It’s that time of the year to release my final postseason edition of the Fear ‘Les’ 13th Region Diamond Rankings.
This past season was a fun one with Corbin, Whitley County and Knox Central moving back and forth from the top spot to the No. 3 spot on numerous occasions throughout the season.
We also had teams such as North Laurel and Barbourville that kept the teams I mentioned above, on their toes.
But before I dive into the rankings, just a little heads up for next week. I’ll put out the “very early” Fear ‘Les’ 2020 13th Region Diamond Rankings to see just where each teams sits heading into next spring.
With that said, enjoy below.
1. Corbin (29-11 overall, 16-2 vs. 13th Region opponents)
The Redhound seniors had one heck of a run. Corbin’s win over Barbourville in the 13th Region Tournament Championship marked the Redhound seniors’ 100th victory during the past four years — now that’s impressive.
Corbin had hopes of making a deep run in postseason play, but unfortunately dropped a heartbreaking, 2-1, 10-inning, loss to Hazard this past weekend. The Redhounds had the offense and pitching to go deep into the state tournament, but it was just one of those days where the hits didn’t fall.
2. Whitley County (25-10, 18-4)
The “Comeback Colonels” finally ran out of gas during the semifinals of the 13th Region Tournament.
After rallying to beat North Laurel in opening round play, Whitley County dropped a 4-3 decision to Barbourville in semifinal action.
Jeremy Shope’s squad entered the game with a 2-0 mark against the Tigers, but just couldn’t push across enough runs. Even with the loss, the Colonels had a fantastic season and won 25 games for the second consecutive year.
3. Knox Central (25-8, 14-3)
The Panthers turned in another solid season before falling to Corbin in semifinal action of the 13th Region Tournament.
Mike Bright’s squad played a tough schedule, and managed to win at least 20 games for the third year in a row. The Panthers put up a fight against the Redhounds, but couldn’t get the win.
4. Barbourville (20-14, 15-11)
The Tigers had an impressive regular season, and made one heck of a postseason run before falling to Corbin in the 13th Region Tournament’s title game.
Barbourville had a talented roster that beat some really good teams this past season, including a 4-3 victory over Whitley County in the semifinals of the 13th Region Tournament.
5. North Laurel (17-21, 7-9)
The Jaguars were close to upending Whitley County during first round action of the 13th Region Tournament before the wheels fell.
Even with the loss, Coach Darren McWhorter’s squad had a good season, though.
North Laurel was the only regional team to beat top-ranked Corbin, and the Jaguars accomplished the feat twice. The future looks bright for North Laurel baseball.
6. Clay County (18-14, 12-10)
The Tigers were another team that were playing well going into postseason play. They started off with an 8-2 win over Jackson County during the semifinal round action of the 49th District Tournament. They followed with a loss to North Laurel in the district title game (9-0) while dropping a 12-2 decision to Knox Central in opening round action of the 13th Region Tournament.
7. Middlesboro (16-11, 13-6)
The Yellow Jackets were peaking at the right time, but were run-ruled by Barbourville during the first round of the 13th Region Tournament.
Middlesboro came into the tournament winners of nine out of its last 10 games, but fell to the Tigers, 13-1.
8. South Laurel (12-21, 8-11)
The Cardinals missed the 13th Region Tournament for the second consecutive season, and one of the reasons was lack of consistency. South Laurel only had three wins during its last 14 contests. Trey Smith’s squad started off with three consecutive wins, but never had a win streak reach more than two games the remainder of the season.
9. Jackson County (13-12, 7-7)
The Generals recovered from a 1-4 start and grabbed 12 wins during their last 20 games.
Jackson County had the talent to make some noise, but came up short against Clay County in the 49th District semifinals.
10. Bell County (7-18, 6-15)
The Bobcats started off strong, but struggled down the stretch, winning only one game during their last 11.