BR, N.O. area teams meet in 5A playoffs

St. Amant-Destrehan, Zachary-Hahnville highlight slate

He does a great job of changing speeds, getting ahead of counts, getting guys to hit pitches he wants them to hit. If we can’t figure him out, then it’s going to be a long day.” Marty Luquet, Destrehan coach on St. Amant pitcher Austin Tanner

St. Amant may be running through the Class 5A baseball playoffs as a mathematical underdog with a No. 18 seed next to its name, but Gators coach Troy Templet thinks his team is just beginning to heat up.

St. Amant (25-9) ended the regular season on a six-game win streak and carried that momentum into the playoffs, upsetting No. 15 Dutchtown 8-4 in the bidistrict round Tuesday.

“We’ve been playing our best ball at the right time of the year,” Templet said. “One of our goals was to try to play our best at the right time of the year, and we think we are.”

The Gators will look to continue their winning ways Monday hosting second-seeded Destrehan. The game is set for 6 p.m.

Austin Tanner will take the mound for St. Amant against Destrehan’s Blake Hymel, who is 8-2 with a 2.10 ERA this season.

“We have to find a way to figure out (Tanner),” Destrehan coach Marty Luquet said. “He does a great job of changing speeds, getting ahead of counts, getting guys to hit pitches he wants them to hit. If we can’t figure him out, then it’s going to be a long day.”

The St. Amant-Destrehan game is one of several Class 5A regional contests featuring Baton Rouge-area teams against New Orleans-area teams.

Also Monday, Hahnville hosts Zachary, Catholic High hosts Jesuit and Brother Martin faces Denham Springs at Kirsch-Rooney.

Start time for those games is 4 p.m.

ZACHARY AT HAHNVILLE: No. 7 Hahnville will put its 13-game win streak on the line when it hosts No. 10 Zachary.

The Tigers (27-7) made it past No. 26 C.E. Byrd 4-2 in their opening-round contest, while the Broncos (24-11) defeated No. 23 Airline 10-0 in six innings in their first game of the postseason.

“The big thing (Zachary) brings to the table … is a team that is going to pressure your defense,” Hahnville coach David Baudry said. “They’re going to continue to come at you any way they can. You have to really be on your toes in every situation.”

Hahnville didn’t name a starter Sunday, but Baudry narrowed it down to Brooks Vial or Tyler Lamers.

Evan Tidwell, who started the game against Airline but threw just 55 pitches, will take the mound Monday for the Broncos.

“We know he can make some pitches and execute them,” Zachary coach Jesse Cassard said. “He’s a winner, and he knows what he’s doing on the mound. We like our chances with him.”

Tidwell is 9-2 this season and 30-4 in his high school career.

JESUIT AT CATHOLIC HIGH: No. 21 Catholic High caught the eye of teams around Class 5A with a 5-2 upset win at No. 12 Lafayette last week.

A repeat performance will be even tougher this week as the Bears (22-13) host No. 5 Jesuit (27-8).

The Blue Jays squeaked out a 1-0 win against No. 28 Acadiana on Wednesday, but Catholic High coach Brad Bass knows the challenge that lies ahead.

“They’re going to catch and throw as good as anybody,” Bass said. “They’re going to be fundamentally sound. I don’t think this team is going to give it away. Somebody has got to win it.”

Bass will turn to Ross Massey in Monday’s game.

“Ross is a very competitive young man, and he’s a guy who gives you a chance to win every time he steps up there,” Bass said. “He’s an absolute competitor, and I love watching him run up there.”

DENHAM SPRINGS AT BROTHER MARTIN: No. 3 Brother Martin is one of the hottest teams in the state, riding a 15-game win streak into the playoffs. The Crusaders made it 16 with a 9-1 win over No. 30 East Ascension last week.

Brother Martin coach Mark Wisniewski didn’t name a starter against the No. 14 Yellow Jackets but said whoever it was would need to play clean baseball against the No. 14-seeded Yellow Jackets, who defeated No. 19 Captain Shreve 11-1 in six innings in the opening round.

“We’re going to have to play error-free ball and take advantage of the things that we’re given from Denham Springs,” Wisniewski said.