HS Baseball: All A Sectional at Middlesboro on April 20th

Several areas of the state are just getting in to their All A Baseball regional tournaments this week, but both Middlesboro and Hazard have already won their respective regions and are ready to move on to the next stage of the tournament, the sectional.

Hazard is rolling along at 10 and 4 this year, with a couple of those losses coming on a spring swing through Florida, while the Yellow Jackets are an equally impressive 10 and 3 and at this writing have yet to lose to anyone in the state of Kentucky.  The two teams do have some All A Baseball history as Middlesboro lost in the sectional 8-5 at Hazard last year.  First pitch for the sectional playoff is scheduled for 6pm April 20th in Middlesboro.

The All A Sectionals match up teams in regions 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-16.  The eight sectional winners will then advance to Whitaker Bank Park in Lexington where an All A State Champion will be decided with play beginning in Lexington on May 2nd.

Hazard lost 11-1 to Beechwood after defeating Middlesboro last year and advancing to the Elite 8 in Lexington.  In that state playoff game, Beechwood’s Brayden Combs only gave up four hits to the Bulldogs, completed the game and got the win, which was halted after five innings.  Hazard’s Griffin Wells went 4 1/3 and took the loss.  Beechwood went on to win the All A Baseball Classic in 2014.  They defeated Danville 9-6 in 8 innings in the championship game.

This year’s 13-14 winner will play the 15-16 winner in the next round in Lexington.  That opponent will come from the West Carter-Sheldon Clark sectional playoff as those two schools have wrapped up the 15th and 16th Region All A regional baseball titles.

Meanwhile, the Middlesboro Lady Jacket softball team waits for other regions to complete as All A Softball regional play continues around the state.  The Lady Jackets rolled through the 13th Region to advance to the finals in Owensboro once again.

However, instead of a sectional, All A Softball regional winners advance to pool play at the state level.  Middlesboro is in Pool A and will play regional winners from Region 2, where University Heights currently has an 18-2 record; Region 6, with 9-5 Louisville Holy Cross; and Region 12, who has 12-3 Somerset. The top two records in pool play will advance to a one day single elimination bracket for the All A State Softball Championship.  The first game for the Lady Jackets in pool play will be in Owensboro at 9am April 25th against Region 12.

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