Plainville’s all-conference and all-state outfielder Tyler St. Onge will take his game to the next level, playing at Inspiration Baseball Academy in Bradenton, Fla. this fall. St. Onge led the Blue Devils to a 12-8 record this past season, paving the way with batting average (.419), hits (26), RBI (15) and runs scored (21).
Inspiration Baseball Academy was founded in 2013 by Ed and Claire Speir and is under the direction of Mario Jimenez in his fifth year as the head coach and hitting instructor for the Lions.
IBA is a private Christian school offering a post-graduate program where players receive a year of college baseball experience without using a year of NCAA eligibility. The Lions play a 50-game schedule against college competition from Georgia and Florida.
“I got hurt in the eighth game of my junior year and didn’t get a lot of looks from colleges,” said St. Onge. “My AAU coach for the Connecticut Cadets Danny Cahill suggested I do a prep year and mentioned the academy.”
“We went down there in September and it was a great facility,” he added. “I really liked it and felt it was a good fit for me. Not only will it help me to get acclimated with the academics portion of college but improve my baseball skills as well.”
The Christ-centered mentorship program is designed for individual player development that includes four hours each day of training, utilizing video analysis with a focus on inside-out training based on performance as a behavior not an outcome.
The coaching staff works to help place players into college programs across the country. Last season 19 players went on to sign with four year college programs.
“Tyler has always been the type of player who leads by example,” said Plainville head coach Lou Mandeville. “He’s always looking to improve his game every day. He had an exceptional career at Plainville, but he really had a nice finish in his senior year to earn all-league and all-state honors.”
St. Onge was an important bat in the middle of the lineup. “He was a huge part of our success,” Mandeville said. “I think he has a great opportunity to further his baseball career. He loves the game and will always work hard to get better. Inspiration Academy is getting a solid ball player and beyond that they are getting a great kid who has a real good attitude.”
St. Onge was an integral part of the Blue Devils offense and helped the team turn the season around with a streak that resulted in nine wins over a 10-game stretch. The senior outfielder led the way, batting .500 over that stretch that included a game-winning hit , 12 runs, and eight RBI.
In his final high school at bat St. Onge went out in style belting a solid single in his only at bat in the senior all-state all-star baseball game held in Plainville on June 12. With a lot of outfielders to shuffle into the lineup, St. Onge had to make the most of every moment on the field.
“I played three innings and got a hit, so i was happy about that. it was a lot of fun being able to participate in an all-star game like that,” he said. “I have no expectations going to the Inspiration Academy except to become a better ball player. I think it will be a great environment to be in and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”