Baseball teams learn playoff matchups

Roll call for District 7-2A was pretty extensive Tuesday when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association unveiled its baseball playoff brackets Tuesday in six of seven classifications.

District champion and No. 4 seed University High (25-6) led a parade of five teams from the league into postseason play that gets under way at 4 p.m. Thursday at home for the Cubs against No. 29 DeQuincy.

Joining U-High in host roles were No. 12 The Dunham School (20-11) against No. 21 Thomas Jefferson and No. 16 Runnels (16-12) against No. 17 St. Thomas Aquinas.

Fellow 7-2A brethren No. 25 Episcopal (11-17) and No. 27 Redemptorist (11-15) are on the road with the Knights going to UNO’s Privateer Park Wednesday to face No. 8 Newman at 6 p.m. and the Wolves going to No. 6 Catholic High of New Iberia.

“That speaks highly of our district to put five people in,” U-High coach Burke Broussard said. “I don’t know of anyone across the state had that many, but it’s pretty strong. We said before district we thought it would help prepare all of us for the playoffs. It’s like a playoff atmosphere every time you play in our district.”

A total of 22 teams from the Baton Rouge area representing Classes 4A-C learned of their postseason fates.

Co-District 6-4A champion St. Michael the Archangel (21-11) will have to defeat league member, No. 23 Plaquemine (14-9), for a third time season in order to advance.

The Warriors swept the Green Devils 14-4 and 9-0 during the regular season.

Reigning Class C state champion Family Christian Academy (22-4) parlayed a difficult nondistrict schedule into a top-seed in its respective class.

The Flames received a first-round bye and will carry a 16-game win streak into a regional home game against No. 16 Pelican.

“I did schedule really difficult because I know there’s going to be plenty of good competition in Class C,” FCA coach Rick Smith said. “There’s a lot of talent that gets overlooked in Class C. We challenged the kids with a very difficult schedule, so hopefully we’ve seen every situation going in. I hope that’s adequate in terms of our preparation.”

District 6-3A champion Parkview Baptist (15-17) received a No. 5 seed and will be one of three Baton Rouge area Class 3A teams hosting first-round games.

Livonia (22-7) is seeded seventh and hosts No. 26 Crowley and No. 11 Brusly (23-7) entertains No. 22 Rayne.

District 6-3A foes No. 17 West Feliciana (14-16) travels to No. 16 Caldwell Parish and No. 8 Eunice entertains No. 25 Baker (16-6).

Christian Life ended an eight-year dry spell without a district title when the Crusaders overcame injuries to their pitching staff and a slow start to finish strong down the stretch with six straight wins.

That enabled CLA (13-15) to share in the District 7-1A title along with Archbishop Hannan and earn a No. 28 seed and date Thursday at No. 6 and District 9-1A champion St. John of Plaquemine (25-6). Game time is 6 p.m.

“Our guys are really excited, but they’re not foolish either,” CLA coach Jonathan Causey said. “They know they’re going to have to continue to play their best ball to even have a chance against St. John. But we feel really good going in.”

Losses on the mound to its Nos. 2 and 3 pitcher in the first week of the season made for an inauspicious start where CLA was 3-10 and 4-14 near the end of March.

The Crusaders, riding the arm of sophomore Michael Stinson, slowly overcame those difficult beginnings to persevere during district with five wins in six games, including a 3-2 victory over Hannan.

“It was a rough start for us,” Causey said. “We were pretty good with Michael but sometimes we had to throw eighth graders and it was really tough at times. We finally got through it. We actually grew through it and we got hot when it mattered.”