Evangel baseball coach Tim Hulett said he wasn’t really affected by not knowing his first-round playoff opponent for most of Tuesday as Livonia’s temporary restraining order against the LHSAA resulted in a delay of the Class 3A playoff bracket being released.
Hulett and his No. 2 Eagles (20-8) were preparing for Kaplan, and that’s exactly who Evangel will host Saturday at 2 p.m. after a court of appeals overturned Livona’s restraining order and allowed the LHSAA to release the Class 3A bracket.
The LHSAA says Livonia used an ineligible freshman in football and baseball, and Livonia forfeited 18 baseball wins to reduce their record to 5-22 and knock them from the playoffs.
“We kind of knew it was going to be Kaplan, so (the coach) called us and we connected,” Hulett said. “Both schools had testing and teams going to the softball (state tournament), so we decided Saturday would be the best day.
“If we were planning a Thursday game like some of the other teams, then it would have affected us a lot more.”
North Webster is the other area Class 3A playoff team, and the No. 12 Knights (20-7) will host No. 21 Loranger (22-8).
A total of twenty-three area teams learned their playoff paths with the release of the Class 4A-C brackets.
Three of the four area Class 4A teams will host first-round games.
No. 4 Benton (26-8) hosts No. 29 South Terrebonne (15-15) on Thursday at 4 p.m.; No. 13 Northwood (23-7) hosts No. 20 Breaux Bridge (17-11) and No. 16 Minden (17-14) welcomes No. 17 Lakeshore (13-14). Loyola (12-19) at No. 24 will travel to No. 9 Tioga (19-12) for a Thursday game at 6 p.m.
The Flyers shook off a 4-17 start through a murderous early schedule to win nine of their last 11 games, including a
“I don’t believe in playing a simple schedule … and I overmatched us a little at the beginning,” Fenwick said. “It was a confidence thing. We had guys that struggled early … but we’ve had enough stuff go our way that the kids our believing now.”
In Class 2A, No. 32 North Caddo (17-10) squeezed into the field and will head to No. 1 Oak Grove (22-6).
Coach J.J. Kavanaugh said his Rebels played under a little pressure knowing they were on the bubble in the last several weeks of the regular season, but the program makes the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons after not going for at least a decade prior to 2011.
“We made it by one opponent win, and I was nervous because if Homer and Red River weren’t able to finish their games (Monday), we wouldn’t have made it,” Kavanaugh said. “But our guys deserve it, and these four seniors did what it took.
“Our reward is going to play the best (2A) team in the state in Oak Grove.”
District 1-2A co-champs No. 15 Calvary (16-14) will host No. 18 Episcopal (16-12) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and No. 14 Lakeside (19-12) will host No. 19 St. Thomas Aquinas (16-12) on Thursday at 6 p.m.
In Class 1A, Cedar Creek (26-5), the No. 7 team, will host No. 26 Crescent City (11-12) while No. 11 St. Mary’s (21-8) will host No. 22 Delhi Charter (14-14) on Friday at 6 p.m.
Haynesville (15-9) barely missed a home game as the No. 17 seed, heading to No. 16 LaSalle (17-7) while No. 31 Logansport (12-15) travels to No. 2 St. Frederick (19-10).
Class B has the most area representatives with seven, although all 30 eligible teams advanced to the playoffs.
The four home teams include No. 5 Florien (17-8, hosting No. 28 Hicks, 2-17), No. 8 Stanley (16-11, hosting No. 25 Harrisonburg, 7-18, on Thursday at 5 p.m.), No. 9 Converse (15-11, hosting No. 24 Evans, 11-12, on Thursday at 5 p.m.) and No. 13 Zwolle (11-11, hosting No. 20 Dodson, 16-10).
Teams hitting the road include No. 21 Castor (8-13, at No. 12 Quitman, 13-12, on Thursday at 4 p.m.), No. 19 Negreet (14-9, at No. 14 Weston, 13-9-1) and No. 26 Doyline (9-18, at No. 7 Glenmora, 16-5).
All three area Class C teams also make the 16-team field. Each team receives a first-round bye in a 32-team bracket, and second-round matchups include No. 7 Summerfield (14-13) hosting No. 10 Hackberry (10-7), No. 11 Ebarb (5-20) heading to No. 6 Family Christian (14-9) and No. 16 Pleasant Hill (1-14) heading to No. 1 seed Northside Christian (20-5).