After clearing up some confusion, the draw for the 10th region baseball tournament was held in Harrison County on Wednesday.
Originally supposed to start on Sunday at two different venues (Scott and Campbell County), the coaches agreed at the draw meeting to have the entire tournament at Scott High.
The game begins Saturday when Scott greets Bourbon County at noon. Harrison and Bracken counties follow at 2:30 p.m., with Mason and Nicholas counties ending the day at 5 p.m.
With Campbell County graduating on Saturday, they are now scheduled to play against Montgomery County on Sunday at 2 p.m. to complete the quarterfinal.
The winner Scott-Bourbon will then face the winner Harrison-Bracken in the semi-final on Monday at 5 p.m.
Winner Mason-Nicholas faces winner Campbell-Montgomery in the other semi-final Monday at 8 p.m.
The league match will take place on Tuesday at 6.30 p.m.
Entering the tournament there is no clear favorite with a good handful of teams capable of winning three games and making the state tournament one of the last 16.
Montgomery County has the highest IPR (.61676) and is 9-2 in a regional game, their only losses to Scott and Bourbon County. Harrison County is just behind them in RPI (.61548) and is 19-2 in the regional game with their losses to Bishop Brossart and Nicholas County. The Thorobreds have what would be considered the most favorable draw, with Bracken County being the lowest-rated team entering the tournament.
Other contenders include Scott, Campbell County, and Nicholas County, while Mason County and Bourbon County are more than capable of causing an upheaval or two.
Here’s a quick look at each match in the first round:
Bourbon County (20-9) vs Scott (20-16), Saturday, 12 p.m.
Bourbon County has won nine of 11 and is very fortunate to be in that spot. Trailing 12-7 and through to their district semifinal final against George Rogers Clark, the Colonels rallied for six points to stun the Cardinals before ultimately losing to Montgomery County in the Championship. 40th district. Bourbon has a pair of starters with a less than three ERA with Cain Flynn and Aiden Earlywine. Flynn has struck out 72 batters in 55.1 innings pitched and is 4-3 with a 2.91 ERA with three saves. Earlywine is 7-3 with a 2.69 ERA. The Colonels have hit the ball well this year, posting a 0.316 batting average as a team led by Clay Estes hit .366 at plate.
Scott beat Bourbon County 10-4 on April 30 thanks to Dylan Ninos who struck out 12 holds in six innings of work. He allowed five hits and no earned runs on the exit. Ninos is 6-2 this season with a 1.58 ERA. The Eagles walked 11 in that game and while their 20-16 record looks average on paper, they moved up to 7-2 in the regional game with the only losses to Harrison County twice. They are led to plate by Michael Moore, reaching 0.372 with 31 RBIs.
Since winning back-to-back Region 10 titles in 2014 and 2015 and playing in a championship game in 2016, the Eagles haven’t won a regional tournament game since.
Bracken County (14-17) v Harrison County (30-5), Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
The Polar Bears stumbled down the home stretch, having lost eight of their last 11 games with two of those wins against Augusta. One of those eight losses was to Harrison County, 11-2 at Brooksville on May 20. Colin Combess led at plate in the May 20 loss, recording three hits, including a homerun. Bracken has a strong young core that will keep them competitive for years to come with six of their first nine starters in sophomores or younger, but they can be a bit overwhelmed in this one.
The Thorobreds have the most successful coach in KHSAA history at Mac Whitaker and look set to play another regional tournament in search of their 12th regional title. They have a powerful offense, scoring 8.6 in a game with seven guys in the lineup hitting over 0.300. They also have a solid weapons distribution on the mound led by Connor Kilpela (5-1, 1.94 ERA) and JD Kendall (7-0, 1.13 ERA). In the first game, Kendall played 6.2 innings, the Polar Bears were able to reach him a bit with seven hits and two runs. Corey Vaughn stood out on the competition plate with an HR and five RBIs.
As the ‘Breds search for a 12th regional title in program history, the Polar Bears are chasing their first regional tournament victory since 1996.
Campbell County (22-14) vs Montgomery County (27-5), Sunday, 2 p.m.
The first match of the first round pits the last two champions of the region against each other. Montgomery won the title in 2019 with an 11-1 victory over the Camels in the Championship, Campbell with a 17-0 victory in the 2018 Championship game. Now they meet in the first round.
MoCO won the first meeting between the two, 5-3 on April 30. They got a solid outing from Jack Blackburn in the win, Blackburn played five innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs before Jarrett Stidham closed the door with two scoreless goals. embossed sleeves. Devin Johnson and Meier Patrick each produced two runs each at home. The Indians have the best offense in the region, averaging 9.9 points per game and a team total of 0.374 with four players in the lineup hitting at least 0.400, three more over 0.300. They had 11 different players to start a game on the mound led by Spencer Donathan (4-0, 3.32 ERA) nine starts and Blackburn (4-0, 1.85 ERA) with seven.
The Camels will be tough as they didn’t start one of their three main pitchers in the first game against the Indians. Jack Sell (3-5, 3.82 ERA), Evan Kuntz (5-3, 2.60 ERA) and Jacob Napier (5-0, 1.54 ERA) have combined to start 26 of their 36 games this season . They are also backed by a strong squad that has seven guys hitting over .300 led by Aydan Hamilton at .385 and tied for a team-high 35 RBIs with Logan Stevenson, hitting .324 on the season with five strokes. circuit, a top of the team. .
Although the coaches agreed, one of those two will need to win three games in three days, the only clash on Sunday, creating potential issues with pitch depth and pitch count, although both appear to feature a plethora of weapons to throw away. the.
Nicholas County (23-6) vs Mason County (12-9), Saturday, 5 p.m.
In what should be another competitive clash, this is the only first round clash in which they haven’t faced each other this season. They were scheduled to play on April 27, but COVID protocols on the Mason County side derailed that.
The Bluejackets are 23-6 for a reason… solid pitching. They feature the best ERA in the region, allowing just three points per game and an ERA of 2.42. The rotation is highlighted by Dalton Davenport, 7-0 on the season with a phenomenal 0.45 ERA in 46.1 innings pitched with 107 strikeouts. He’s also the team’s leading hitter, batting .506 this year with a high of 39 RBIs. Lincoln Morris is a strong drummer, reaching 0.484 with 38 RBIs.
After a slow start to the season due in part to a week off over spring break and a two-week hiatus from COVID protocols, Mason County has found a rhythm, winning 10 of its last 14 entered in Saturday’s competition. They have remained fairly consistent in their distribution around their pitch depth, with six pitchers registering at least 13 innings of work led by Jake Hardeman (1-3, 3.84 ERA). Asher Braughton leads the team to the plate with Eli Porter really coming in as the season progresses to No. 1. The Royals have played many close games this season, 12 of their 21 games being decided by four runs or less, five of them being extra innings. The Royals haven’t won a regional tournament game since 2014, this latest victory over Nicholas County, they’ve lost six in a row since.
Nicholas County’s 5-3 victory over Scott in the 2019 regional tournament was their first victory in a regional tournament since 2009.