borders on unfathomable.

Blessed Trinity, a private Catholic high school with an enrollment of just under 1,000 students, first opened its doors for the 2000-01 school year. Harlin was coaching at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta at the time and jumped at the opportunity to build a program from the ground up. And once the foundation was laid the program soared upward like the skyscrapers in downtown Atlanta.

The mighty Titans won their first two Georgia AAA region championships in 2003 and 2004, the third and fourth year of the program's existence. They reached the round of 16 in the Georgia AAA state playoffs in 2004 and 2005, and put it all together to win the AAA state championship in 2006. Just six years in, and Blessed Trinity had already carted home state gold.

"We've been blessed in that a lot of good kids have come through here," Harlin said. "We're in a real good area here -- that East Cobb (Baseball) area -- and there weren't any private schools our size in that area, and I think that helps. It's a really good academic school and the kids get really well-prepared for college; we're blessed to have a great athletic director ... and we get a lot of support there, too."

The Titans will stray from their comfort zone in the northwest Atlanta suburbs later this week when they take part in the inaugural Perfect Game High School Showdown April 4-6 at Terry Park and City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla. The premier event features four elite teams from both Georgia and Florida playing against each other in four games over three days.

"It looks like all of them are about as good as it gets," Harlin said of the competition from Florida. "It's going to be a lot of fun."

Blessed Trinity advanced to either the semifinal round or quarterfinal round of the Georgia state playoffs every year since that '06 championship season with the exception of 2008. It was ousted in the quarterfinals each of the past three years.

This year's Titans won 13 of their first 15 games including all seven of their games within their region. Three seniors -- first baseman/right-hander Nathaniel Maggio, outfielder/right-hander Keenan Innis and right-hander/infielder Reed Scott -- are the team's headliners, and all three have signed with prominent NCAA Division I schools: Maggio with Tennessee, Innis with Georgia Tech and Scott with South Carolina. Junior catcher C.J. Brazil has committed to Georgia Southern.

"The seniors are a special group of kids," Harlin said. "They're not just good players, but they're awesome kids to be around. They're all yes-sir, no-sir and real coachable guys; I'm going to cry when they graduate."

The legacy the program has established after just 12 baseball seasons is remarkable. Eight former Titans have been drafted since 2003, some right out of Blessed Trinity and others after a few years of college.

Jake Skole, an alum of the 2009 Perfect Game National Showcase in the BT class of 2010, was a first-round pick (15th overall) of the Texas Rangers in the 2010 amateur draft; his older brother Matt Skole (class of 2008), was a fifth-round pick of the Washington Nationals out of Georgia Tech in 2011, and was named the Nationals' minor league player of the year in 2012.

Tyler Flowers (class of 2004) will open the 2013 MLB season as the Chicago White Sox's starting catcher. Flowers was drafted out of Chipola College (Fla.) in the 33rd of the 2005 draft by the Atlanta Braves and made his big-league debut with the White Sox in early September of 2009.

High School Team Breakdown: Blessed Trinity

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):

1.  Nathaniel Maggio, 1B/RHP, 2013, 267
2.  Keenan Innis, OF/RHP, 2013, 344
3.  Reed Scott, RHP/IF, 2013, Top 1,000
4.  John Castro, 1B/RHP, 2015, High Follow
5.  C.J. Brazil, C/OF, 2013, High Follow

Two-way Division I commits 2013 1B/RHP Nate Maggio and 2013 OF/RHP Keenan Innis not only are capable of providing quality innings on the mound, but they're the top hitters in their lineup as well. Maggio hit cleanup for the East Cobb Braves 17u last summer, one of the best teams in the country, where he hit a couple spots in the order behind Innis. 2013 C CJ Brazil was also a part of that Braves 17u squad.

2014 RHP Reed Scott, a South Carolina commit, is the top starter, and he is joined by Keenan Innis and in the starting rotation. 2013 1B/RHP Nate Maggio works out of the bullpen with a submarine delivery. 2015 1B/RHP John Castro and 2015 RHP Andrew Riel are a pair of underclassmen who are already contributing.

The lineup versatility afforded Blessed Trinity by having so many quality two-way players should give them a chance to contend. Even if they don't win it, they'll provide a difficult matchup for each of their opponents, as they have a seemingly endless supply of pitchers who can run their fastballs up into the mid 80s.
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