Three area teams are headed to the Big Easy.
Barbe, Sam Houston and Sulphur won Monday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state baseball tournament. The two-day, three-round event begins Friday at Tulane's Turchin Stadium.
The only other Southwest Louisiana team to win Monday night was Kinder in Class 2A. Elizabeth advanced to the Class C state tournament with a win last week.
St. Louis and DeRidder lost their Class 4A games Monday night while Iowa lost in the 3A quarterfinals.
The biggest of stages is bringing out the best in Barbe’s Sloan Dieter.
Dieter got the Bucs back the the state tournament with a one-hit, complete game shutout over Covington.
The top-seeded Bucs (33-3) will play No. 9 West Monroe, which advanced with an 8-0 win over Haughton, in a quarterfinal game Friday.
Dieter homered and drove in three runs. The senior, in his first year at Barbe, won a 1A state tournament as a sophomore at St. Mary’s in Natchitoches. Now he will have a crack at winning one on the state’s biggest stage.
Covington (26-7) had only three baserunners, none in the final four innings.
“The fastball was working, they couldn’t catch up to it,” Dieter said. “I kept pounding in there and mixing in a few curve balls here and there. I lived on the fastball, just stayed with it until they proved they could hit it."
RUSTON — Cole Lavergne hits a pair of homers and drove in five runs as No. 13 Sulphur powered past fourth-seeded Ruston.
Lavergne, who drove in five runs, had three hits to lead the Tors to a road victory over Ruston (30-4).
“This is a big win for us,” said Sulphur head coach Jason Trahan. “Cole came through for us at just the right time.”
Lavergne hit a two-run shot in the first and a three-run shot in the sixth for Sulphur (24-11), which will play Catholic-Baton Rouge in a quarterfinal game on Friday. Catholic advanced with a 8-3 win over Jesuit.
The Tors survived a three-homer, five-RBI performance by Ruston’s Ian Wilson.
Sam Houston ace Collin Kober tossed a complete game to lead the Broncos over district rival Comeaux.
Kober gave up one earned run on five hits for No. 6 Sam Houston, which will face third-seeded Brother Martin in a quarterfinal game Friday. Kober struck out six and walked four.
Sam Houston drew first blood as Tanner Helms scored on a two-out RBI single by Kameron Esthay in the second inning. Comeaux tied it in the top third and took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on an error.
Sam Houston tied it in the bottom of the fourth when Cliff Reid singled in Kelsey Richard.
The Broncos scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth when centerfielder Eric Peterson was walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error.
LUTCHER — The combination of ace Jared Poche (10-0) and 10 hits helped second-seeded Lutcher notch the victory.
Poche, an LSU signee, struck out 12, including nine in the first three innings. Zachary Zimmer was 2-for-4 at the plate with a triple and three RBIs to push the Bulldogs (27-4) to a berth in the state tournament.
The Bulldogs scored four runs in the second inning to take control. They closed the game out with four more in the sixth, including a two-RBI triple by Zimmer and an RBI single by Spencer Roussel. Tulane signee Corey Merrill was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Devin Jones took the loss for DeRidder (28-7), making its first quarterfinal appearance since 2005. Jones, Joe Mike Baldwin and Teddy Alexander each had one hit for DHS.
“When we were get something going, we just weren’t able to get the big hit,” DeRidder coach Chad Menard said. “We had the right guys at the plate."
LAFAYETTE — Taking advantage of seven errors, top-seeded St. Thomas More routed No. 9 St. Louis to advance to semifinals.
Chase Ballet homered and drove in three runs to lead the Cougars' eight-hit attack.
St. Thomas More (28-4) scored twice in the first and three times in the third to wash away an early 3-0 lead by 3-0 St. Louis (24-12).
St. Louis' Lenny Breda had a double and drove in two runs.
IOWA — With a trip to the state tournament on the line, the fifth-seeded Parkview Baptist Eagles scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat No. 4 Iowa in a quarterfinal game.
Iowa (21-11) led 2-0 after the third inning, before Parkview (18-17) scored six unanswered runs.
Parkview pitcher Zack Hamilton (10-2) struck out 14 and was the only Eagles batter with more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
“I was able to locate all my pitches, fastball, changeup and curveball, and keep them off-balance,” Hamilton said. “Defense backed me up and offense came around. It’s easy to close it with a four-run lead.”
Although Hamilton had seven strikeouts in the first three innings, Iowa led 2-0 with runs in the first and third innings.
KINDER — Bryce Baker drove in two runs and Dylon Poncho scored two and drove in one as upstart Kinder kept rolling all the way to the state tournament in Monroe.
The No. 15 Yellowjackets used a trio of pitchers to hold off seventh-seeded Loreauville despite starting a young lineup. Kinder will play Evangel Christian or North Webster in a semifinal game Friday.
“We have been playing better of late,” said Kinder head coach Ken Courville. “We have an extremely joung team but the kids have grown all year. We are playing our best.”
Christian Manuel, Austin Pickle and Zach Rider combine to allow just six hits. Pickle got the win to improve to 3-3 with Rider earning the save.
The Yellowjackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI hits by Baker and Poncho and never looked back to improve to 22-11.