Big noise: Small schools on cusp of state tournament

Warren Arceneaux

Small Southwest Louisiana schools are making big noise in the high school baseball playoffs, with 10 area schools playing in the quarterfinals this weekend in hopes of reaching next week’s state tournament in Sulphur.

Both District 5-2A and District 4-1A have a trio of teams remaining.

In Class 2A, the Rosepine Eagles and DeQuincy Tigers will be home this weekend with chance to reach the state tournament, while the Kinder Yellow Jackets will travel to play top-seeded Doyle. Class 2A matchups will be best-ofthree series,

No. 2 Rosepine (25-5) will host No. 7 Fisher (21-4), which survived a Game 1 loss to another 5-2A member, Vinton, last week. The Eagles romped through the first two rounds, winning each of their three games via the mercy rule. No game has gone past the fifth inning and the Eagles have outscored foes 43-8.

“We have been getting good production from the top of the order throughout the year, lately the bottom half has picked it up,” said Rosepine head coach Jeff Smith.

Smith said the Eagles will face a pair of good pitchers.

“Fisher has a good righty, a UNO signee named Trey Usey,” he said. “They also have a pretty good lefty, Landyn Haas, a kid with 80-plus strikeouts. I anticipate that we are going to have to show up and work this weekend.”

No. 4 DeQuincy (23-10) hosts No. 5 Loreauville (19-8) in a series, hoping to reach the semifinal round for the first time since 2001. Since then, DeQuincy has been eliminated in the quarterfinals six times, most recently in 2018 by Loreauville, which went on to win the state title by beating Kinder and Welsh in Sulphur. Last year Loreauville lost to Kinder in the semifinals.

No. 8 Kinder (21-14) will also be seeing an old foe in No. 1 Doyle (25-8). The Jackets beat Doyle in the championship game in both 2015 and 2019. Doyle has outscored its opponents 24-0 in its three playoff games and has won eight consecutive games, the last five by shutout.

Class 1A

Merryville, Oberlin and Grand Lake are hoping for return trips to Sulphur after making it in 2019. No. 2 Grand Lake (20-2) will travel to No. 10 Oberlin (8-13) while No. 3 Merryville (12-15) hosts No. 6 La-Salle (14-11). Both games will be played Friday. In Classes 1A, B and C, each round is single elimination.

Oberlin, the 2019 state champion, won at No. 5 seed Gueydan in the regional round. Grand Lake (20-2) beat Oberlin in the lone regular-season game between the two, 8-1 on March 25.

Merryville, the 2018 state champ, has won its last five games, not allowing more than two runs in a game during the streak.

Class B

No. 8 Fairview (14-5) travels to play top-seeded Choudrant (29-3), No. 12 Pitkin (15-11) is at No. 20 Monterey (10-12) and No. 3 Elizabeth (31-4) hosts No. 6 Quitman (18-11).

Class C

No. 8 Starks (10-8) is at No. 1 Hicks (25-3).

 
 

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Rosepine’s Ethan Frey catches against Sam Houston during a March 9 nondistrict game in Moss Bluff . Frey swings one of the big bats that has the Eagles soaring through the Class 2A playoffs.

Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press