The new format for playoffs in the LHSAA has hit baseball with this year’s announcement of the brackets for the postseason.
With more schools designated as select, the playoff format took on a drastic change with some Class 5A schools pooled with some from 4A in Division I, and the rest of 4A matched with some from 3A in Division II and on down.
There are now five divisions in both select and non-select and the number of schools participating in the non-select brackets is reduced to 24 while the number of select teams is 20. This year will also have teams playing a best-of-three series in the first round in Divisions I-III instead of the previous single-elimination contests.
Nine local schools made it into this year’s playoffs with one missing out by one spot in non-select.
Select schools making it in Division I included No. 4 Captain Shreve, No. 5 Northwood and No. 10 Byrd who all received a first-round bye. Northwood will play No. 12 seed Tioga in the second round and Byrd will face No. 7 seed Rummel in the second round. Shreve will await the winner of the best-of-three series between No. 13 Rummel and No. 20 Ben Franklin.
In Select Division II No. 13 Evangel will host No. 20 McKinley in a best-of-three series with a Thursday doubleheader and an if-needed single game Friday.
In Select Division III, Calvary is a No. 6 seed and received a first-round bye and will face No. 11 Fisher in the second round. Loyola is the No. 19 seed and will travel to New Orleans to play No. 14 Newman beginning Friday.
Division I has all three of the local schools in Non-Select with Parkway the highest seed at No. 9. The Panthers will play host to No. 24 Chalmette with the first game scheduled for Friday. Haughton is the No. 10 seed and is hosting Covington, the No. 23 seed, starting Friday. No. 20 seed Benton is on the road to District 1-5A foe Natchitoches Central beginning Thursday.
Airline was the No. 24 team in Division I, power ranking wise, but was nudged from the playoffs by Chalmette who had a lower power ranking but the Owls won District 8-5A. All district champions in a division are awarded a spot in the playoffs.
Here are first-round matchups with teams without byes playing best-of-three series:
Select Division I
No. 4 Captain Shreve (22-12), Bye
No. 5 Northwood (27-7), Bye
No. 10 Byrd (21-13), Bye
Select Division II
No. 20 McKinley (9-14) at No. 13 Evangel (10-20)
Select Division III
No. 6 Calvary (24-10), Bye
No. 19 Loyola (9-21) at No. 14 Newman (11-20)
Non-Select Division I
No. 24 Chalmette (18-11) at No. 9 Parkway (21-8)
No. 23-Covington (24-9) at No. 10 Haughton (22-11)
No. 20 Benton (19-15) at No. 13 Natchitoches Central (24-9)