Postseason baseball is nearly here. Only a single game remains on the Adair County Indians’ regular season schedule, and the 20th District Tournament is set to start Friday in Campbellsville.
The Tribe currently boasts a 19-13 record, and head coach Ryan McQueary hopes to reach the 20-win mark tomorrow in the regular season finale at Hart County.
“That’s a big game because they got us last time at our place,” McQueary says. “A 20-win season, that’s a pretty big mark for Adair County baseball so we’d like to get that.”
Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s matchup, Adair will enter the postseason as the district’s 2-seed. Adair, Marion, and Taylor County each went 4-2 in the district, but tie-breaker rules (based on runs allowed) dictate Taylor earned the 1-seed, with Adair falling to 2, setting up a district tilt with 3-seed Marion County.
McQueary says he is happy with how his team has performed thus far, and is excited to move on to the elimination stage of the season.
“We’ve battled through some adversity, some injuries to key guys, so to still be able to do what we’ve done, I’ve been very pleased,” the coach explains. “In Kentucky, it’s tough, because it all comes down to one game. If you can get that first one, you get to move on.”
Marion County and Adair split their two regular season games this year, with the Knights taking a 5-2 win in Columbia during the second matchup. McQueary expects Marion to throw the same pitcher from that April 28 game, sophomore Brady Hutchins, in the first round of district.
Despite falling to a 3-seed by way of the tie-breaker, Marion has been one of the 5th Region’s top team’s all season, sporting a 22-7 record with one game left on their regular season schedule.
“They’re playing pretty well right now,” McQueary says of the Knights. “They’re going to hit it OK, not do a lot to hurt themselves, so we’ve got to come ready to play. I feel good about it.”
McQueary has a host of arms available to throw against Hutchins, and says as many as three pitchers could see time on the mound Friday.
“Amongst our team, we know [who we’re going to start], but I think there are probably three guys that could factor in, depending on how the game goes,” he says. “I feel confident in all three of them, so we’ll let our starter take us as long as he can, and then I feel good about who comes in second and who comes in third, if we need them. In a perfect world, he throws a complete game and we roll on into game two, but we’ll just have to see how it goes.”
The Tribe has pitched better of late, but has relied on big bats to carry the load for most of the season. The team has hit at a .331 clip this year and launched 23 home runs, led by senior Braxton Smith and freshman Brayton Coomer. Smith is near the top of the state rankings with 22 doubles and is currently hitting .511 with six home runs. Coomer sports a .410 average, has also hit six dingers, and leads the team with 47 RBI.
The first pitch Friday night is set for 6 p.m.