The end of the high school baseball regular season will soon be coming to a close. Only two weeks remain before district tournaments begin.
Now is the time teams are trying to perfect their strengths and improve upon the weaknesses. District games become more important as a top seed provides the best chance to advance in the postseason.
Some teams really stood out the week as they approach the time to start peaking, and some teams are still struggling to play consistently.
So here are the new Dirty Dozen rankings:
1USJ (D2-A) (19-6) – The Bruins picked up five wins on the week and took no losses. USJ swept doubleheaders against Sacred Heart and Fayette Academy and once against Ripley. A rematch of last year’s Division II-A state championship looms Monday. Last week: No. 2.
2Chester County (14-AA (18-3) – The Eagles played eight games in the last week, and they won all eight games. Seven of the wins came against District 14-AA teams with five counting in the standings. The Eagles beat Bolivar three times, Fayette-Ware twice and McNairy Central, South Side and Adamsville each once. Last week: No. 5.
3South Gibson (13-AA) (17-5-1) – The Hornets picked up two key District 13-AA wins over Dyersburg and Crockett County, but they also took a loss against Crockett County to fall to No. 2 in 13-AA behind Milan. South Gibson also had wins over Peabody and Liberty. Last week: No. 3.
4Scotts Hill (15-A) (16-5) – The Lions took a two-game lead in the District 15-A standings with the win over Jackson Christian this past week. Scotts Hill also had a win over Haywood, but a loss against McNairy Central on Saturday knocked the Lions out of the Independent Appeal semifinals. Last week: No. 4.
5Milan (13-AA) (18-8) – The Bulldogs went 4-0 on the week with three of the wins coming against District 13-AA opposition. Milan swept Obion County and beat Westview, and the other win came against Jackson Christian on Saturday. Last week: No. 7.
6Jackson Christian (15-A) (22-8) – The Eagles had a tough week with all three games that were played being losses. Jackson Christian lost to Dyer County, Milan and Scotts Hill. The loss to Scotts Hill put the Eagles two games back in the District 15-A standings. Last week: No. 1.
7Trenton Peabody (14-A) (14-4) – The Golden Tide had a light week because of the rain. Peabody went 2-1 with wins over Madison and Bradford and a loss against South Gibson. The Golden Tide are still undefeated in District 14-A. Last week: No. 6.
8Crockett County (13-AA) (16-5) – The Cavaliers proved they are still in the mix for a top seed in the District 13-AA tournament with a win over South Gibson, but they also lost to the Hornets. Crockett County also swept Halls and lost to Munford on the week. Last week: No. 8.
9Haywood (15-AA) (16-9) – The Tomcats split six games. Haywood had wins over Ripley, Bolivar and McNairy Central, but the team also lost to Adamsville, Scotts Hill and Ripley. Last week: No. 9.
10McKenzie (13-A) (12-5-1) – The Rebels struggled to get games in with the rain that fell across the area. McKenzie played twice, and the team split those games. The Rebels beat Henry County and lost to Waverly. Last week: No. 10.
11Riverside (15-A) (13-7) – The Panthers picked up three wins, including a sweep of TCA in a District 15-A series. Riverside also had a win over Waverly and a loss to South Side. Last week: No. 11.
12Camden (11-AA) (10-9) – The Lions have won 10 of their last 13 games, and they have improved as the season has gone on. Camden split two games in the last week, beating Fairview and losing to Huntingdon. Last week: Not ranked.
Dropped out: South Side (13-12).
Teams eligible for the Dirty Dozen rankings are those who represent schools from The Jackson Sun’s 13-county circulation area: Madison, Gibson, Henderson, Chester, Hardeman, Haywood, Crockett, Weakley, Carroll, Benton, Decatur, McNairy and Hardin.
Michael Odom, 425-9754