The Third Region has legitimate state final four threats in high school baseball and softball this spring. Those teams are Owensboro Catholic in baseball; Daviess County in softball.
The KHSAA conducted the State Tournament draws for both baseball and softball Thursday.
Daviess County got to see its possible softball path and Owensboro Catholic got to see the same in baseball.
That is assuming DC and Catholic win their regional tournaments, starting with baseball Saturday at Apollo. Softball is scheduled to start Wednesday May 25.
It’s the Third Region going against the Ninth Region in baseball.
The top four schools in the RPI compiled by the KHSAA are in order, Louisville Trinity, Owensboro Catholic, McCracken County, Paducah Tilghman. McCracken and Tilghman are in the 1st Region together, so one of them will be gone.
The top ranked team in the Ninth Region is of interest to Catholic, though, because it is No. 5 in the RPI and that’s Beechwood. Conner is also in the Ninth Region, and it is ranked No. 7 in the RPI.
If Catholic wins Third Region baseball, it would be a challenge to get through to the second weekend at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington.
The winner of the 3-9 Regions matchup would take on the winner of the 4-11 Regions matchup in the quarterfinals. Madison Central is the top ranked 11th Region team at No. 9 in the RPI. Bowling Green is the top Fourth Region team at No. 11 in the RPI.
In softball, the RPI goes in order Ballard, South Warren, McCracken County, Henderson County, Greenwood, Madison Central and Daviess County at No. 7.
For those who don’t think the end of season RPI is some kind of accurate measure of how good teams are, here’s a look at the top seven in the KHSAA Softball Coaches Poll: Ballard, South Warren, McCracken County, Henderson County, and Daviess County at No. 5.
Now that we’ve settled that, the Third Region drew the 14th Region, which has Perry County Central as its top ranked RPI team at No. 12.
If Daviess County wins 3rd Region softball and wins its State Tournament opener, it would be in a monster quarterfinal matchup against the winner of the 15th Region/Seventh Region. Ballard (30-0) is the top team in Kentucky and in the Seventh Region.
So, teams throughout the commonwealth got a look at their state tournament futures in baseball and softball. Those teams with the talent and ability to make it to their respective final fours were paying close attention to their brackets.