Bobcats visit Shaw Eagles Friday
By Tom Dodge
The Eunice Bobcats face a familiar foe in the opening round of the Class 4-A state baseball playoffs.
Eunice earned a No. 20 seed and will travel to No. 13 Archbishop Shaw for a 4 p.m. Friday showdown.
“We’ve played them enough, we must have a yearly contract with them,” Phillips joked. “But I think we match up well,” Phillips said. “We are both third-place teams from our districts. They play fundamentally sound baseball.”
Eunice (16-11) finished District 4-4A behind top-ranked Sam Houston (26-4) and No. 17 DeRidder (19-13).
Shaw (18-14) finished District 8-4A behind No. 3 Belle Chasse (25-6) and No. 9 Morgan City (24-7).
“We have had some ups and we have had some downs,” the Bobcat coach said. “But the playoffs are a whole new season.”
The coach said they have struggled with getting the timely hit or the Bobcats could have easily been ranked higher in the bracket selection.
“If we hit the ball like I know we can, then we have a very good shot,” Phillips said. “Part of our problem is stranding runners and not hitting them over, not getting the sacrifice bunt down effectively.
“We were just a few hits away from 20 wins and people look at that better than a team with just 16 wins.
Phillips said the weather was not cooperative as several games including an entire weekend tournament were washed out by rain.
“Hopefully a week off will help us,” he said. “The guys are chomping at the bit to get out there and play.”
Phillips said his team is ready to face Shaw, a team they fell to in the second round in both 2007 (3-2 and 2006 (4-3).
Last year the Bobcats defeated Parkway 6-1 before dropping a 8-2 decision to Teurlings Catholic.
“If our pitchers come out and pitch and our batters hit, then we will be okay,” he said. “It is now a one-game season.”
“This is a playoff game and somewhere we expect to be every year,” Phillips said of the Bobcats’ 18th straight yearly playoff appearance.
“We will be ready for the playoffs, coming out of the best district in the state.”