The hiring of 2 former LSU baseball standouts has led to a revival at French Settlement

The hiring of 2 former LSU baseball standouts has led to a revival at French Settlement

Hiring two former LSU baseball standouts as coaches probably looked like a shrewd, attention-grabbing approach three years ago.

But for French Settlement, it is journey that has reached an important destination — the LHSAA State Baseball tournament.

The third-seeded Lions (16-16) of head coach Kade Scivicque face No. 2 Mangham (20-8) in a Division IV nonselect semifinal set for 2 p.m. Tuesday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

This is the Livingston Parish school’s first appearance in the LHSAA tourney since 2007. That year the Lions competed in Class B.

“We are really excited to go to the tournament with this group of guys,” Scivicque said. “They have been working their tails off and getting after it day in and day out. And it wasn’t easy at the start.

“We have several guys who also play basketball and those guys were still in the playoffs when the season started. We took some losses early with a tough schedule. After we had everybody it took a while to put everything together.”

Scivicque and Jared Poche, a star pitcher at Lutcher and LSU, came on board as FSHS coaches after the 2021 season. Scivicque, a former Maurepas star, earned All-America honors for the Tigers in 2015 after two seasons in the JUCO ranks.

Both players ended their professional careers in 2019. Poche, a leader on LSU’s 2017 CWS squad, is the pitching coach for the Lions. Other assistants have been added to handle specific areas, including Scivicque’s brother Chaz.

“It took time to develop the right approach,” Scivicque said. “I talked to coaches I played for and others I got to know to see how they do things.

“Coaching high school baseball is different than it was, even from when we played. As a group, we’re all comfortable working together and the guys on the team have really bought into the things we teach and stress to them.”

Infielder Mason Hill leads the Lions with a .303 batting average. Second baseman Colin Hutcherson and outfielder Hance Roussel are each hitting .301 for District 7-2A-based FSHS.

Hill and Lucas Crowder are the top pitchers for the Lions, who defeated their regional and quarterfinal opponents by a combined total of 16 runs.

The Lions come into the tournament with a lower profile than the school’s softball team that won a Division IV title in 2023 and finished as the D-IV runner-up to Montgomery less than two weeks ago. Scivicque credits the school’s winning culture that also includes basketball success.

“To be honest, this is happening sooner than I expected,” said principal John Chewning, whose son Jackson is a starting outfielder. “Most people I talked to said it would take four years and this is year three.”

The Lions played Division I quarterfinalist Live Oak in their regular season finale. They also played another Division I quarterfinalist in St. Amant along with parish rival Doyle, a semifinalist in Division III nonselect.

“They have confidence in us as coaches and we believe in them,” Scivicque said. “We’re excited about the challenge.”

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