Gents play underdog role in playoff opener
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – There weren’t many surprises when the LHSAA prep baseball brackets were released Tuesday afternoon, especially in the case of coach Christian Doughty’s Crowley High Gents.
The Gents, who finished the regular season with a record of 9-15-1, received the No. 26 seed and will travel to Kaplan today to take on the No. 7 seeded Pirates at 6 o’clock.
“We weren’t shocked by our seeding, mainly because of the start of our season,” said Doughty, whose squad began the 2008 campaign at 2-9. “We ended up winning seven of our last nine games, but when you look at our overall record, our seeding is understandable.”
However, Crowley could possibly be the best No. 26 seed in any classification, especially after the way they have played the last few weeks. The Gents have posted 39 runs in their last three games, including a 19-run explosion in a victory over Rayne Saturday.
“I’m hoping we can continue to swing the bat as well as we have been over the last few games,” said Doughty. “I’m hoping we can go in with some confidence at the plate and put up some runs early.”
Kaplan enters the contest as the champions of a tough District 6-AAA where the Pirates went 9-3 against the likes of Catholic High of New Iberia, Cecilia and North Vermilion. The Pirates also return seven starters off last year’s playoff team that lost to eventual champion Parkview Baptist in the semifinals.
“I think we are capable of competing with Kaplan if we show up,” said Doughty. “Kaplan has a very good and experienced ballclub. I mean, a 27-5 record speaks for itself. But I think if we go in there and keep our mistakes to a minimum, we can compete with them. The biggest thing will be to not get behind early. The later it gets, if we can keep it close, we will be alright.”
Pitching will also be key for Crowley, which will start hard-throwing southpaw Justin Desselle with Jake Trahan in relief.
“We feel like for the first time this year we’ve got all of our pitchers healthy which is going to mean a lot in the playoffs,” said Doughty.