State Baseball Tournament: Team-by-team previews

June 2, 2013 

LONE OAK

Region: 1st Record: 36-5

Coach: Geno Miller

Key players: Pitching led by Cole Womack (10-0, 1.01 ERA), Sam Goode (9-1, 1.12), Seth English (5-2, 1.75), Zach Roethemeyer (8-2, 1.89). Offense led by Nick Shumaker (.441, 33 RBI), Goode (.432, 5 HRs), Colby Griggs (.421). Austin Drake, Lucas Englert, Bryce Wright played as freshmen on Lone Oak's 2010 state tournament team.

State history: The Purple Flash were runners-up to Holmes in 1963. They lost to LCA in first round in 2010.

HENDERSON COUNTY

Region: 2nd Record: 29-8

Coach: Nathan Isenberg

Key players: Senior outfielder/lead-off man Kaleb Duckworth (.476, 11 HRs, 55 runs), Justin Cessna (.348, 35 runs), Sam Higgs (.376, 41 RBI) lead the offense. Higgs is also ace of the pitching staff (11-1, 1.38 ERA, 40 career wins). Marty Coursey (6-2, 0.96) is reliable arm, too.

State history: The Colonels won the state title in 2000, and were runners-up last year to Woodford County.

APOLLO

Region: 3rd Record: 29-8

Coach: Bob Mantooth

Key players: Tanner Edge (9-0, 1.28 ERA), Cole Lyons (7-2, 2.92), Ryan Hundley (5-0, 3.23) lead the staff. Freshman Jakob Shuler (.394, 37 RBI, 31 runs), along with Keegan Bakos (.398, 26 runs), Dustin Vincent (.345, 35 runs, 28 RBI), Jacob Glenn (.341), are offensive catalysts.

State history: Apollo reached the state final four in 1994, 2003, 2007 and 2008.

LOGAN COUNTY

Region: 4th Record: 27-11

Coach: Ethan Meguiar

Key players: Senior Dustin Cartas, a six-year starter and a Murray State signee, keys the offense, along with senior center fielder Greg Hales. Pitching staff headed by Blake Gettings, Caleb Bruner (who blanked Glasgow in the region semifinals) and Hunter Britt.

State history: The Cougars' only other region title came in 1989. They've never made it to the state tournament.

CENTRAL HARDIN

Region: 5th Record: 32-5

Coach: Todd Thompson

Key players: Drew Harrington stars as a pitcher (9-1, 0.29 ERA) and hitter (.465, 48 RBI). Josh Krupinski also stars on the mound (11-0, 0.95). Lead-off man/senior shortstop Troy Squires (.460, 41 runs), has to sit out first game after being ejected from region tournament game. Zach Ditto (.495, 43 runs, 38 RBI).

State history: The Bruins are here for the fourth year in a row. They won the state title in 2011.

PLEASURE RIDGE PARK

Region: 6th Record: 34-7

Coach: Bill Miller

Key players: Top pitchers are Greg Laughlin (10-1, 0.23 ERA), Kyle Olliges (9-2, 1.60), Hunter Johnson (6-3, 3.10). Sparking the offense are Josh Beams (.379, 47 runs, 30 RBI), Alex Miller (.394, 32 RBI), Blake Stewart (.358, 32 runs).

State history: PRP is four-time state champ (1994, '95, '96, 2008), and four-time runner-up.

ST. XAVIER

Region: 7th Record: 33-4

Coach: Andy Porta

Key players: Sam Melchior (7-1, 1.59 ERA) and Ben Britt (6-0, 1.95) lead strong staff. Austin Clemons (.538, 36 runs, 31 RBI) catalyst for offense along with Melchior (.351, 22 RBI) and Andrew Hubbs (.327, 34 RBI, 27 runs).

State history: The Tigers own five state titles (1942, '45, '49, '51, '81). They came into last year's state tournament as the top-rated team, but were upset by Bishop Brossart in the quarterfinals.

COLLINS

Region: 8th Record: 31-6

Coach: Roy Bailey Jr.

Key players: Dan Sanders (10-0, 1.57), Zac Wiley (6-1, 2.08) top pitchers. Austin Perry (UK) getting back in rotation after sore arm. Star center fielder Nate Clifton (.400, 35 RBI. 35 runs) leads offense, along with Logan Bailey (.296, 35 runs), Buddy Johnson (.296, 31 RBI, 29 runs).

State history: Collins is making its first state tournament in only its third year of existence since the split of Shelby County.

RYLE

Region: 9th Record: 32-7

Coach: Pat Roesel

Key players: Top pitchers Justin Hoard (10-1, 2.09), Josh Bellew (7-2, 2.18), Tanner Pulice (5-1, 3.05). Top hitters Thomas Bauman (.426, 41 RBI, 34 runs), Mason Forbes (.415, 41 runs, 24 RBI), Tyler Mason (.402, 36 RBI), Tyler Lonnemann (.355, 38 runs).

State history: Ryle lost to Shelby County in first round of 2007 state tournament.

HARRISON COUNTY

Region: 10th Record: 24-7

Coach: Mac Whitaker

Key players: Jordan Martin, who won the 2010 state title game as a freshman for the Thorobreds, leads this year's staff (6-1, 1.96 ERA) along with Brandon Kendall (5-1, 1.64). Martin is also an offensive force (.412, 32 RBI, 27 runs), with John King (.456, 35 runs 33 RBI) and Zach Royce (.310, 28 RBI).

State history: The Thorobreds are four-time state champs (1993, '97, '98, 2010), and two-time runners-up.

TATES CREEK

Region: 11th Record: 33-6

Coach: Dom Fucci

Key players: Caleb Johnson (9-0, 0.71 ERA), Nick Richmond (5-1, 1.21), Aaron Mitchell (4-3, 1.69), Tanner Hart (4-3, 1.60) in rotation. Devin Hairston (.462, 34 runs. 24 RBI) in lead-off spot. Blake Rose (.385, 35 RBI. 33 runs), JaVon Shelby (.384, 40 runs, 28 RBI), Jeffrey Chapuran (.366, 30 RBI, 21 runs) consistent bats, too.

State history: The Commodores have three state titles (1978, '80, '86), and have been runners-up twice.

MERCER COUNTY

Region: 12th Record: 27-9

Coach: Jeremy Shope

Key players: Russell Sims (.371, 33 RBI, 30 runs), Jon Banks (.354, 24 RBI), Curry Brown (.340, 25 RBI), Layne Peavler (.339, 36 runs), John Ingram (.333, 31 runs) key offense. J.T. Long (8-3, 2.39), Banks (6-1, 1.71), Jack Stoeckinger (6-4, 2.43) top pitchers.

State history: The Titans are here for the third year in a row. They were state runners-up in 2011.

NORTH LAUREL

Region: 13th Record: 24-11-1

Coach: Darren McWhorter

Key players: UK-bound center fielder Marcus Carson, the only senior on the team, leads the offense (.539, 57 runs), along with Ethan Maxey (.412) and Zach Hurley (.330). Top pitchers are Hurley (6-2, 1.45) and Logan Mallory (7-1, 2.38). Carson, a closer, has seven saves.

State history: Lost to Greenup Co. in 2007 sectional.

LETCHER CO. CENTRAL

Region: 14th Record: 29-10

Coach: Bryan Dean

Key players: Jordan Short (8-4, 2.41) and Max Hall (9-2, 1.83) head pitching staff that has a 22-inning scoreless streak. Mason Salyers (.443, 42 runs), Short (.368, 41 runs, 32 RBI), Nick King (.366, 32 runs), Caleb Baker (.336, 35 runs, 24 RBI) key the offense.

State history: Letcher Central also reached the state tournament in 2011.

PRESTONSBURG

Region: 15th Record: 25-14

Coach: Shane Simpkins

Key players: Trey Stapleton, Jarrin Hall, Adam Griffith lead the rotation. Keying the offense is Grant Anderson (.465, 66 runs), who had a state-record 33-game hitting streak this season; Bryson Williams (.426); and Stapleton (.350).

State history: The Panthers haven't been in the state tournament since 1948.

ASHLAND BLAZER

Region: 16th Record: 26-9

Coach: Jeff Wilcox

Key players: Logan Salow (3-2, 0.86 ERA, 97 K's, 42 IP), Evan Yongue (7-3, 1.80), Evan Cox (4-1, 2.72) top pitchers. Salow, also a center fielder, bats lead off (.387, 24 RBI). Cade O'Bryan (.384, 31 RBI), Aaron Elam (.358, 22 RBI) key at the plate, too.

State history: The Tomcats won three titles in a row (1966-68). They're in the state for the second year in a row.

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