A star was born! Quitman’s Ty Simonelli exceeds expectations

The coaching staff led by Joe Lockhart, hoped that Ty Simonelli would step up to lead Quitman High School to a successful baseball season this past spring. Hoped for, but not something that was being counted on. 

They knew he could hit and run as evidenced  by his .373 batting average and 23 stolen bases he registered as a junior. What they were really hoping for was that he would be able to transfer the strong right arm he diplayed in the outfield to becomd an effective pitcher. There was really nothing to justify the hope other than in the two innings Simonelli had pitched he struck out four batters.

He had always dreamed of being a top flight pitcher and knew that just wanting to be one didn’t get it done. This knowledge was constantly reinforced his parents, April and Michael Simonelli, both who were coaches. All summer long and through the fall and winter, Simonelli worked hard to prepare himself for his opportunity. 

It is said that the difference between a starter and a star is the work that is put in when the coaches aren’t looking. The work paid off.  Simonelli became a star for his Quitman team, helping them end the regualr season as the top ranked team in Class B for the first time in school history and advance to the Class B state semifinals.

His final season stats on the mound is a little deceiving as Simonelli finished with only a 4-3 record in 8 starts. A closer look though reveals more.  His losses were by one run to 20 game winner, Class 3A South Beareguard, district 2B rival Weston, when they were ranked #1 in the state and in the Class B state semifinals against Converse. Victories came against Class 4A Grant and Minden, a shut out of Class B state champion Choudrant and a 2-1 duel against Singer and the pitcher considered one of the best in the state regardless of classification. 

Simonelli not only was effective at making batters miss but with a bat in his hand as well. For the season he led the team with a .403 batting average that included five doubles and incredible 7 triples, while scoring a team high 37 runs, driving in 21 others and swiping 20 bases. 

The result was being selected to the first team in district 2B and being named first team Class B All State by both the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) and the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Associaiton (LBCA). Topping off all the accolades was his being offered a scholarship to continue playing at Bossier Parish Community College. 

Simonelli ends his high school career with one final honor. On October 1st, at the 2022 Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, he will be recognized as the male Athlete of the Year from Quitman High School. The starter became a star. It will be fun to watch his meteoric rise continue. 






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