By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Indians will face a very familiar opponent in the opening round of the 11th Region Tournament.
Madison Central (22-12) is set to take on Scott County (21-13-1) at 7 p.m. today at Don Richardson Field in Richmond. The teams have already played twice this season — splitting the games — and also played in the first round of last year’s 11th Region Tournament in Lexington.
Madison Southern (7-28) will play Bryan Station (15-18) at 10 a.m.today in the opening game of the three-day tournament.
All four first-round games will be played Monday at Madison Central.
“It’s two schools that are definitely rivals and I’m sure both of us are looking forward to Monday night. It’s a rival game. I don’t care what sport it is.”
Madison Central defeated Scott County, 3-1, in the first round of the 11th Region Tournament.
The two regular-season matchups this season had very different outcomes. When the teams met April 26 in Georgetown, the Cards no-hit the Indians and picked up an 11-0 win.
Three days later, Central used a late-game rally to earn a 7-2 win in Richmond. The Indians scored six times in the sixth inning of the game that featured five hit batters, the ejection of Scott County coach Scott Willard and four combined errors.
Ben Fisher had three RBIs for Central, while Ben Morin drove in a pair of runs.
Freshman Kyle Kelsey started and went 5 1/3 innings and allowed five hits, one run and one walk, while striking out four.
Roof said Kelsey would likely start Monday again against the Cardinals.
Willard said at Saturday morning’s draw that he would probably start junior Matt Gregory Monday night.
Central posted a 10-8 record this season against 11th Region competition, even though the team has just five seniors — Jake Caldwell, Kirt Caldwell, Chris Wells, Ben Fisher and Jimmy Wright — and has pitching staff made up mostly of sophomores and freshmen.
“Hopefully a tough schedule throughout the year gets us ready for Monday night,” Roof said.
The winner of the Scott-Central game advances to the semifinals to take on either Woodford County (25-9) or Lafayette (25-11) at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The Eagles begin the season by losing 10 straight and at one point the team’s record slipped to 3-26.
But, Southern has finished strong.
The Eagles won three of their final four regular-season games and earned their first trip to the 11th Region Tournament since 2007 with a victory over Berea Community in the district tournament semifinals.
Southern did not play Bryan Station this season and the school’s haven’t played since 2008.
“It doesn’t really matter to us,” Southern coach Dusty O. Hon said. “Whoever we play, we are just going to buckle down and do the best we can. We are just happy to be here.”
Station finished the regular season by losing four-straight games.
But, the Defenders defeated Henry Clay 5-4 in the first round of the 42nd District Tournament and then upset Scott County, 6-3, in the title game.
“I know they are always a good team, so we are going to try to find out as much about them as possible,” Hon said of Station.
The Eagles started sophomore Griffen Norris on the mound in the district semifinals against Berea, then pitched Lucas Reynolds in the district title game.
Freshman Easten Shouse also pitched in both district tournament games.
“We will probably go with Griffen,” Hon said. “He’s our horse.”
The winner of the Southern-Station game will advance to the semifinals to take on Tates Creek (30-6) or Franklin County (15-23) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.