Royals, Saints take aim at the 10th

EVAN DENNISON - edennis[email protected]
Mason County's Carson Brammer delivers a pitch to the plate during the 39th District Championship against St. Patrick, Wednesday, in Brooksville. -
St. Patrick's Owen Williams prepares to fire to home plate during the 39th District Championship game against Mason County, Wednesday, in Brooksville. -

The 10th Region baseball draw was held Friday morning as Mason County and Saint Patrick found out who their opponents would be come Monday when the tournament kicks off.

The Royals, champions out of the 39th District, will take on the runner-up out of the 40th District in George Rogers Clark, Monday at 10 a.m. to start tournament play.

The Saints, runner-up out of the 39th, take on the champions out of the 40th, Montgomery County, Monday at 3 p.m.

Other matchups include Nicholas County taking on Campbell County at 12:30 p.m., Monday, while Bishop Brossart and Harrison County conclude Monday’s quarterfinal games at 5:30 p.m. Semifinals will be played on Tuesday at 5 and 7:30 p.m. with the championship played Wednesday at 6 p.m., weather permitting of course.

All games of the tournament will be at Campbell County.

For the Royals, entering the tournament with a 10-11 record, they’ll look to do something they’ve done just once in the last 13 years…win a regional tournament game. They did so in 2014 against Nicholas County, the previous win before that was in 2005 against Monday’s opponent, GRC.

Monday’s task won’t be an easy one, the Cardinals come in with a 21-10 record, the second most wins in the region behind Nicholas County with 24. GRC is 9-3 in the region and knocked off Mason County 8-6 back on April 13. There’s cause for optimism though as the Royals committed six errors in the contest and allowed just three earned runs. Malkolm Devine, most likely to get the ball on Monday, pitched four innings of two-hit baseball, walking four and striking out two. Devine allowed five runs, but only one of them was earned.

Carson Brammer came on in relief to pitch three innings, allowing four hits and three runs, two of them earned while walking three and striking out two. Six errors and seven walks in a game will cause any team to get beat on any given day.

Brammer led the way at the plate in the contest with two hits and two runs driven in while J’Kari Gause went deep with a home run.

An area where GRC can be exploited is on the mound as they average allowing 5.7 runs per game. The Cardinals offset that by averaging 7.4 runs a game with a high-powered offense that features five everyday players hitting at least .345 on the year.

The Saints are making their first regional tournament appearance since 2014 when they lost to Harrison County 18-1. Since 1999, they’ve made seven trips to the regional tourney, losing in each. Their closest contest came in 2000 when they lost to Estill County, 1-0. St. Patrick is in this spot after their furious comeback of Augusta in the semis of the 39th District tourney, trailing 11-4 and down to their final four outs. The Saints were able to put up six runs with two outs in the sixth inning before scoring two in the bottom of the seventh to earn the walk-off victory against the Panthers. They were unable to carry that momentum into the championship though, losing 13-1 to the Royals.

St. Patrick enters with a 6-6 record while Montgomery County is 17-11 on the season. The six wins for the Saints are their most in a season since 2012, when they went 7-15. The two did not face one another during the regular season and have not met since the KHSAA started keeping records and schedules since 1998.

The Indians made it here with two tough wins in the 40th District Tournament over Bourbon County, 6-4 and George Rogers Clark 5-4, entering as the third seed, knocking off the No. 2 Colonels and the No. 1 Cardinals. The Indians might not provide much pop at the plate with just three home runs hit on the season, but do hit for contact with a .343 team batting average.

In the Bluejackets-Camels matchup, it features two teams with combined records of 42-18 in what should be the marquee matchup of the day. Nicholas County (24-7) was able to knock off Harrison County for the 38th District title while Campbell County (18-11) was upset in the 37th District Championship. The two faced each other on May 7, a 10-5 Camels victory.

The Mustangs and Thorobreds meet in what should be another tightly contested matchup. Brossart (18-12) is one of the hottest teams in the region as they’ve won seven of eight, while Harrison (17-15) can never be counted out in the regional tourney with legendary coach Mac Whitaker at the helm. The Thorobreds own four state championships, by far the most in the region. The only other team to claim a state title is Maysville in 1958. After winning nine regional titles from 1999-2013, the Thorobreds have failed to win the 10th Region title since.

Mason County’s Carson Brammer delivers a pitch to the plate during the 39th District Championship against St. Patrick, Wednesday, in Brooksville.
https://maysville-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_1370.jpgMason County’s Carson Brammer delivers a pitch to the plate during the 39th District Championship against St. Patrick, Wednesday, in Brooksville.

St. Patrick’s Owen Williams prepares to fire to home plate during the 39th District Championship game against Mason County, Wednesday, in Brooksville.
https://maysville-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_1405.jpgSt. Patrick’s Owen Williams prepares to fire to home plate during the 39th District Championship game against Mason County, Wednesday, in Brooksville.

EVAN DENNISON

[email protected]