Breaking down the state baseball tournament

Breaking down the state baseball tournament

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Breaking down the state baseball tournament

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The Rawlings/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament will open Thursday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Ky.  At the bottom is the schedule for the state tournament, but here are a few tidbits about the teams that have qualified:

* Nine teams in the final Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Top 20 have qualified – No. 1 Greenup County, No. 2 McCracken County, No. 9 Bowling Green, No. 12 West Jessamine, No. 14 Oldham County, No. 15 Hazard, No. 16 St. Xavier, No. 17 Johnson Central and No. 19 Elizabethtown.

* No. 1 Greenup County (39-1) won its first 33 games before falling to East Jessamine 2-1 on May 14 in the Fayette County Invitational Tournament. The Musketeers have won their last six games by a combined score of 55-11.

* No. 2 McCracken County (35-5) has the state’s longest current winning streak at 22 and is undefeated against Kentucky competition this season.

* The past two state champions are in the field in West Jessamine (2015) and St. Xavier (2014). The two could meet in a quarterfinal at 11 a.m. next Saturday.

* Highlands (23-17) was the surprise champion of the Ninth Region, beating No. 7-ranked and All “A” state champion Beechwood 7-1 in the regional final. That’s the only run the Bluebirds have allowed in five postseason games.

* Two of the first-round matchups will be rematches from the regular season. Bullitt East won 10-6 at Oldham County on April 15. Hazard and North Laurel met twice, with the Bulldogs winning 4-3 on March 22 and the Jaguars taking the rematch 9-1 on May 9.

* Oldham County (30-7) won the Eighth Region for the first time since 2005 under coach John Hodges. Current coach Scott Gerlach took over in 2006.

* Scott County (27-10) won a regional title for the first time since 1999, when it was in the Eighth Region. The Cardinals beat Western Hills 6-2 in Wednesday’s 11th Region final.

Here’s the state tournament schedule, with all games to be played at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Ky.

THURSDAY, JUNE 9

* Highlands (23-17) vs. Johnson Central (32-9), 11 a.m.

* Elizabethtown (28-12) vs. McCracken County (35-5), 1:30 p.m.

* St. Xavier (25-12) vs. Greenup County (39-1), 6 p.m.

* Bowling Green (31-9) vs. West Jessamine (31-8), 8:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, JUNE 10

* North Laurel (29-10) vs. Hazard (29-11), 11 a.m.

* Bullitt East (26-10) vs. Oldham County (30-7), 1:30 p.m.

* Caldwell County (31-5) vs. Scott County (27-10), 6 p.m.

* Ohio County (23-14) vs. Campbell County (26-10), 8:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, JUNE 11

* Bowling Green-West Jessamine winner vs. St. Xavier-Greenup County winner, 11 a.m.

* Highlands-Johnson Central winner vs. Elizabethtown-McCracken County winner, 1:30 p.m.

* Caldwell County-Scott County winner vs. Bullitt East-Oldham County winner, 6 p.m.

* Ohio County-Campbell County winner vs. North Laurel-Hazard winner, 8:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, JUNE 17

* Semifinals at 6 and 8:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, JUNE 18

* Final at 7 p.m.

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