Five Acadia Parish baseball teams earn playoff berths

Notre Dame's Joe Faulk makes a play at first base during a recent game at Miller Stadium. (Photo by Christell Faul)

CROWLEY – Although the Notre Dame Pioneers pretty much already knew their fate, the LHSAA made it official late Tuesday evening when they released the Class 3A playoff brackets.
The 3A brackets were supposed to have been released Tuesday at noon, but they were delayed due to a lawsuit involving Livonia High school.
The brackets were finally posted around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.
The Pios earned the No. 17 seed, which was expected, and will travel to Farmerville today to face No. 16 Union Parish at 5 p.m.
“It took a little while longer to finally figure out what was going on, but you just have to go with it,” said ND coach Steve Soper, whose team enters postseason play with a record of 16-17. “It’s always tough to go on the road, especially when you have to travel four hours. But, hopefully, we can stay focused the whole day.”
Union Parish, on paper, appears to be an explosive team, having scored 10 or more runs in 16 games this season. Their strength of schedule, however, hurt them considering they are 21-4 on the season and only earned the No. 16 seed.
“Especially with baseball, you really can’t compare records or anything thing like that because it’s just a crazy game from day to day,” said Soper. “The schedules can be deceiving. From what it looks like, they have a pretty decent team.”
With that said, Soper and his Pios are making the trek north expecting nothing less than a battle.
“Going into every game, especially with the game the way it is, anybody can beat anybody on any given day,” said Soper. “We only play the game one way and if we worry about our stuff and take care of us, that’s all that we can do.”
Also in Class 3A, the Church Point Bears earned the No. 14 seed and will play host to No. 19 West Feliciana Friday at 5 p.m.
The Bears recently wrapped up one of their most successful seasons in recent history by going 19-7 and winning the District 5-3A championship with a mark of 9-1 in league play.
In Class 4A, the Rayne Wolves and the Crowley Gents each earned first-round home games.
The Wolves (23-5) earned the No. 8 seed and will entertain No. 25 Pearl River today at 6 p.m. while the Gents (19-10) are No. 15 and will host No 18 Assumption on Friday at 6 p.m.
“This has been a fun season,” said RHS coach Jason Bonin. “The team that we have right now has been together for a number of years and we’ve made steady improvement.”
The Wolves’ depth has aided in their success that includes a share of the District 4-4A title. Rayne and Eunice each finished league play with just two losses.
“We just have a very good group and we’re like one big family,” said Bonin. “There are a lot of unselfish players on this team and we have a lot of players on the bench that are just as good as the guys we have on the field.
“We have a lot of guys that can come in and play multiple positions and we’re deep on the mound and that is huge.”
Pearl River enters with a record of 14-11, but other than that, Bonin says he really doesn’t know much about his opponent.
“I haven’t seen them play and it has been hard to get information on them,” said Bonin. “I know they have a pretty good third baseman, who has some speed and bats in the leadoff spot. And they have a pretty good lefty on the mound.
“They are a sound defensive team and they are coached well, but if we come out and play our game, we should be alright.”
Crowley received possibly the best news out of the local playoff contingent on Tuesday when his team moved up six spots from No. 21 to No. 15 when the brackets were released.
The Gents won three straight games to end the season and seem to be clicking on all cylinders at the right time.
The key, however, will be for the Gents to continue to produce throughout the lineup offensively, as they have done during their three-game winning streak.
“The thing for us is that we have to get production from the bottom half of the line,” said CHS coach Christian Doughty. “When you look at the statistics that Alex (Ashby), Mackay (Mouton) and Luke (Ancelet) have put up, it has been outstanding. But we have to have some contributors from that lower half, which we have gotten the last couple of games. We’re hoping that carries over into this playoff game.”
Doughty has yet to name a starting pitcher for Friday’s contest, but it will likely be one of three players - Pate Broussard, Mouton or Ben Broussard.
“Pate and Mackay are an option and the way Ben has been throwing, he could get the start,” said Doughty.
“Whoever it is, we just have to throw strikes, get ahead early in the counts and, hopefully, things will go well for us.”
In Class C, the Northside Christian Warriors earned the No. 1 seed after finishing the regular season with a record of 20-5. They will play host to No. 16 Pleasant Hill.
All the teams in the Class C bracket received a bye in the opening round and as of press time, the Warriors have not yet been able to schedule their regional contest with Pleasant Hill.
“Earning the No. 1 seed is something that we shoot for and that’s huge for us,” said NCS coach Lane Marceaux. “It’s the first time our school has earned a No. 1 seed in any sport. Of course, now that the playoffs are starting, you can throw the records out of the window; but it is huge for our program.”
The Warriors will likely have little problem advancing to the quarterfinal round considering Pleasant Hill is just 1-14 and has scored a total of 46 runs in 15 games. Marceaux, however, knows that his squad can’t afford to overlook anyone.
“You don’t want to look ahead,” said Marceaux. “Our goal is to make it to Sulphur, but you have to come out and play your game. I know we are ready and our guys are excited.”

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