SULPHUR — Successful sports teams are the norm for University High. The football program has won two straight state championships. The Cubs’ boys and girls basketball teams have made their title runs too over the past decade.
One thing the Cubs do not have is an LHSAA baseball title.
Will a third title-game appearance in this decade bring a title? That's the big question as top-seeded U-High (29-7) meets No. 6 St. Charles Catholic (30-8) in the Division II final set for noon Tuesday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.
“More than anything else, we want to win it and make history for the school,” said UHS pitcher Dylan Carmouche after Sunday’s 4-0 semifinal win over Parkview Baptist. The Cubs have a history that includes a runner-up finish last season and another in 2013.
The task for U-High coach Justin Morgan is to keep the game with the Comets within the correct parameters. For Morgan, that means not making the game too big and making sure the Cubs understand that although they have not played St. Charles, the Comets are a familiar foe in some ways.
“They’re another team that relies on pitching and defense,” Morgan said of St. Charles. “One thing that is really impressive is the way they manufacture runs. They are aggressive and try to force you into making mistakes by bunting or by doing a hit-and-run. They have a good sense of who they are. They certainly have our respect.”
Of course, the Cubs know who they are too. Like St. Charles, U-High relies on pitching and defense. They also manufacture runs.
Carmouche (11-2) struck out 15 Sunday and now UHS comes back with Lance Wade (9-0).
First baseman Jacob Burke and left fielder Brock Slaton are the top offensive threats for UHS. Each player had an RBI Sunday. Joe Chiarella had two hits and two runs scored for St. James in its 5-2 win over St. Thomas More.
“They had a good game plan for St. Thomas More (on) Sunday and I’m sure they will have one for us,” Morgan said. “It comes down who executes what they want to do better.”