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Having lost four of its last six games, the SCHS baseball team is limping a little into the 8th Region Tournament.
But Coach Bart Roettger feels good about his team’s chances.
""I still like our team, and I like our chances against any team in the 8th Region," he said. “If I didn’t feel that way, I’d be in the wrong business.”
Though Roettger said he would like to see 30th District champ Anderson County again because the two teams wouldn’t meet unless it’s in the finals, he said the Rockets must not look ahead.
“The most important thing I’ve learned is that you have to let a tournament play itself out,” he said. “You can’t get caught up in who you might play and when you might play them.”
The 8th Region Tournament will get under way on Monday at the Shelby County Athletic Complex, with all four first round games being played. The teams will have a blind draw today at 5:30 p.m. to see which district winners play which district losers in the first round.
Oldham County (22-8) topped North Oldham (14-16) in the 29th District final Wednesday. Though the Colonels have looked strong all year, Roettger noted that the Mustangs have a shutdown pitcher that teams will hope to avoid.
“He’s one of the best, if not the best, players in the region,” Roettger said. “He’s a guy that teams will be hoping to avoid.”
Carroll County (22-5) looked possibly to be one of the region favorites, but the Panthers were upset by Gallatin County (14-9), 3-2, in the 31st District championship.
“I don’t know much about Gallatin County, but Carroll County is the real deal,” Roettger said. “They have a nice team with some big kids that hit the ball well, and they’re fundamentally sound.”
The 32nd District championship pit Walton-Verona (7-19) against Grant County (9-15) late Thursday.
Though the Rockets will wait to see if they play Oldham, Gallatin or the Walton-Verona/Grant County winner, Roettger said he knows what his team must work on to be ready for Monday.
“Without a doubt our pitchers have to do a better job of keeping runners close,” he said. “We knew Anderson wanted to run, but we didn’t keep them close to the base at all. We need to work on our own base running, although we didn’t have a lot of opportunities [in Wednesday’s loss to Anderson County].
“And after that, it’s just the little things — situational baseball, like shortening your swing with runners on base and getting bunts down.”
When pushed on the prospect of possibly seeing the Bearcats again, Roettger said he hoped so.
“As our district rival and as a competitor, you’d love to get another shot at them,” he said. “And, because they’re in the 30th District, you want to see them do well. But we just have to let the tournament unfold and just play baseball.”