John Ehret hoping to turn district title into playoff run _lowres

Ehret's Jacob Snyder

John Ehret may not have a playoff-like record.

The Patriots finished the season 13-15.

And they may not have a playoff power rating.

They were, after all, ranked No. 50 out of the 62 Class 5A teams who were eligible for the playoffs.

But the one thing the Patriots had on their résumé was a district championship.

And since all district champions make the playoffs, that was good enough to get them in the playoff field that the LHSAA announced on Sunday.

It also kept one team out, but we’ll get to that later.

“We just try to do one step at a time,” Ehret coach Kenny Francingues said. “We just worried about the district championship because we knew that was the only way to get in.”

Francingues, in his fourth season, said making it to the playoffs has been a tough road.

The team has had injuries and players leave the program over the years, but the five seniors (Jacob Snyder, Chad Clement, Collin Camardelle, Jeff Williams and Ashton Self) have helped get the program back to the postseason for the first time in four years.

It was Snyder’s one-hitter last week against Chalmette that clinched the Patriots’ playoff berth.

Snyder, a Southern signee, will likely get the start on Tuesday when the Patriots take on top seed and defending state champion Barbe.

The first-round format of the 5A playoffs is just one game, so there’s a chance. It’s slim, but in baseball, sometimes that’s enough.

“We knew if we got in, whoever we were going to play was going to be very, very good,” Francingues said. “We talk all the time about playing and comparing ourselves with some of the really good programs in the state, and now we get a chance to do that.”

Had Ehret not won its district, it would have been Holy Cross headed to Barbe. Instead, the Tigers are left on the outside looking in.

Holy Cross was the No. 32 seed in the power rankings, and with the top 32 teams making it, that’s normally good enough to get in. But district champions take precedence, so Ehret bumped Holy Cross out.

Who saw that coming?

Remember just three weeks ago when Holy Cross won its first four Catholic League games, including wins over both Jesuit and Brother Martin?

The Tigers missing out on the playoffs was perhaps the biggest surprise.

Here are a few other thoughts and observations about the playoffs:

ROAD TEAM WITH BEST CHANCE TO WIN: EDNA KARR

The Cougars are a No. 17 seed and travel to No. 16 Livonia. It helps that the Cougars have one of the area’s most dominant pitchers in senior Tyree Thompson.

Runner-up goes to No. 17 Rummel, which plays at Walker in 5A, and No. 18 Belle Chasse, which plays at Beau Chene in 4A.

BEST GAME IN TOWN: CHALMETTE AT JOHN CURTIS

No. 14 Curtis won the 3A title last season and followed that up by winning the Catholic League in its first season in the district. Now the Patriots host the No. 19 Owls on Monday in a win-or-go-home game.

THIRD TIME THE CHARM?

St. Paul’s hopes so.

The Wolves travel to Kirsch-Rooney to play Brother Martin Tuesday at 7 p.m. Brother Martin beat St. Paul’s 9-0 in the season opener and 11-2 a week and a half later. But those meetings mean nothing now.

BEST DRAW: St. Charles

The Comets, the No. 2 in 2A, are the highest-seeded local team. Jesuit (No. 5 in 5A) is next.

TOUGHEST DRAW: Yeah, John Ehret of course.