Four of the five baseball teams in Lexington's power-packed 43rd District are rated in the top 25: No. 1 (and defending state champion) Lexington Catholic; No. 3 Lexington Christian; No. 8 Tates Creek, and No. 16 Lafayette.
But don't forget about Paul Laurence Dunbar, which has been on a hot streak lately, gathering momentum for the playoffs. The Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 14 games, including victories over ranked teams LCA, Pleasure Ridge Park, Louisville Trinity and Mercer County.
What has fueled Dunbar's surge?
"In the last two weeks, there's been a real connection between me, my staff and the players," second-year coach Larry Poynt er said.
"The intensity has picked up, and we've developed a comfort level with each other, and a trust in each other, and we're playing better baseball."
The Bulldogs graduated 11 seniors last year and returned only a few starters this spring, so Poynter figured his team would need time to grow. He wasn't surprised when Dunbar had a 6-7 record just after spring break.
That's when he started tinkering with the lineup, giving younger players a chance to push the older players.
"That competition ultimately made us better," Poynter said.
Even the veterans needed time to click.
"It was just a matter of us playing together and learning how each other played," said senior outfielder Alex Wade.
Senior infielder Ryan Heim agreed.
"The hard work has always been there, but everybody needed a little more maturity and experience."
Poynter also needed to find the right spot for everybody.
Heim, for example, played second base last year, but has split his time between third and first this season.
Brad Harp, who played shortstop as a sophomore, is playing third, and junior Justin Burke has found his niche at short.
Graham Winchester has been steady at second, and Spencer McGuire has lent experience at first base.
Heim, Harp and Winchester have swung the most consistent bats. But Poynter said Wade and sophomore Clint Baumgardner have recently found their strokes.
Newcomers Trent Martin, Austin Meek and Matt Stagnolia have also contributed.
Dunbar's relatively inexperienced pitching staff has improved, especially junior left-hander Tyler DeAgano. He blanked LCA for six innings before giving up a two-run homer in the seventh, but he still got the win. He also threw a no-hitter against Corbin.
Winchester has also been reliable on the mound. The Bulldogs have pitched by committee, too, including the arms of Chris Beymer and Tyler Cox.
Poynter is most pleased with how his team has "kept the big picture in focus, and not the ups and downs of the season. They've been very businesslike in how they've reacted to losses. They know they've got to come back out, work hard and keep getting better."
Dunbar might not be ranked, but its program demands respect built on state titles in 2003 and '07.
That past glory helps motivate the present players.
"You always want high standards and high expectations," Heim said.
"That tradition makes you want to play here," Wade said. "We all take pride in the fact that we play for Dunbar."