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Panthers await post-season run

Written by John Dupont on .

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Brusly baseball coach Tait Dupont seemed anything but nervous the night before the announcement of playoff brackets.

Instead, Dupont’s main objectives centered around his own team.

Any of three or four teams figured as probable opponents for the Panthers the day before the Louisiana High School Athletic Association announced its Class 3A playoff brackets.

“We’re more concerned about ourselves and what we’re doing rather than who we’re playing,” said Dupont, whose Panthers wrapped the season last week.

The LHSAA was set to announce playoff brackets Tuesday evening after the West Side Journal’s press deadline. Log on to www.thewestsidejournal.com to see playoff information.

Brusly finished District 7-3A runner-up after a split series against longtime rival Parkview Baptist gave the Eagles the outright league title.

But a No. 6 spot in the LHSAA power rankings had Dupont feeling cool and calm about the post-season run.

“We have six seniors starting, so we need to just keep up what we’re doing now,” he said. “It’s all about going out there, making the plays and doing the little things that help you win ballgames.”

A solid pitching roster that includes London Blank, Evan Daigle and Luke LeBlanc gives Dupont added reason to feel assured.

But it’s not one player who accounts for the team’s success this season, he said.

“You’ve got a total team effort at work here,” he said. “If we need solid hitting, a bunt here or strong defense, we’ve got it – all those things work together.”

The current power rankings indicate Brusly could draw Port Barre, Albany or Jena in the first round – but even that could change.

He’s certain his team will maintain its spot in the power rankings. The Panthers could even nudge up a spot or two after a forfeit by Livonia after the LHSAA cited the Wildcats for an ineligible freshman, but Dupont does not believe it will make much difference.

“I think we’ll stay right where we are,” he said. “But all those other teams played Monday and I don’t know what all of them did yet, so there’s no telling who we’ll face.

“It’s all about the element of surprise,” Dupont said.

In action last week, a Parkview four-run rally in the top of the fifth dealt Brusly a 7-4 loss and gave the Eagles the title.

A Landon Andre grounder drove home Austin Watts in the bottom of the second.

A Pryce Fletcher run in the top of the third tied the game for Parkview.

The Panthers pulled ahead in the bottom of the third on Blake Manola’s two-run single that brought home Brennan Allen and Kwanston Adkins. A Daigle run padded the Brusly lead.

Parkview scored four more runs in the top of the fifth and one in the seventh.

Blank slipped to 8-1 at the mound.

Neither team helped itself defensively. Parkview committed three errors and Brusly had five.

One day earlier, Brusly did all its work in one inning to topple Parkview 5-1.

An Adkins triple; an RBI double by LeBlanc and two singles powered the Panthers.

LeBlanc allowed three hits and struck out seven.

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