Flying high Four area teams seek state titles, Bucs after 11th championship

Rodrick Anderson

Rosepine got things started for Southwest Louisiana, winning the Class 2A state championship Friday at the state baseball tournament.

Today, Barbe, St. Louis Catholic, Grand Lake and Elizabeth will be looking to finish the tournament with state titles.

Since winning its first state championship in 1998, Class 5A No. 1 Barbe is 10-2 in championships games and hasn’t lost one since 2002, a string of seven state titles in 2006, ’08, ’12,’14-’16, and ’19.

The Bucs (38-2) will go for No. 11 under longtime head coach Glenn Cecchini at 6 p.m. today against No. 2 West Monroe (27-8).

Senior Jack Walker and junior Gavin Guidry have pitched every inning for the Bucs this postseason and combined for a no-hitter in the Thursday’s 1-0, 11-inning semifinals win over District 3-5A rival No. 4 Sam Houston. Guidry pitched the final inning of the game and will likely be the Bucs’ starter tonight against the Rebels.

Elsewhere

The No. 2 Saints will get things started at 10 am. in the Division II final against No. 1 Parkview Baptist, while No. 3 Elizabeth will face No. 1 Choudrant in the Class B final.

St. Louis (24-12) is looking for its first state championship since 2011 and has won 17 of its last 18 games while Parkview (33-1) has one loss this season, to E.D. White in the quarterfinals.

“I think this program has a history of winning over the last decade or two, and it is good to be back there (the state final) to represent St. Louis,” said Saints head coach Matt Fontenot. “I think your group changes everything, your guys in the dugout.

“They love each other and they get after each other. I think they are going to get after it again (today).”

The Saints are looking to add to the school’s banner year in athletics that includes state titles in boys golf and tennis, girls indoor and outdoor track and basketball.

Elizabeth (33-4) owns five Class C state championships but is after its first in Class B, while Choudrant (31-3) is riding a long 28-game win streak.

After its semifinal game was delayed three days because of severe weather, Grand Lake (22-2) is back in the final for the first time since 2017.

It will be a rematch of the Class 1A state football final as the Hornets will face No. 1 Oak Grove (18-9) at 2 p.m. Oak Grove won 33-7 in the football final in December and knocked the Hornets softball team out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals.

“We know we are going to play a great team but we can only worry about us,” Grand Lake head coach Tyler Alton said. “If we can do our things, I like our chances.”””

Gavin Guidry pitched an inning of relief Thursday in a 1-0 11-inning in over Sam Houston in the Class 5A semifinals and combined with starter Jack Walker for a no-hitter.

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