No. 1 Tates Creek is favored to repeat as 11th Region baseball champ as the eight-team tournament starts Monday at Western Hills High School in Frankfort.
"Tates Creek is obviously a great team that seems to be peaking at the right time," Madison Central Coach Steve Roof said. "But, like always, there are a lot of good teams in this region, and you never know what might happen."
Tates Creek won six of seven regular-season games against teams in the region tournament, including a 9-1 victory over Western Hills, its first-round opponent.
The Commodores also beat Henry Clay twice, No. 16 Scott County, and they took two of three against No. 10 Lexington Catholic, including a 10-0 mercy-rule win in the 43rd District finals.
Tates Creek is led by senior shortstop Devin Hairston, the 11th Region player of the year and a University of Louisville signee, senior outfielder and leadoff hitter Luke Rouse (.450), and senior pitcher Tanner Hart (9-0).
No. 23 Madison Central plays Lexington Catholic in Monday's best matchup.
Madison Central rallied to beat the Knights 8-7 in eight innings in late April.
The Indians are led by sophomores Hunter Kabalan (.409) and Josh Wright (.400), and junior Ben Morin (.381).
"We're young but we've competed and played hard all year," Roof said. "On Monday we've gotta make plays, throw strikes and have quality at-bats."
Tates Creek is trying to become the second team in the last 15 years to win back-to-back region titles. Lexington Catholic won in 2008 and '09.
Franklin County's last region title came in 2001, Henry Clay's in 2000 and Madison Central's in 1993.
Scott County, which moved to the 11th Region in 2006, won the 8th Region in 1995, '97, '98, and '99.
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.