2016 Team Preview: St. John Vianney Griffins

Shon Plack 
Prep Baseball Report-Missouri

As we prepare for the upcoming 2016 high school season, we will be taking a preseason glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: St. John Vianney HS
Nickname: Griffins
Class: Class 5A
Conference: Metro Catholic
Head Coach: Scott Brown
Years as head coach at school: 5
Twitter Handle: @vianneybaseball
2015 Overall Record:  27-6
2015 Conference Finish: 7-1 (1st Place)
2015 Post­ Season Finish: Lost in District Championship
2016 MHSBCA Preseason Rank: 6
Team Website: www.vianney.com/athletics-spring-sports-baseball.html

Number of Returning Starters/Pitchers: 5
Number of Returning Starters/Position Players: 5

Players with 2015 Post Season Honors
Chris Cornelius, SS, 2016 All-State (Missouri)
Ryan Knernschield, C, 2016, All-Conference (Eastern Illinois)
Ryan Clavin, LHP/OF, 2016, All-Conference (Missouri-St. Louis)
Jack Eppy, LHP, 2016, All-Conference
Jack Eisenbarger, LHP, 2016, All-Conference
Luke Mann, RHP, 2018, All-Conference

Players to Watch
Tommy Kraus, LHP/OF, 2017
Andrew Keck, OF/C, 2018

Season Outlook
St. John Vianney will open the 2016 season as the sixth ranked team in the MHSBCA Class 5 poll.  They return the top shortstop in the state in senior and Mizzou recruit, Chris CorneliusCornelius has been a starter for the past three seasons and is on course to shatter multiple school records this season.  The Griffins will also have a seasoned veteran behind the plate in senior Ryan Knernschield, a Western Illinois commit. Knernshield has been a clutch hitter for Vianney in the past two seasons, and is looking to improve on his batting average this season.  Knernshield and Cornelius will be asked to lead the Griffins this season and take pressure off the younger players. One of those younger players is sophomore RHP Luke MannMann came within .01 runs of breaking Vianney's single season ERA record.  He finished is freshman season with a 6-1 record and 0.74 ERA. Vianney will also have UMSL commit, Ryan Clavin and LHP Jack Eppy returning as well, two player with All-Conference honors last season.  Clavin hit .328 with one home run and 13 RBI last season.  On the mound, Clavin was 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 26-plus innings of work.  Eppy turned in a 6-2 record with a 1.70 ERA in 37 innings pitched.  Vianney will have another LHP on the staff, All-Conference Jack EisenbargerEisenbarger worked 16-plus innings with 0.86 ERA and a 2-0 record. Also look for newcomers Tommy Kraus and Andrew Keck to play a key role for the Giffins in 2016. This spring, Vianney looks to get back into the state playoffs and make some noise. Along with Mann, the lefty-rich pitching staff will tough to score on and the bats are dangerous enough to lead them to the Final Four again in 2016.

CLICK HERE, for a complete list of 2016 Team Previews
CLICK HERE, for the MHSBCA Rankings

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