St. Michael the Archangel was a mystery team when the baseball season began.
Everyone knew the Class 4A Warriors had LSU signee Christopher Reid, but the graduation of sluggers J.T. Mauldin and Austin Edens raised plenty of questions.
Now St. Michael has the answers and a No. 6 playoff seed. The Warriors (18-9) will be the first local team to test the playoff waters, hosting No. 27 Salmen (11-16) at 4 p.m. Monday.
“Last year we were the No. 5 seed and we made it to the semifinals with a bunch of seniors,” St. Michael coach Johnny Bernhard said. “And to come back a year later with a bunch of new faces and to be one spot lower is something.
“I think these guys have earned this … earned the home game. Now we need to go out and take advantage of it.”
The LHSAA released its baseball playoff pairings for teams in Classes 5A and 4A on Sunday afternoon. Teams are supposed to play first-round games by Tuesday with the winners advancing to best-of-three games second-round series over the weekend. Pairings for 4A-C schools are scheduled for Tuesday release.
There were few surprises when the pairings were released. Sulphur (30-2) got the top seed in Class 5A, while Tioga (26-6) was the No. 1 seed in 4A.
When his team left Central High following a Thursday loss, Walker High coach Randy Sandifer thought his team’s season was over.
Less than 72 hours later, the Wildcats (16-18) found out they got the No. 32 seed they’ll play Sulphur (30-2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“Just glad to be in, and it doesn’t matter who we play,” Sandifer said. “If you had told me Thursday night this was possible ... We’ve played a lot of the top 10 teams and our schedule really helped us. If you’re in, you’ve got a chance.”
Weather is a factor since the forecast calls for rain on both Monday and Tuesday. Second-seeded Catholic (31-3) and No. 3 Zachary (25-7) both wanted to play Monday like St. Michael.
The Bears originally scheduled their game with No. 31 Alexandria Senior High (17-16) for 3:30 p.m. Monday and then shifted it back to Tuesday. Zachary (25-7) is at No. 3 and hosts Archbishop Shaw (17-13) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“It (rain) is coming, and the tough thing about this is if it rains Tuesday, and you’re pushed back to Wednesday you only have two days before you start the best-of-three,” Zachary coach Jesse Cassard said.
Cassard noted that there was a scenario that would have had the Broncos hosting another local team, East Ascension.
Some late-reported results moved the Spartans up a notch to No. 29.
Live Oak at No. 12, St. Amant at No. 20, Central 27th and Dutchtown at 28th also made the 5A bracket. No. 14 Lutcher (14-13) and No. 22 Plaquemine (15-10) complete the local 4A contingent.
Dutchtown (16-16) won its final five games to snag a playoff berth and will face defending 5A state champion Barbe of Lake Charles at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re playing well and I feel good about that,” DHS coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “We played Barbe earlier this year and know what to expect. All we wanted was a shot and now we have it.”