LHSAA Class 5A State Championship Game Preview


Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

If the LHSAA Class 5A State Championship Game can deliver just a fraction of what the semi-final matchups did, then high school baseball fans across Louisiana will be in for a real treat.  On Thursday evening, we had the opportunity to see two thrilling Class 5A semi-final games between #4 Sulphur and #8 St. Amant, with #2 West Monroe and #3 Dutchtown on the other side of the bracket.  Sulphur started out on fire and took a 6-0 lead into the 4th inning, before St. Amant came roaring back in the 6th inning, where the Gators scored 8 runs to take the lead and eventually defeat the Tors by a score of 10-7.  Dutchtown came out equally on fire in their matchup with West Monroe.  The Griffins took a commanding 5-0 lead into the 6th inning, before the Rebels scored their first 3 runs of the game in the bottom of the 6th.  Then, the magic happened for West Monroe in the bottom of the 7th inning, as former Future Gamer 2024 1B Trey Hawsey hit a walk-off three run home run to send the Rebels to the State Championship Game.  St. Amant won their last title in 2004, while West Monroe won their last title in 1999 and are making back to back finals appearances, after losing the title game last year to Barbe.  These are two of the more storied programs in Class 5A, with a rich history of baseball success and we can not wait until they cross the white lines, tomorrow evening at 6PM, to see who will be crowned the Class 5A champion for 2022.

 

West Monroe High School


-LHSAA Playoff Seed: #2

-Head Coach: Wade Simoneaux

-Record: 32-4

-How They Got Here: 1st round win vs. #31 Natchitoches Central, 2nd round series win vs. #18 Comeaux, 3rd round series win vs. #7 Sam Houston, Semi-Final win vs. #3 Dutchtown

-Storyline:  The Rebels are in a familiar spot, as they made it to the finals last year, eventually losing to Barbe.  The experience, however, seems to be paying off for West Monroe during their playoff run this season.  To get to the state tournament, Coach Simoneaux and the Rebels had to knock off Sam Houston, who has become a regular at the state tournament over the past few years.  Both of those games were one run games, in which the West Monroe had to come from behind to win.  In last night's semi-final matchup with Dutchtown, the Rebels yet again had to make another fierce comeback after being down 5-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th inning.  West Monroe's starting pitcher for the semi-finals was 2024 LHP Brennan Eager, who was a Future Games participant last summer.  Eager only threw 40 pitches before the Rebels decided to go to the bullpen, so it will be interesting to see if Coach Simoneaux decides to go with Eager again tomorrow night.

 

St. Amant High School


-LHSAA Playoff Seed: #8

-Head Coach: Brandon Bravata

-Record: 34-7

-How They Got Here: 1st round win vs. #25 Chalmette, 2nd round series win vs. #9 Live Oak, 3rd round series win vs. #1 Barbe, Semi-Final win vs. #4 Sulphur

-Storyline:  The Gators have been on quite a run this post-season and only added to their playoff "mystique" last night, after beating #4 Sulphur 10-7, after being down by six runs to start the game.  St. Amant has had a difficult road to get to this point, after having drawn the top seeded Barbe Bucs in the third round of the playoffs, a series in which Coach Bravata and his team had to go on the road to win.  The Gators took Game 1 from the Bucs, before falling in Game 2, and eventually winning Game 3 and the series over Barbe by a score of 5-4.  Much like their opponent tomorrow night, the Gators also pulled their semi-final starting pitcher 2022 RHP Jacob Mayers (Nicholls State Commit) in the 2nd inning.  Mayers is eligible to start tomorrow night's game and after using 2023 RHP Dallis Moran (Nicholls State Commit) in relief to beat Sulphur, it seems likely that Mayers will get the ball again in the finals.