Broncos, Bucs go at it again

Rodrick Anderson

Since splitting a pair of District 3-5A games, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before No. 1 Barbe and No. 4 Sam Houston would meet again.

This time it will be under the lights at McMurry Park at the state baseball tournament in the Class 5A semifinals at 6 p.m. today.

It is the second time in three seasons that the two schools will meet at the state tournament. In 2019, the Bucs won 8-2 to win their 10th state championship.

“We are going to be prepared,” Barbe head coach Glenn Cecchini said. “They are a formidable opponent.

“They are definitely one of the best programs in the state, and we happen to be in the same district. Our goal is to win our 11th state title and they happen to be in our way.

“The only way we can win a state championship is that we have to win the semifinal game. I know I am stating something that is obvious, but that is how we look at it.”

It is the fourth time since 2015 that two of the three area 5A schools — Barbe, Sam Houston and Sulphur — will meet at the state tournament.

Sam Houston is making its fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament but is in search of its first state title since 2000.

“We have been the bridesmaid quite a bit,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Hebert said. “We are focusing on us.

“We know who we are up against. It is going to be an emotional crowd. It is going to be one of those days where you can’t let the environment control you. It is what it is. If you are going to be the best, you have to beat the best.

“We look forward to the challenge. Barbe is the best until someone proves otherwise. We are making a name for ourselves.”

The Bucs have won 13 consecutive games and have allowed five runs in five playoffs games led by a pair of future Division I players in Jack Walker (Mississippi State) and Gavin Guidry (LSU). The duo have combined to pitch five complete games in the playoffs with 52 strikeouts.

“We don’t give up many runs,” Cecchini said “We have been consistent.

“We have been playing very sound defensively. It is just to continue to play sound baseball. We have been able to do that at a high level for a long time. What is going to determine the game is who makes the plays, gets the two-out hits, walks (fewer) people and gets the bunts down.”

Sam Houston had an offensive explosion Saturday, scoring 25 runs in two games to beat Central-Baton Rouge in three games in the quarterfinals, led by junior Andrew Glass, a Tulane commitment who hit three home runs.

But Hebert said he doesn’t expect a low-scoring game. Barbe won the first regular-season game 8-2 while Sam Houston won the second 6-4.

“I don’t think any team is going to have a big offensive throw down,” Hebert said. “For us, it is going to be doing the little things to get us through.

“It is just going to be when you get a guy on, you have to execute to get him to second and third with less than two outs.”

Elsewhere

In the other 5A semifinal, No. 2 West Monroe (26-8) will take on No. 6 Walker (31-8) at 2 p.m. The 5A championship game will be at 6 p.m. Saturday.

West Monroe has battled through several nail-biters in the playoffs, including a one-run win over No. 31 Natchitoches Central in the first round and a close three-game series with No. 18 Parkway in the regional round.

””

Crawford Courville slides in stealing 3rd as Jackson Voigt during their game at Barbe High School in Lake Charles on Friday.

Rick Hickman / American Press””

Sam Houston first baseman Jordan Thompson catches Central-Baton Rouge’s Jude Gremillion in a run down Saturday during Game 3 of a Class 5A best-of-three quarterfinals series in Moss Bluff.

Rodrick Anderson / American Press

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Disappointing session is over

Crime

State Police investigating officer-involved shooting on I-10

Local News

Rousse: Expect more specialized degrees at McNeese, fewer general studies offerings

Local News

McNeese Rodeo Team going to the College National Finals Rodeo 

life

Lake Area Beekeepers Club to present program at the Sulphur Library

life

VIDEO: Dinosaurs take over Central Library

Local News

Cassidy: Insurance crisis hurting Louisiana families

Crime

Arrest made in LaGrange Street shooting

Crime

6/4: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

President Biden’s brother, son’s widow among witnesses expected at Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial

Crime

Iowa man gets 10-year sentence for sexual battery, domestic abuse

Local News

Yet another round of thunderstorms expected this afternoon

life

Westlake Recreation Center renamed after local ‘icon’

Local News

‘This close’ but Tigers can’t hold on, season ends

LSU Sports

‘This close,’ but Tigers come home empty

life

United Way empowering the youth of SW La. with Summer of Service initiative

Local News

Lawmakers approve surgical castration of child sex offenders

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Free junior golf clinic

Crime

Crimes against nature conviction, sentence will stand

Local News

Sexually transmitted disease rates a cause for concern in La.

Crime

6/3: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

Travel: Hot baths at Hot Springs

Local News

Stine legislation receives national coverage

Local News

Final budget restores teacher stipends, cuts early childhood education spending