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The North Laurel Jaguars enter the first week of the Fear ‘Les’ 13th Region Diamond Rankings tied at the No. 3 spot with Clay County. | File Photo

It’s taken me a few weeks to figure out who should be ranked where due to high school baseball season having a year off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m still not sure where to rank certain teams, but I’m trying my best while letting the chips fall where they may. It’s a long season but it looks as if they’re around a handful of teams that could lay claim to being the best team in the Fear ‘Les’ 13th Region Diamond Rankings.

1. (Tie) Corbin (9-3 overall, 4-1 vs. 13th Region Competition)

The Redhounds are talented as always. The thing that makes Corbin scary is the number of talented young players coach Cody Philpot has on his roster. This team is going to get better and better as the season progresses.

1. (Tie) Whitley County (8-5, 4-1)

The Colonels are a team to keep an eye on. They could easily be 2-0 against Corbin this season but lost a heartbreaker the other day to the Redhounds. Just like the teams ranked above his team, Jeremy Shope’s squad has the talent in place to make a run at the 13th Region championship.

3. (Tie) Clay County (10-5, 4-3)

The Tigers are another team that could lay claim to being the best team in the 13th Region. The only drawback is their three losses against the 13th Region competition. Clay County is another team that can score runs in bunches. The Tigers have scored at least 10 runs in eight games this season.

3. (Tie) North Laurel (6-4, 2-1) The Jaguars have played a tough slate so far, but have shown not only can they score a lot of runs (they’ve scored at least 10 runs five times), but they’ve got solid pitching, too.

5. South Laurel (8-5, 3-2)

Coach Trey Smith continues to do a fantastic job building South Laurel back into a contender. The Cardinals have the pitching and hitting to make a deep postseason run but first things first, they’ll have to find a way to get out of the rough and tough 50th District.

Best of the Rest

6. Knox Central (6-3, 4-1)

The Panthers might not be as strong as they have in years past, but Knox Central still has enough talent to make a postseason run. Mike Bright’s squad looks to be rolling at the right time.

7. Harlan County (5-6, 3-0)

The Black Bears have gotten better as the season has progressed.

8. Middlesboro (6-4, 5-4)

The Yellow Jackets are looking to build on winning the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic championship.

9. Jackson County (3-5, 1-3)

The Generals are another team to keep an eye on this season.

10. Lynn Camp (4-4, 2-4)

Coach Rob Ledington’s Wildcats con tin to improve, and could very well be a sleeper team this season.

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