Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shaw, Edwards in same NCAA regional

Two former Paducah-area high school star pitchers, Louisville's Gabriel Shaw and Middle Tennessee's Chad Edwards, could face one another in the NCAA tournament regional at Louisville this weekend.

Shaw has been the workhorse in Louisville's bullpen, leading the team in appearances and relief innings, while going 3-1 with a 3.75 ERA and three saves. Edwards has been both a mid-week and weekend starter for the Blue Raiders, going 8-1 with a 5.99 ERA for a team that swept the regular-season and tournament titles in the Sun Belt Conference.

Louisville, which won both the Big East regular-season championship and tournament, takes on Indiana in its first-round game, with Middle Tennessee meeting a Vanderbilt club with which it's split two contests this season. Edwards threw a complete-game six-hit shutout against the Commodores on April 7.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Region baseball-softball pairings

Here are the schedules (games listed in bracket order) for the First Region baseball and softball tournaments, which are scheduled to begin on Monday:

(at Graves County)
Graves County (20-8) vs. Fulton County (9-3), 6:30 p.m.
Lone Oak (23-11) vs. Murray (21-11), 1:30 p.m.
Marshall County (24-3) vs. Paducah Tilghman (16-10), 4 p.m.
Carlisle County (9-13) vs. St. Mary (16-10), 11 a.m.
Semifinals, 5 p.m.
Championship, 6 p.m.

(at Heath)
Ballard Memorial (20-11) vs. Carlisle County (8-12), noon
Reidland (16-11) vs. Marshall County (22-5), 2 p.m.
Hickman County (13-13) vs. Heath (25-10), 4 p.m.
Calloway County (18-14) vs. Graves County (9-21), 6 p.m.
Semifinals, 5:30 p.m.
Championship, 6 p.m.

Schedule note: The Fulton County-Graves County game was originally drawn in the 11 a.m. slot, but was moved to the evening because Fulton County schools are in session on Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lone Oak vs. Lexington Catholic ... and not Paducah Tilghman

Lone Oak completed its football schedule last week with a doozy, a game against Class 4A power Lexington Catholic.

Yes, the same Lexington Catholic that throttled the Purple Flash 49-7 in the 2007 state championship game.

Lone Oak coach Jack Haskins said the two teams will meet on Sept. 11 at Lone Oak, with the return game in Lexington in 2010.

The Flash, whose schedule has been heartily criticized the last couple of years, has certainly beefed up a bit. Lone Oak's non-district schedule includes games with Graves County and Marshall County. Also on the docket is Green County, which was a consensus top-10 team in Class 2A a year ago.

Conspicuous by its absence is Paducah Tilghman, which would have made for an attractive matchup, and both teams share an open date on Oct. 23, the next-to-last week of the regular season.

Haskins said the two teams talked about a potential meeting, but it never worked out. Haskins said he would prefer to play the Tornado early in the season, fearing that late-season games with local rivals Tilghman and Heath would sap a little of Lone Oak's emotion going into the postseason.

The bottom line, however, is that there appears to be some bad blood between the two programs, stemming in part from some off-the-field issues.

Tilghman, meanwhile, had to scramble to fill out its schedule, too, landing Louisville Holy Cross in Week 9 with an open date to end the regular season.

Last summer, Tornado coach Randy Wyatt said he had lined up some high-profile intersectional matchups with heavyweights like North Hardin and Evansville (Ind.) Reitz, but neither appear on Tilghman's schedule next year. The non-district slate includes Hopkinsville, Mayfield, Graves County, Calloway County and two-time defending Class 2A state champion Fort Campbell.

Tilghman will also meet St. Louis Beaumont at Ballard Memorial's bowl game. Beaumont was 2-7 last season, with one of the wins by forfeit. In the eight games the Blue Jackets lost on the field, they were outscored by an average of 47-3.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Shoring up the Mid-America ...

Dan Hudson, the director of the Mid-America Summer Hoops Classic, has been working hard on trying to get the event back up to the standard set by its first few seasons, and judging from the tentative list of participating teams, he's made some big strides in that direction.

At the moment, the field includes 40-plus schools from five different states, some of which will field more than one team. Most of the First Region schools are committed, as are some Second Region stalwarts and several top programs from southern Illinois.

Among the expected entries:

Massac County was the Class 2A state runner-up. Raleigh-Egypt, from Memphis, was the Tennessee Class 3A state runner-up.

In Kentucky, Graves County and Christian County were regional champions, and the Colonels are expected to be one of Kentucky's top 10 teams next season. The Illinois list includes perennial powers East St. Louis, Carbondale and Belleville Althoff. Dyer County and Union City are strong programs in west Tennessee.

The Mid-America was moved to June this year so that Tennessee teams, long a staple of the event, could rejoin the fray — Tennessee allows its basketball programs to compete in team events only in June. The event is June 15-17 at Murray State University's Regional Special Events Center.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Minor leaguers update ...

We haven't checked in with the area's three minor league baseball players in a while, so let's take a look at how they are doing in the early season.

Shawn Roof (St. Mary) has split time between Class A Lakeland and Class AA Erie in the Detroit Tigers organization. Roof has hit .250 in 52 at-bats and has stolen four bases in five attempts.

Mike Broadway (Pope County) is struggling in relief at Myrtle Beach, the Atlanta Braves' High-A affiliate. Broadway is 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA and has allowed 17 hits in 16 innings with 10 walks and 12 strikeouts.

Brandon Braboy (Heath) is off to a good start at Charleston, S.C., pitching for the New York Yankees' Low-A ballclub. Braboy has been used out of the bullpen, going 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings. He's allowed 14 hits and has a very impressive 19-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.