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Friday, December 19, 2014
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(Rick Hickman / American Press)

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

Kinder ready to take on traditional power Evangel

Last Modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 9:25 AM

By Jim Gazzolo / American Press

The Yellow Jackets may just be the new kids on the state tournament block, but they want everyone to know they are ready to play.

Having already beaten No. 2 seed and powerhouse John Curtis, Kinder will get another chance to shake things up today when they open the Class 2A tourney against another power, third-seeded Evangel Christian.

“They are a great program, a solid team,” said Kinder head coach Kenny Courville. “We know we have to play smart baseball to beat them. We can’t make mistakes.”

No mistakes in these playoffs so far for Kinder, which has rolled past three opponents and into the semifinals at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. First pitch is set for 10 a.m.

“We will be ready,” Courville said. “Early starts won’t bother us. We are excited to be going up there and getting a chance to compete for a state championship. That is all that matters.”

With four sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup, the Yellow Jackets are young, but they have come a long way.

“We have been through a lot, overcome our share of adversity to get here,” he said. “I like the way we are playing right now. We have a lot of things going for us.

“Maybe we are just too young to know any better.”

Led by Christian Manuel, a senior who has posted a 9-1 record and a 1.80 earned run average, the Jackets think they are well armed for the next two games, if they win today. Zach Rider, a sophomore, is 2-0 after coming back from knee surgery and could be the ace.

“Our pitching has been strong,” Courville said. “But we have also gotten some big hits out of some older guys.”

Those guys would be Marshall Harmon (.360) and Tevin Lejune (.405). Sophomore shortstop Dylon Poncho leads the team in hitting at .443 with 36 RBIs.

“I expect our kids will be more excited than nervous,” Courville said.

At 22-11 the Yellow Jackets have already played and won some big games. Now they have a chance at their biggest yet.



State Tournament Schedule

Class 5A

At Tulane's Turchin Stadium in New Orleans

Friday's Quarterfinals

No. 21 Catholic-Baton Rouge (23-13) vs. No. 13 Sulphur (24-11), 11 a.m.

No. 1 Barbe (33-3) vs. No. 9 West Monroe (23-12), 2 p.m.

No. 10 Zachary (25-11) vs. No. 18 St. Amant (26-9), 5 p.m.

No. 3 Brother Martin (30-5) vs. No. 6 Sam Houston (25-9), 8 p.m.

Saturday's Games

Semifinals

Catholic-Baton Rouge-Sulphur winner vs. Barbe-West Monroe winner, 11 a.m.

Zachary-St. Amant winner vs. Brother Martin-Sam Houston winner, 2 p.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.



Class 4A

At McMurry Park in Sulphur

Friday's Semifinals

No. 1 St. Thomas More (28-4) vs. No. 4 Teurlings Catholic (25-7), 7 p.m. (Field 41)

No. 6 Tioga (27-9) vs. No. 2 Lutcher (27-4), 4 p.m. (Field 41)

Saturday's Championship

St. Thomas More-Teurlings Catholic winner vs. Tioga-Lutcher winner, 4 p.m. (Field 41)



Class 3A

At McMurry Park in Sulphur

Friday's Semifinals

No. 1 North DeSoto (28-4) vs. No. 5 Parkview Baptist (18-17), 10 a.m. (Field 41)

No. 11 Brusly (26-7) vs. No. 2 E.D. White (27-4), 1 p.m. (Field 41)

Saturday's Championship

North DeSoto-Parkview Baptist winner vs. Brusly-E.D. White winner, 1 p.m. (Field 41)



Class 2A

At Louisiana-Monroe's Warhawk Field in Monroe

Friday's Semifinals

No. 1 Calvary Baptist (23-3) vs. No. 4 University (28-6), 1 p.m.

No. 3 Evangel Christian (20-10) vs No. 14 Kinder (22-11), 10 a.m.

Saturday's Championship

Calvary Baptist-University winner vs. Evangel Christian-Kinder winner, 1 p.m.



Class 1A

At Louisiana-Monroe's Warhawk Field in Monroe

Friday's Semifinals

No. 1 Ouachita Christian (30-5) vs. No. 5 Central Catholic (23-7), 7 p.m.

No. 6 St. John (28-6) vs. No. 2 Mangham (26-8), 4 p.m.

Saturday's Championship

Ouachita Christian-Central Catholic winner vs. St. John-Mangham winner, 4 p.m.



Class B

At McMurry Park in Sulphur

Friday's Semifinals

No. 16 Simpson (12-18) vs. No. 12 Hicks (22-8), 7 p.m., (Field 40)

No. 11 Hornbeck (20-13) vs. No. 2 Forest (24-8), 4 p.m., (Field 40)

Saturday's Championship

Simpson-Hicks winner vs. Hornbeck-Forest winner, 3 p.m. (Field 40)



Class C

At McMurry Park in Sulphur

Friday's Semifinals

No. 1 Family Christian (24-4) vs. No. 4 Maurepas (16-11), 10 a.m., (Field 40)

No. 3 Claiborne Christian (11-18) vs. No. 2 Elizabeth (24-4), 1 p.m., (Field 40)

Saturday's Championship

Family Christian-Maurepas winner vs. Claiborne Christian-Elizabeth winner, noon (Field 40)

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