Eight baseball teams will assemble at Woodford County Park's Chandler Field on Memorial Day. By Wednesday night — barring postponements due to weather — one of them will have earned a trip to the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament.
Lafayette, the first team to win four straight 43rd District championships, won its latest in wild fashion. The Generals twice overcame five-run deficits to walk away with a 15-13 shootout victory over Lexington Catholic in the finals. Lafayette was paired with Model, the 44th District runner-up, in the opening round of the 11th Region Tournament, which kicks off with a four-game slate on Monday.
The Patriots went 3-7 against region foes, two of those wins coming against Berea and the other versus Frankfort. Lafayette and Model haven't played since the 2004 region tournament, a 17-1 win for Lafayette in the opening round.
Scott County (28-6) defeated Sayre, 9-0, in the 42nd semifinals before a five-inning 13-2 victory over Bryan Station in the finals to secure its third consecutive district title. The Cardinals, the two-time defending region champ and among the favorites to win the state title this season, are 14-1 against 11th Region teams in 2018. They did not see Franklin County, their first-round opponent, in the regular season. Scott County could not meet Lexington Catholic — the only 11th Region team that beat it this year — until the finals on Wednesday.
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The Flyers (17-11) blanked Western Hills, 7-0, before suffering a 9-3 loss to Woodford County in the 41st District finals. Both Franklin County and Scott County will make their third straight regional appearance.
If Lafayette and Scott County were to meet in the semifinals, as they'll be favored to do, it would be a renewal of one of last year's semifinal bouts. The Cardinals took that one, 8-5, as well as an 8-2 decision in the regular-season finale for both teams this season.
Bryan Station is in the field for the first time since 2013. The Defenders (8-20) and first-year head coach Justin Royal will take on 44th District champion Madison Central in the opening round. Station eliminated rival Henry Clay with a 2-0 win in the district semifinals, causing the Blue Devils to miss the regional for the first time in five years.
Things returned to form for the Indians, who had won 10 consecutive district titles before Madison Southern sprung an upset in last year's district semifinals. Madison Central (27-7) dispatched of the Eagles in this year's semis, 7-3, before beating Model, 10-1, for the championship.
Host Woodford County, which has won 14 of its last 15 games, was paired with Lexington Catholic, to whom it dropped a 1-0 decision in the first week of the regular season. The Yellow Jackets (24-6-1) finished with the third-most wins in the 11th Region behind Scott County and Madison Central but dropped their only two meetings with those opponents.
11th Region baseball tournament
At Chandler Field, Woodford County Park
Lafayette vs. Model, 10 a.m.
Scott County vs. Franklin County, 1 p.m.
Madison Central vs. Bryan Station, 5 p.m.
Woodford County vs. Lexington Catholic, 8 p.m.
Semifinals, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.