Notre Dame Invitational boasts top-notch field

CROWLEY – The 2010 prep baseball season may have just begun, but this weekend’s Notre Dame Invitational will have somewhat of a playoff atmosphere to it when six of the state’s top teams vie for the tournament title at Miller Stadium.

Four of the six teams scheduled to compete are ranked in the preseason polls in their respective classes while the other two squads were both playoff participants in 2009.

“We try to get a good field (of teams) to where everybody gets to play against quality competition,” said Notre Dame coach Timmy Robichaux. “Everyone gets a chance to hit against good pitching, play against good defenses and all are well-coached teams. We’re looking forward to it and I think it will be a good tournament for everybody.”

Tournament host Notre Dame enters as the No. 2 team in Class AAA and Catholic High of New Iberia at No. 4. St. Louis is ranked eighth in AAAA and University is No. 4 in AA. Also participating is Class AAA postseason teams Crowley and Rayville.

“Everybody in this tournament has the potential to have good seasons and go deep into the playoffs,” said Robichaux. “And this tournament gives everybody a chance early on to kind of find out where they stand. Everybody probably has new pieces to their puzzles so it’s a good opportunity to find out where they’re at and what they need to work on.”

The tournament kicks Thursday afternoon with Crowley taking on Catholic at 3:30. Notre Dame will play Catholic at 5:30. Crowley and Notre Dame will square off in the nightcap at 7:30 to round out Pool A play.

Friday’s three games will all be Pool B play. University and St. Louis will play at 3:30 followed by St. Louis and Rayville at 5:30. Rayville and University round out the session at 7:30.

Saturday’s actions starts at 10 a.m. with the consolation game followed by two semifinal contests at noon and 2 p.m. The third place game is slated for 4 with the championship game at 6.

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