5A baseball field loaded with talent

brocato    Brother Martin was on a mission to win its first state baseball championship since 1996 and its third overall when the Class 5A tournament brackets were announced last week.
    The Crusaders (28-5) are the No. 3 seed, ranked behind No. 1 Barbe (31-3) and No. 2 Destrehan (28-5), and were scheduled to meet the No. 30 seed East Ascension, a team they had earlier beaten,16-1, in the tournament opener on May 2.
    Martin is one of four local Catholic schools among the 32-team field.
    Jesuit (26-8), the No. 5 seed and 2011 champion, hopes to add a 20th state title to its resumé, but will most likely have to get  past the reigning champion and No. 1 seed, Barbe, in the semifinals on May 11.
    St. Paul’s (19-7) is the No. 8 seed and is looking at a possible meeting with Barbe in the quarterfinals. But first, the Wolves, who were scheduled to meet No. 25 Haughton (19-15) at home earlier this week, will have to defeat the winner of the West Monroe-Archbishop Rummel game in the regional round.
    Rummel (19-15), which finished third in District 9-5A play behind Brother Martin and Jesuit, was seeded at No. 24.
    The Raiders haven’t hit the ball as well as head coach Nick Monica would like but have relied on a pitching staff that includes recent University of New Orleans signee Connor McWilliams.
    Rummel lost to Barbe, 3-2, in the 2012 championship game.
    If the playoff bracket plays true to form, the likely quarterfinal round matchups could very well be defending champion Barbe against St. Paul’s and Jesuit vs. Ruston in the upper half. And if the highest seeds advance in the bottom bracket, Brother Martin would meet No. 6 Sam Houston and No. 7 Hahnville would cross bats with its District 8-5A River Parishes rival, Destrehan.
    The Wolves have the material to defeat No. 9 West Monroe, which has lost 12 games. But they will have to do it on the road before a loyal Rebel following or get past Rummel, if the Raiders spring an upset.
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