FHS’s Estave wins MVP of All-Star Game: East coach Bass praises FHS all-stars Estave, McElveen

Published 6:33 am Saturday, May 28, 2016

Franklinton’s C.J. Estave was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2016 LHSCA/LBCA East versus West All-Star Games on Sunday, where he and teammate Mack McElveen participated on the East Team.

“I wasn’t expecting to win MVP,” Estave said. “I wasn’t expecting to catch both games for a total of 14 innings. (My coach) asked me if I could (play) the whole first game in this heat. I said ‘yes.’ I was cramping so much after the first game, I couldn’t catch the (whole) bullpen (prior to the second game).”

Estave said he went in the dugout after each inning to drink water and stretch his legs.

The teams tied the first game at 1-1 and the East won the second contest, 5-0.

The event was held at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It was originally set for May 20-21 in Denham Springs’ North Park in two nine-inning games, but was moved because of the threat of heavy rain in the area.

Sunday’s games were seven innings apiece.

Estave hit a sacrifice fly in the first game that accounted for the run. He finished 1-for-3 with the RBI.

“It was great playing with a team of the best of the best,” Estave said.

Estave said it was best pitching he’s ever seen in his high school career.

“I’ve never been seen guys be able to spot up like that. You see guys throw 80-84 that we play, but these guys were bringing it mid-80s and spotting up with every pitch,” Estave said.

This season, Estave was the District 8-4A Most Valuable Player. He hit .474 to go with a .750 slugging percentage. Estave hit a pair of homers, doubled 11 times, tripled twice and finished with 29 RBIs. He walked a total of 22 times (five intentional) and struck out just six times.

McElveen, who was playing first base, played part of the first game, but left after aggravating a knee injury. He suffered the injury in the first inning after making a catch in foul ground on the first batter of the game.

“The guy popped it up. I was playing first base,” McElveen said. “He hit a foul ball in the right field vicinity. C.J. said that I had room. I slid, made the catch and I banged my knee up against the wall. Then I stood up and saw first base was way over there and wondered how I got this far.”

McElveen stayed in the game, but aggravated the injury stretching for a throw.

McElveen said playing in the all-star game was a humbling experience to know that he was playing with the best in Louisiana.

“There were several D-I, D-II and juco commits,” McElveen said. “It was an honor to play with the most elite players in all classifications.”

In the game, McElveen had one plate appearance and drew a walk.

McElveen also had a solid season. He was a first-team all-district player. This season, he hit .347 and slugged .493. McElveen recorded five doubles, three triples and drove in 18 runs. He walked nine times and struck out just 10.

East coach Brad Bass, who is the head coach at Catholic High of Baton Rouge, praised McElveen and Estave and said both players are two tough kids.

“You can tell those guys are well coached by Jeff Tageant,” Bass said. “That kind of toughness is rarely shown. Mack came out, but I think the injury came maybe a little earlier. He kind of jammed it diving and catching a fly ball in the (first) inning, but gutted it out and re-aggravated it again on a freak play, stretching for a throw across the diamond.

“With C.J., he caught 14 innings and walked away with the MVP. It was well-deserved. He called all of the pitches and I don’t think anybody shook him off.”