Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Love for Louisiana

Baseball America released its preseason high school top 50 on its Web site Tuesday and there are a pair of Louisiana teams in the top 30. Well, the top 29 to be exact.

Barbe opens at No. 20 and Captain Shreve starts at No. 29.

Seeing the Bucs in the poll isn't a big surprise as Glen Cecchini's team has built a national reputation, but the Gators' inclusion is a tip of the proverbial cap to the job Ronnie Coker has done on East Kings Highway.

The capsule on the Web site says "Pitching always has been the Gators' calling card." The same could be said for all of Coker's teams. The dominant programs he built at Parkway in the mid- to late-1990s usually had at least one dominant pitcher and usually more. Now he has done the same at Shreve, coaching a staff that features an LSU signee (Austin Ross) and several other talented arms.

While Louisiana college baseball struggles through a second straight up-and-down season, it's good to know people outside the state are impressed with the younger talent here.


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