Both Barbe and Sam Houston will be hosting old nemeses this week during the Class 5A baseball quarterfinals.
No. 1 seed Barbe will host No. 8 Haughton in a best-of-three series while the No. 4 Broncos will host No. 12 Baton Rouge Central.
Haughton beat the No. 2 seed and defending state champion Bucs in a first-round game in 2017.
In 2015, No. 27 Central beat No. 6 Moss Bluff in the first round. Two years later the teams met in the semifinals, with Central winning again.
Haughton lost the first game of its regional-round series with Captain Shreve, but rebounded with wins of 7-0 and 4-1 on Day 2 to win the series. They have allowed six runs in four playoff games.
“They’re good, no doubt,” Barbe head coach Glenn Cecchini said of Haughton. “They have one of the best hitters in the state in Peyton Stovall. They hit .320 as a team and their pitching is solid.”
Stovall is ranked 27th on the mlb.com draft prospect list. In four playoff games, he is 5-for-11 with a home run, three runs, two RBIs and two walks. He is hitting .506 with 39 RBIs and 47 runs scored.
Barbe has allowed one run in three playoff games and outscored Alexandria 17-1 in sweeping its series last week.
Bucs ace Jack Walker is 12-0 with a 0.44 ERA. He threw a no-hitter in Barbe’s first-round win over Denham Springs and a two-hit, complete-game shutout in Game 2 of the Alexandria series.
Barbe has won all 11 bestof-three series it has played, losing one game in the process.
Sam Houston has never lost a best-of-three series, sweeping both games in each of the seven series it has played. Sam Houston has outscored opponents 18-4 in three playoff games.
“Pitching and defense has really saved us,” Broncos head coach Chad Hebert said. “(Outfielder) Trevor Jones had a diving catch and threw a guy out at the plate and we haven’t had any infield errors.
“Offensively, some guys you wouldn’t expect have been playing well. Jones had a 12-pitch at-bat that ended in a single, then he stole second and scored the winning run in Game 1. Freshman Griffin Hebert went 2-for-3 with an RBI double. And the usual suspects have gotten it done — Jordan Thompson went 3-for-3 with a home run and (Andrew) Glass had a walk-off hit in Game 1.”
Hebert said Central is bringing a strong pitching staff to Moss Bluff.
“Jimmy Johnson, a righty, is going to Southeastern Louisiana, the lefty closer (D.J.) Primeaux is a LSU commit and another lefty, (Connor) Cassels, has great numbers,” he said.
Central won Games 1 and 3 of its series at Ruston last week. Cassels threw a two-hit shutout in Game 1. Primeaux had two hits and pitched the final two innings to save Haughton’s 5-4 win in Game 3. Johnson had two hits and was the winning pitcher.
No. 2 South Beauregard hosts No. 7 Brusly today. The Golden Knights have allowed two runs in three playoff games.
No. 5 Iowa beat No. 4 Iota 3-2 in the series opener on Thursday in Iota. The series resumes Saturday.
St. Louis is the No. 2 seed in Division II and will host No. 10 St. Michael, which won a series at No. 7 St. Thomas More last week. The Saints dominated Patrick Taylor in their regional series, winning by a combined score of 22-4. St. Michael beat STM in a pair of one-run games.
The Bucs’ Kirkland Banks is forced out at second base in the first part of a seventh-inning double play against Haughton during a Class 5A bi-district playoff game on April 25, 2017 at Barbe High School. The teams renew playoff acquaintances today in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.
Rick Hickman / American Press