Coach: Eddie Brooks
Last year: 19-11 (lost to Tates Creek in first round of region)
Top players: Michael Bollmer (sr., p/1b), Ryne Combs (sr., p/of), Chris Laporte (sr., p/of), Elijah Burdette (jr., of), Ryan Jourdan (jr., inf), Michael Morton (jr. of/p), Nick Hagen (jr., p), Brandon Mayle-George (sr., inf), Kolin Probst (jr. inf).
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Outlook: Pitching and defense will be the Defenders' strengths. Their arsenal of arms includes Division I signees Combs (UK), Bollmer (Louisville) and Laporte (Morehead State). The defense will be bolstered by returning outfielders Combs, Burdette, Laporte and Morton, and infielders Mayle-George, Jourdan and Probst.
March 24—PULASKI CO., noon, and NORTH LAUREL, 2; 26—LCA, 5:15; 27—MADISON CENTRAL, 5:30 29—MASON CO., 5:30; 31—at North Laurel, 2.
April 2—RYLE, 5; 4—at Woodford Co., 2:30; 10—at Scott Co., 7:30; 11—HENRY CLAY, 7:30; 14—at Tates Creek, 7; 17—at Sayre, 5:30; 18—SCOTT CO., 7:30; 21—at Johnson Central ''Got Milk Classic," Ashland, 4, and Johnson Central, 6:30; 24—at Henry Clay, 7:45; 25—SAYRE, 5:30; 26-28—at Louisville Invitational Tournament; 30—at Mason Co., 5:30.
May 2—ESTILL CO., 7; 3—LAFAYETTE, 7:45; 4—at Madison Central, 8; 7—TATES CREEK, 7:30; 8—at Lafayette, 7:45; 9—TRINITY, 6; 11-12—FAYETTE COUNTY INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT; 14—CLARK CO., 5:30; 18—NICHOLAS CO., noon, and RUSSELL CO., 7.
Coach: Jordan Tarrence
Last year: 21-16 (lost to Lexington Catholic in first round of region)
Top players: Walker Buehler (sr. p/dh/utility), Clay Lawless (sr., 2b/of), Thomas Swieterman (sr., of), Clay Wallace (sr., p) Sam Smith (sr., ss/p), Chase Armstrong (sr., of), Wyatt Terrell (so,, inf), Ian Hays (jr., p).
Outlook: The three-time defending district champ Blue Devils have 10 seniors, a deep pitching staff and solid defense. Buehler, a Vanderbilt signee, is the ace with a 90-mph fastball. Wallace, a lefty, will be the No. 2 pitcher. Smith will play short and also be in the rotation. Armstrong, a good hitting transfer from Lexington Catholic, will be eligible in late April. Buehler's bat will boost the offense, as will leadoff man Lawless (.267) and Swieterman (.316).
Blue Devils schedule
March 24—at Clark Co., noon; 26—at Dunbar, 7:30; 27—at Shelby Co., 6; 29—at LCA, 5:30.
April 1-4—at Vero Beach, Fla., tournament 10—SAYRE, 6; 11—at Bryan Station, 7:30; 13-14—at Apollo tournament; 17—at Scott Co., 7:30; 18—at Sayre, 5:30; 21—at Lou. Eastern, noon; 24—BRYAN STATION, 7:45; 25—SCOTT CO., 7:45; 27-28—Louisville Invitational Tournament at PRP; 30—WOODFORD CO., 7:30.
May 1—FRANKLIN CO., 5:30; 4—at Southwestern, 7; 5—CAMPEBLL CO., noon, and SUMMITT COUNTRY DAY, 5; 8—LCA, 6; 9—at Lafayette, 7:45; 10—at Lexington Catholic, 7:30; 11-12—FAYETTE COUNTY INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT; 14—at Tates Creek, 8; 15—EAST JESSAMINE, 7:30; 16—TRINITY, 6:30; 18—at Madison Central (at EKU), 5:30.
Coach: Chris Langston
Last year: 22-10 (lost to Tates Creek in district)
Top players: Kevin Herren (sr., p/1b), Anderson Miller (sr., p/of), Jes Staples (sr., p/of), Andy Gumm (sr., p/inf).
Outlook: The Generals return four starting pitchers, led by Bellarmine-bound Herren (4-1, 1 save, 1.70 ERA), WKU signee Miller (4-1, 2.80) and Staples (3-2). Gumm's bat (.309, 22 RBI last year) will also be heavily counted on. Miller and Herren also return to bolster the offense in the middle of the batting order.
March 23—vs. Campbell Co. at Lou. Christian, 8; 24—vs. South Oldham, 2:30 and Lou. Christian, 5; 27—DUNBAR, 5:30; 28—at Lexington Catholic, 5:30.
April 1-5—at Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., tournament 10—LCA, 8; 11-TATES CREEK, 8; 13—PRESTONSBURG, 7; 14—CALLOWAY CO., 11, and TRINITY 6; 18—at Dunbar, 5:30; 20—BISHOP BROSSART, 8:30; 21—at Madison Central Tomahawk Classic; 23—WESTERN HILLS, 8; 24—LEXINGTON CATHOLIC, 8; 25—at LCA, 5:30; 27-28—at Louisville Invitational Tournament.
May 1—at Tates Creek, 7:45; 2—MADISON CENTRAL, 8; 3—at Bryan Station, 7:45; 4—vs. Clark Co. at Powell Co., 5; 8—BRYAN STATION, 7:45; 9—HENRY CLAY, 8; 10-12—FAYETTE COUNTY INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT; 14—WOODFORD CO., 5:30; 16—SCOTT CO., 7:30; 19—at Western Hills, 3:30.
Coach: Taylor Brooks
Last year: 30-7 (lost to PRP in first round of state tournament)
Top players: Tyler Jackson (sr., c/inf), Will Hurt (sr., of), Zach Haynes (sr., p/utility), Colton Cleary (sr., p/of), Nick Chafin (sr., of), Evan Fraliex (jr., inf/p), Robert Waller (sr., inf), Trey Miller (jr., inf), Logan Taylor (jr., of).
Outlook: The pre-season No. 1 Knights have a couple of aces in Indiana signee Haynes (4-0, 2.02 ERA last year) and Cleary (2-2, 5 saves, 1.52 ERA), who combined to shut down Tates Creek in last year's region finals. They also have promising arms in Tom Banahan, Griffin Neuer, Corey Wells and Fraliex. Offense should be solid, led by WKU signee Jackson (.327, 22 runs, 21 RBI), Chafin (.329, 23 runs), Fraliex (.324) Waller (.308, 21 runs) and Coastal Carolina-bound Hurt (.299, 40 runs).
March 24—TRINITY, 11 and CONNER, 6; 27—at Tates Creek, 5:30; 28—LAFAYETTE, 5:30.
April 2-6—at IMG tournament in Bradenton, Fla; 10—at Dunbar, 5:30; 11—MADISON CENTRAL, 8; 14—NEWPORT CATHOLIC, 6; 17—at LCA, 8; 18—TATES CREEK, 5:30; 24—at Lafayette, 8; 25—DUNBAR, 5:30; 27-28—Louisville Invitational Tournament.
May 1—at Madison Central, 8; 2—LCA, 8; 5—HIGHLANDS, 11; 7—WOODFORD CO., 5:30; 10—HENRY CLAY, 7:30; 11—OWENSBORO CATHOLIC, 8; 12—BEECHWOOD, 11, and BISHOP BROSSART, 5; 18—CLARK CO., 5:30.
Coach: Keith Galloway
Last year: 12-22 (lost to Dunbar in district)
Top players: Chad Hall (sr., c), Clay Mossbarger (sr., 3b), Aaron Johnson (sr., ss/p), Jerry Asberry (sr., of/dh), Taylor Blair (jr., p/of), Ryan Bale (jr., p/1b), Ben Cooper (jr., p/inf), Lincoln Henzman (so., p), David Malicote (jr., p), Evan Grant (sr., p), Dallas Murphy (sr., of/p).
Outlook: LCA looks to bounce back from a losing season with improved pitching and defense. Galloway is high on his senior leadership. Asberry (.296), Murphy (.290) and Johnson (.280) spark the offense with Blair (.338), a junior. The pitching staff, anchored by Bale, Cooper (a transfer from Henry Clay), Blair, Henzman and Grant, should be a strength.
March 24—at Woodford Co., 11; 26—at Bryan Station, 5:15; 27—at West Jessamine, 5:30; 28—TATES CREEK, 5:30; 29—HENRY CLAY, 5:30.
April 1-6—Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. tournament 10—at Lafayette, 8; 11—DUNBAR, 5:30; 12—ALL "A" region, 5:30 14—DANVILLE, 11; 16—TRINITY, 6; 17—LEXINGTON CATHOLIC, 8; 19—GRANT CO., 5:30; 24—at Tates Creek, 5:30; 25—LAFAYETTE, 5:30; 27-28—Louisville Invitational Tournament.
May 1—at Dunbar, 5:30; 2—at Lexington Catholic, 8; 3—EAST JESSAMINE, 5:30; 7—MADISON CENTRAL, 8; 8—at Henry Clay, 6; 10—at Clark Co., 5:30; 11-12—LCA INVITATIONAL; 15—at Powell Co., 5:30; 16—MODEL, 6; 17—ST. XAVIER, 6; 18—at Male, 6.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Coach: Larry Poynter
Last year: 24-12 (lost to Lexington Catholic in district)
Top players: Tyler Cox (sr., p), Stephen Holdren (sr., p), Tyler Zander (sr., inf), Kyle Monthie (sr., inf), Stephen Shunk (sr., p), Clay Branham (sr., 1b), Clint Baumgardner (sr.. of), Zack Herrin (sr., of), Brandon McClure (sr., c), Blake Martin (sr., of), Tyler Brummer (jr., p), Grant Herald (jr., inf), Joey Avioli (jr.. of).
Outlook: Dunbar's strength is senior leadership and an experienced pitching staff, led by Cox and Holdren, who worked a lot of innings last year. Baumgardner's bat returns to the middle of the order. Zander, Monthie and Herrin are also returning starters.
March 24—EAST JESSAMINE, 1:30; 27—at Lafayette, 5:30; 29—CLARK CO., 7:30; 31—MIAMISBURG, 11, and MERCER CO., 3.
April 2—TRINITY, 8; 4—Germantown, Tn. in Memphis; 10—LEXINGTON CATHOLIC, 5:30; 11—at LCA, 5:30; 14—SCOTT CO., 11 and BALLARD, 4; 17—at Tates Creek, 5:30; 18—LAFAYETTE, 5:30; 20—at Solon, Ohio, 7; 21—at Cincy Moeller, 11; 23—HENRY CLAY, 8; 25—at Lexington Catholic, 5:30 27-28—at Louisville Invitational Tournament.
May 1—LCA, 5:30; 2—TATES CREEK, 7:45; 4-5—at Boyd County tournament; 8—NORTH LAUREL, 6; 9—at Clark Co., 5:30; 11-12—FAYETTE COUNTY INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT; 15—OWEN CO., 7:30; 16—ANDERSON CO., 8; 17—at Lou. Eastern, 6; 19—at Corbin, 1.
Coach: Scott Sutton
Last year: 19-8 (lost to Bryan Station in district)
Top players: Ray Brewer (jr., 3b/p), Chase Deppen (sr., c), Foster Roberts (jr., cf/p), Wyatt Ockerman (jr., lf), Howard Ball (so., ss), Mike Flora (8th, p), Mason Stockham (8th, p)
Outlook: The 6-foot-7, 245-pound Brewer (.382, 30 RBI last year) is getting looks from major colleges as a pitcher and everyday player. Deppen (.351) has a reliable bat, as do Roberts (.295) and Ball (.306). As many as four eighth-graders could be in Sayre's starting lineup. If Roberts, and young guys Flora and Stockham can fill out the pitching staff, Sayre could be pretty good.
March 23—at Frankfort, 5:30; 24—WILLIAMSTOWN (dh), 11; 27—NICHOLAS CO., 5; 28—KY. COUNTRY DAY, 5:30; 29—at Paris, 5:30.
April 9—All "A" at LCA, 5:30; 10—at Henry Clay, 6; 11—SCOTT CO., 5:30; 12—All "A" at LCA, 5:30; 13—All "A" at LCA, 6; 14—at Seneca Invitational; 17—BRYAN STATION, 5:30; 18—HENRY CLAY, 5:30; 19—at Garrard Co., 5:30; 20-21—BLUEGRASS CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT; 23—at Bath Co., 5:30; 24—at Scott Co., 5; 25—at Bryan Station, 5:30; 28—ST. PATRICK (dh), 10; 30—at Doss, 5:30.
May 2—at Pendleton Co., 5:30; 3—BEREA, 5:30; 4—FRANKFORT, 5:30; 7—at Western Hills, 5:30; 9—at Ky. Country Day, 5:30; 10—at Williamstown, 5:30; 14—at Nicholas Co., 5:30; 16—PARIS, 5:30; 17—BURGIN, 5:30.
Coach: Dom Fucci
Last year: 28-10 (lost to Lexington Catholic in region finals)
Top players: Landon Skaggs (sr., c), Dorian Hairston (sr., of), Kyle Polley (sr., of), Aaron Mitchell (jr., p/1b), Devin Hairston (so., ss), Nick Richmond (jr., p), Austin Younce (jr., inf), Austin Block (jr. p), Cody Bronaugh (jr., p), Javon Shelby (jr. of), Mitch Watson (sr., of), Jordan Fucci (fr., inf).
Outlook: The Commodores look to be well-stocked. The pitching staff includes Mitchell (9-1, 2.67 ERA last year), Richmond (2-0) and Bronaugh (3-0). The offense will be led by Skaggs (.375, 40 RBI), Dorian Hairston (.402, 32 RBI), Devin Hairston (.326, 23 RBI) and Shelby (.261). Speed will be a team asset, and up-the-middle defense should be strong.
March 24—at Collins, noon; 27—LEXINGTON CATHOLIC, 5:30; 28—at LCA, 5:30; 29-30—at Franklin Co. Invitational.
April 1-4—Spring break Tampa, Fla.; 9—OWEN CO., 8; 10—MADISON CENTRAL, 8; 11—at Lafayette, 8; 14—CORBIN, 1, and BRYAN STATION, 7; 17—DUNBAR, 5:30; 18—at Lexington Catholic, 5:30; 20—at Franklin Co., 5:30; 21—vs. Anderson Co., 1 and Mercer Co., 4 at Franklin Co.; 24—LCA, 5:30 25—MODEL, 5:15; 26-28—at Louisville Invitational Tournament.
May 1—LAFAYETTE, 7:45; 2—at Dunbar, 7:45; 4—vs. Wayne Co. at Corbin, 8, 5—at Corbin, 1:30; 7—at Bryan Station, 7:30; 8—at Madison Central, 8; 10-11—FAYETTE COUNTY INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT; 14—HENRY CLAY, 8; 16—at Woodford Co., 8; 17—SCOTT CO., 5:30; 18—at Lou. Eastern, 7.