Rosepine, Grand Lake chasing titles

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Two top-ranked teams from Southwest Louisiana look to move closer to state championships when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association state baseball tournament begin today at McMurry Park.

Class 2A No. 1 Rosepine would like to take home another state championship trophy after winning its first in program history last season. The Eagles (32-2) have won a program-record 32 games, plus a 28-game win streak.

“We are just excited to be back,” Rosepine head coach Jeff Smith said. “We have a really talented, determined senior class. They are focused. They have done more for our program than any other class has.

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“We are going to go down and try to repeat. I feel good about it.”

The Eagles’ (32-2) semifinal opponent is a familiar one in No. 5 Many (26-9). The game will start at 6 p.m. on Field 41. Rosepine won both regular-season games.

“It is kind of tough,” Smith said. “Beating anybody three times in a season is a tough task.

“They got a really good look at us and we got a good look at them. We know each other pretty well. We haven’t seen who I think they consider their No. 1 pitcher, Jack Deville. We anticipate seeing him.”

The Eagles’ one through five hitters are batting over .500 in the postseason with a combined 40 RBIs and 35 runs scored. Senior Logan Calcote leads the way, going 13-for-17 with eight RBIs and 10 runs scored in the postseason.

“They are seeing the ball really well and swinging at balls in the strike zone without chasing,” Smith said. “We are healthy, playing well and swinging the bats a little better than we did early in the season.”

Class 1A

No. 1 Grand Lake is making its fifth consecutive trip to Sulphur but is searching for its first state championship. The Hornets lost in the final in 2021 and 2017.

“We have been a couple of times, and we are just trying to finally finish it,” Grand Lake head coach Tyler Alton said.

The Hornets’ pitching staff has been key. When the group limits opponents to two runs or fewer, Grand Lake is 20-1. Two members of the rotation — Garrett Walker and Devin David — saw extensive action last season. The pair have not given up an earned run this postseason with a combined 22 strikeouts and two walks.

“They both threw in the state championship game last year,” Alton said. “I am looking for the experience to show. It is all about the experience. They have been in that atmosphere, they have been on that turf mound and seen all those people.”

Grand Lake plays No. 4 Logansport (13-13) at 2 p.m. on Field 41.

“(Logansport has) been in big games before, but this is their first time, I believe, at the state tournament,” Alton said. “We have the experience, but they have some pretty good athletes.”