Coach: Eddie Brooks
Last year's record: 15-13 (lost to Scott County in district)
Top players: Brandon Boling (sr., p); Bobby Bollmer (sr., 1b/p); Brady Boling (so., c); Del Clay (sr., of); Patrick Cornett (sr., of); Chase Turner (sr., of/1b/p); Aaron Helton (sr., inf); Jordan Craig (jr., p)
Outlook: Pitching and defense are the Defenders' strength. Garnder-Webb signee Brandon Boling is the ace of the staff, which also has Bollmer, Turner and Craig. "Our pitching and defense should keep us in most games," Brooks said. "We'll have to play old-fashioned baseball and try to scratch out a few runs and beat you 2-1, 3-2 or 1-0. We've got to rely on our pitching and defense."
Bryan Station schedule
March 26—at Somerset, 8; 27—at LCA, 7:30; April 3-4—at Carroll County, tournament; 7—West Jessamine, 6:30; 8—vs. Tates Creek at Dunbar, 5:15; 9—Ohio Co., 8; 10—Ohio Co., 8; 11—at Tates Creek, 10, Lafayette, 1; 13—at Dunbar, 7:30; 14—at Scott Co., 7:30; 15—Henry Clay, 7:30; 18—Mason Co., 3; 20—LCA, 6; 21—at Sayre, TBA; 22—Scott Co., 7:30; 24-25—at Boyle Co. tournament; 27—Danville, 6; 28—at Henry Clay, 7:30. May 1—at West Jessamine, 8; 2—Boyle Co., 6:30; 4—vs. Dunbar at Lafayette, 5:15; 6—Lafayette, 7:30; 9—vs. Paintsville, 1:30, and Ryle, 4, at Lafayette; 11—at Male, 6; 14—Rockcastle Co., 8; 16—Somerset, noon
Coach: Herb Hammond
Last year's record: 26-11 (lost to Dunbar in region semifinals)
Top players: Michael Buschmann (sr., of); Alex Elswick (sr., of); Corey Bays (so., inf/c); Jordan Maher (sr., p/inf)); Wesley Werner-Nelson (sr., 1b); Nolan Fernandez (jr., p/of); Will Hurt (fr., p/inf)
Outlook: The Blue Devils have lots of holes to fill, but Hammond likes the skill level of his returnees and newcomers. Buschmann (.375, 34 RBI) will anchor the lineup, along with Bays (.316), Elswick (.300) and Werner-Nelson (.271). Fernandez (3-2, 2.78) heads the pitching staff.
Henry Clay schedule
March 25—Estill Co., 5:30; 27—Bath Co., 5:30; March 28-April 4—at Beach Bash in Fort Walton, Fla.; 6—at Clark Co., 5:15; 7—Lafayette, 7:30; 10—Boone Co., 5; 11—at Tates Creek, 4; 14—at Sayre, 5:15; 15—at Bryan Station, 7:30; 17—LCA, 5:15, and Ballard, 7:30; 18—Male, 11; Seneca 6:30; 21—at Scott Co., 7:30; 22—Sayre, 5:30; 24—at PRP in LIT, 6; Lawrence Co. in LIT, 8:30; 25—LaRue Co. in LIT at PRP, 11; 28—Bryan Station, 7:30; May 1—Harrison Co., 7:30; 2—Dunbar, 11; Tates Creek, 6:30; 4—at Lafayette, 7:30; 5—at LCA, 7:30; 8—Ballard in FCIT, 5:15; 9—Greenup Co., 11, and Apollo, 6:30 in FCIT; 12—at Dunbar, 7:30; 13—Madison Central, 7:30; 15—Pendleton Co., 8
Coach: Chris Langston
Last year's record: 18-18 (lost to Dunbar in district)
Top players: Paul Stice (sr., p/inf); Caleb Clements (sr., p); Brandon Smith (sr., ss/p); Johnny Youngblood (so., of); Chad Warner (jr.. of); Brent Cobb (jr., p); Blake Smith (so., inf/p); Kevin Herren (fr., of/p); Drake Nichols (so., inf); Jason Fibel (so., inf)
Outlook: Pitching depth is the Generals' strength. Clements (3-3, 3.23 ERA), Stice (2-1, 3.47, 38 K's in 40 innings), Cobb (5-1, 2.45) and Smith (1-0, 3 saves) are among the top arms. The offense will be led by Stice (.394), Smith (.364) and Youngblood (.323). Lafayette's roster includes 12 juniors who'll have to step up to fill gaps left by graduation.
March 25—Western Hills, 5:30; 26—at Ballard, 5:30; 28—April 4: at Fort Walton Beach Bash; April 7—at Henry Clay, 7:30; 8—at Dunbar, 7:30; 9—at Scott Co., 8; 10—vs. Grayson Co. in Eastern Invitational, 7; 11—vs. Mercer Co., 4:30, and Eastern, 7, in Eastern Invitational; 14—LCA, 7:30; 17—vs. Madison Southern in Tomahawk Classic at Madison Central; 18—vs. Letcher Central, 4, and Madison Central, 7, in Tomahawk Classic; 24—vs. Boone Co. in Oldham Co. Invitational; 25—vs. North Hardin, 12:30, and Bellevue, 3, in Oldham Co. Invitational; 28—at LCA, 7:30; 29—at Woodford Co., 5:30. May 2—vs. Dunbar, 1, and Tates Creek, 4, at Henry Clay; 4—Henry Clay, 7:30; 5—at Western Hills, 5:30; 6—at Bryan Station, 7:30; 8—Bryan Station, 5:15, in FCIT; 9—Paintsville, 11, and Ryle, 6:30 in FCIT; 11—at Madison Central, 7:30; 12—vs. Tates Creek, 5:15, at Dunbar; 13—Franklin Co., 7:30; 15—Danville, 6; 16—at Manual, 2:30
Lexington Cat holic
Coach: Kevin Clary
Last year's record: 25-12 (lost to Lawrence County in state semifinals)
Top players: Michael Schornick (sr., c); Devon Williams (sr., 3b/p); Patrick Maronde (jr., p); Casey Messner (sr., of); Jim Cowley (sr., of); Frank Carter (sr., p/3b); Tyler Jackson (fr., inf); Tyler Wells (so., of/p); Chase Armstrong (fr., of); R.J. Carroll (so., p)
Outlook: The defending region champs graduated star pitcher Nick Maronde (now at the University of Florida) and several other starters. But the Knights return All-City catcher Schornick (.294), Williams (.265) and Messner (.316). Hard-throwing Patrick Maronde, Nick's brother, may be the ace of the staff. Clary likes his team's leadership and talent but knows the challenge of replacing six everyday players.
Lexington Catholic schedule
March 23—Moore, 5:30; 24—Mercer Co., 5:30; 27—Holy Cross; March 30-April 4—at Windermere Prep Invitational, Orlando, Fla.; April 7—North Laurel, 5;30; 9—West Jessamine, 5:30; 10-11—at River City Classic in Owensboro; 13—at LCA, 7:30; 14—Estill Co., 5:30; 15—at Trinity, 6; 17-18—at West Jessamine Invitational; 24—vs. Manual, 6, and Henderson Co., 8:30 in LIT at Butler; 25—at Butler, 4; 27—St. Xavier, 6; 30—LCA, 6. May 1—at Lawrence Co., 7; 2—at Mercer Co., noon; 4—Ballard, 5:30; 6—Trinity, 5:30; 7—St. Henry, 6; 8-9—at Bullitt East tournament; 11—at Estill Co., 6; 12—Covington Catholic, 5:30; 13—at North Oldham, 6; 15—at Greenup Co., 7:30
Coach: Keith Galloway
Last year's record: 23-9 (lost to Lexington Catholic in district)
Top players: Lucas Witt (jr., of); Tyler Townsend (sr., ss); Ben Hartley (sr., 2b/p); Austin Johnson (sr., p/1b); Shane Crain (sr., inf/p); Chris McCamy (sr., p); Evan Stephens (jr., of); Dalton Henzman (sr., of/p); Steven Hoagland (jr., c/inf); Andrew Harris (jr., inf); Clay Hall (jr., p); Michael Lyon (jr., inf)
Outlook: The Eagles' depth and experience includes Townsend (.325), Witt (.378), Stephens (.310), Crain (24 runs, 18 RBI) and Hartley (.316). Defense should be solid. Graduation losses included ace Robbie Ross and three other pitchers, but McCamy (4-2, 0.88 ERA), Hartley (4-0, 1.65) return. Crain and Johnson also bolster the staff.
March 23—at Boyle Co., 5:30; 24—West Jessamine, 5:30; 25—Whitley Co., 6:15; 27—Bryan Station 7:30; 30—at Anderson Co.; 31—Bracken Co., 6. April 4-6—Spring-break trip to Alabama; 8—Sayre in All "A" region, 5:30; 9—All "A" region, 5:30; 10—All "A" region, 6; 13—Lexington Catholic, 7;30; 14—at Lafayette, 7:30; 16—Tates Creek, 7:30; 17—at Henry Clay, 5:15; 20—at Bryan Station, 6; 21—Dunbar, 7:30; 23—at St. Xavier in LIT, 7; 24—vs. Covington Catholic in LIT, 6:30; vs. Apollo in LIT, 8:45 at St. X; 27—at Tates Creek, 7:30; 28—Lafayette, 7:30; 30—at Lexington Catholic, 6; May 2-3—All "A" state at Applebee's Park; 5—Henry Clay, 7:30; 7—at Dunbar in FCIT, 7:30; 9—vs. Bowling Green and PRP in FCIT at Dunbar; 12—Trinity, 6; 13—Male, 6; 14—at Madison Central, 7; 15—St. X, 6Paul Dunbar
Coach: Larry Poynter
Last year's record: 22-15 (lost to Lexington Catholic in region finals)
Top players: Brandon Eggenschwiler (sr., of); Ryan Houghton (sr., of/p); Ryan Helm (jr., inf); Nick Landers (sr., inf); Michael Johnson (sr., c); Graham Winchester (so., inf/p); Brad Harp (so., inf/p)
Outlook: The Bulldogs lost 16 seniors so Poynter has a rebuilding job. The cornerstone will be Eggenschwiler, who hit .400 for the 2007 state champs. The rest of the lineup will be newcomers, but Dunbar's history says the offense and defense will be solid. Pitching depth is the biggest question mark.
March 23—Conner, 5:30; 24—at Manual, 6; 25—at Scott Co., 5:30, March 28-April 4—at Beach Bash in Destin, Fla.; April 7—Franklin Co., 7:30; 8—Lafayette, 7:30; 10-11—at Warren East tournament; 13—Bryan Station, 7:30; 14—at Tates Creek, 5; 16—South Laurel, 6:30; 17—Seneca in Lexington Invitational, 6; 18—Ballard, 11, and Owen Co., 4 in Lexington Invitational; 20—at Woodford Co., 5:30; 21—at LCA, 7:30; 24—vs. Trinity in LIT at Eastern, 6; 25—at Eastern, 11, and Christian Co., 4 in LIT; 27—at Anderson Co., 6; 28—at Franklin Co., 5:30; 30—Madison Central, 5:30. May 2—at Henry Clay, 11; vs. Lafayette, 1; 4—vs. Bryan Station at Lafayette, 5:15; 6—vs. Tates Creek at Bryan Station, 5:15; 7—LCA, 7:30; 9—Bowling Green, 1:30, PRP, 6:30 in FCIT; 12—Henry Clay, 7:30; 13—Shelby Co., 7:30; 14—Western Hills, 7:30; 15—Letcher Central, 8
Coach: Scott Sutton
Last year's record: 13-13 (lost to Henry Clay in district)
Top players: Nick Klus (jr., c); Cabot Haggin (so., p/ss); Thomas Bowers (sr., of); Alex Gaines (sr., p/of); Ward Roberts (jr., inf); Ray Brewer (8th, inf/of); Griffin Patterson (so., p/inf)
Outlook: The Spartans will be strong defensively up the middle with Klus, Haggin, Roberts and Gaines. Haggin will be the ace of the pitching staff. Top hitters will include Haggin (.427), Klus (.380, 5 homers) and Bowers (.288). Sutton sees promising young talent, but Sayre still might be a couple of players shy of contending in the district.
March 23—Model, 5; 25—at Paris, 5; 26—Bath Co., 5:30. April 7—at Eminence, 5:30; 8—at LCA, 5:30; 9—Kentucky Country Day, 5:30; 10—at Bath Co., 5:30; 11—Portland Christian (DH), 11; 13—at Bethlehem, 5:30; 14—Henry Clay, 5:30; 15—Scott Co., 5:30; 18—St. Patrick (DH), 11; 21—Bryan Station, 5:30; 22—at Henry Clay, 5:30; 23—Model at EKU, 5:30; 24-25—Bluegrass Conference tournament; 28—at Scott Co., 7; 29—at Bryan Station, 5;30; 30—at Berea, 5:30; May 1—at Williamstown, 5:30; 4—at Frankfort, 5:30; 5—at KCD, 5; 7—Eminence, 6; 9—Western Hills, 2; 11—Bethlehem, 5:30; 13—Nicholas Co., 5:30; 14—Paris, 5:30; 15—Collegiate, 5:30
Coach: Dom Fucci
Last year's record: 18-9 (lost to Lafayette in district)
Top players: Trevor Gott (jr., inf/p); Ryan Fucci (so., of/p); Lee Kimbrell (sr., c); Logan Jackson (sr., c/inf); Tanner Baldwin (sr., inf); Abe Mitchell (sr., p/inf); Zyler Cosby (jr., 2b); Phillip Donovan (jr., of/p); Taylor Young (sr., of); Nelson Cowan (sr., p); Christian O'Banion (sr., inf); Jordan Hagan (jr., inf); Conner Burge (jr., p); Jordy Coffey (sr./p)
Outlook: The Commodores appear to have all the makings of a powerhouse, with proven pitching, hitting and defense. They have two top-notch catchers in Jackson and Kimbrell. The pitching staff is headed by Gott (4-2, 2.04) and includes Mitchell, Burge, Fucci and Cowan. Keying the offense will be Gott (.338), Kimbrell (.309), Fucci (.300), Baldwin (.319) and Jackson, who was injured much of last year. Good team speed and a proven defense add to Tates Creek's overall strength.
Tates Creek schedule
March 25—at Male, 6; 27—at Danville, 5:30; 28—vs. Fairless, Ohio, 3:30, and Arlington, Ohio, 5:30 at Shelby Co.; 31—vs. Scott, 12:30, and Simon Kenton, 3, at Oldham Co.; April 1—vs. Atherton at Oldham Co.; 4—McCutcheon, Ind., 11; Jefferson, Ind., 4; 6—Rowan Co., 6; 8—Bryan Station at Applebee's Park, 5:30; 9—Ryle, 5:30; 10—North Laurel, 5:45; 11—Bryan Station, 1, and Henry Clay, 4; 13—at East Jessamine, 5:30; 14—Dunbar, 5; 16—at LCA, 7:30; 17—Owen Co., 6:30; 18—Male, 1, and Seneca, 4, at Henry Clay; 23—at Ballard, 7; 25—vs. Bowling Green, 11, and Daviess Co., 1:30, at Ballard; 27—LCA, 7:30; 28—Woodford Co., 5:30; 20—at PRP. May 2—vs. Lafayette, 4, at Henry Clay, 7; 5—at Harrison Co., 5:30; 6—vs. Dunbar at Bryan Station, 5:15; 7—Madison Central, 7:30; 8—Eastern, 5:30, and Conner, 8; 12—vs. Lafayette at Dunbar, 5:15; 13—Ballard, 6; 14—Scott Co., 5:30; 15—Whitley Co., 6; 16—Pendleton Co., 11
Lexington high school baseball has a different look this season, with new head coaches at three schools.
Larry Poynter has moved from Bryan Station to Paul Dunbar.
Former Lafayette and University of Kentucky star Eddie Brooks has replaced Poynter at Bryan Station.
And Kevin Clary, once head coach at Bryan Station, has moved up from assistant to head man at Lexington Catholic.
One thing that hasn't changed is Lexington's status as a baseball hotbed.
Even though most of the city schools graduated lots of starters, five are still rated among the top 15 teams in the state this pre-season:
No. 4 Lexington Catholic, No. 6 Tates Creek, No. 10 Henry Clay, No. 12 Lexington Christian and No. 14 Dunbar.