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Looking forward to baseball postseason

Douglas Fritz • Apr 16, 2018 at 7:14 PM

April is past the halfway point, which means the postseason picture is starting to come into focus.

Here’s a brief view of where things stand in area baseball conferences, and what the current regional and sectional snapshots look like.

Big Seven Conference

Needing only two wins in its last four conference games, and two of those contests are against winless league opponent Volunteer, it’s not a stretch to say Science Hill will likely be the regular season champion.

Two through five is a tossup with Tennessee High, Dobyns-Bennett, Cherokee and Daniel Boone in the mix and none of them holding any real schedule advantage.

Region outlook — There doesn’t appear to be a big dog from District 2. Sevier County and Jefferson County look like the best bets to reach the region with Seymour in the mix as well.

Sectional view — It’s always Knox Farragut at this point. You have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time the Admirals weren’t standing in the way of Region 1. And in those 10 seasons, only once was Farragut on the road in the sectional. The Admirals won at Dobyns-Bennett in 2012 by a score of 2-1.

Others in the mix (in order): Knox Karns, Maryville, Knox Catholic, Halls, Powell.

Three Rivers Conference

Sullivan East’s seventh-inning come-from-behind win over Elizabethton on Saturday changed the dynamics of this race.

With one league loss, Unicoi County is in the best position — especially if it can sweep Sullivan Central on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sullivan East, which has two games left against Happy Valley, is in a good spot because Unicoi still has to play Elizabethton twice. The Cyclones would need to sweep Sullivan South and Unicoi to have a real shot at a share of the title.

Region outlook — It looks like a three-way race for two spots out of District 2 with Greeneville, Claiborne and West Greene in the hunt. Don’t bet against Greeneville coming out on top.

Sectional view — Alcoa and Corryton Gibbs appear to be the biggest threats while Pigeon Forge is in the hunt as well. The Tornadoes are 15-3 and have won 13 games in a row, but have some huge challenges remaining on their schedule: Knox Catholic, CAK, Greenback, Maryville, Pigeon Forge and William Blount.

Gibbs is 19-5 after starting 18-1, but the recent losses were against Pigeon Forge, Knox Catholic, Knox Bearden and Knox Farragut. Yeah, good schedule.

Watauga Valley Conference

Everything boils down to games on April 23-24 when University High and Unaka do battle to settle the league title. One of these teams will earn the top spot during that two-game series.

Region outlook — Greenback is the biggest threat. The Cherokees have played a tough schedule and are 13-6.

Sectional view — Rockwood may be a step or two ahead of the pack. Lookout Valley is close behind, and Midway is also in the mix.

Baseball highlight games

Tuesday

Tennessee High at Dobyns-Bennett

Sullivan South at Elizabethton

Wednesday

Dobyns-Bennett at Tennessee High

Elizabethton at Sullivan South

Thursday through Saturday

Tribe Classic at Kingsport, Science Hill, Daniel Boone and Tennessee High

Monday

Dobyns-Bennett at Daniel Boone

Elizabethton at Unicoi County

Unaka at University High

Softball highlight games

Wednesday

Science Hill at Daniel Boone

Elizabethton at Unicoi County

Thursday

Science Hill at David Crockett

Sullivan East at Elizabethton

Friday-Saturday

Wayne Hodge State Farm Classic at Elizabethton

Monday

Elizabethton at Science Hill

Soccer highlight games

Tuesday

Science Hill at Tennessee High

Elizabethton at Sullivan South

University High at Chuckey-Doak

Thursday

Unicoi County at Greeneville

Sullivan South at Chuckey-Doak

Friday

Tennessee High at Dobyns-Bennett

College signings

Science Hill’s Jemimah Ndune will sign with Milligan College for track on Wednesday at the high school at 3 p.m. …

A pair of Science Hill swimmers will also sign Wednesday at 3 p.m. Kodee Eads is headed to Carson-Newman while Meagan Gay will move on to Milligan. …

Sullivan East’s Ethan Wine signed last week to continue swimming at Emory & Henry. ...

Tennessee High had a large group of athletes sign last week: Adison Minor (volleyball, ETSU), Courtland Carter (football, Garden City Comm. College), Logan Harter (football, Bridgewater), Hailie Hatcher (girls basketball, Johnson University), Alex McRae (swimming, King University), Makayla Richards (girls basketball, UVA Wise) and Carley Williams (volleyball, UNC Pembroke).

Baseball rankings

With its big win Saturday over Elizabethton, Sullivan East battles up a spot to No. 5 in this week’s Baseball Top 10:

Team (W-L) — Prv

1. Science Hill (19-4) — 1

2. Dobyns-Bennett (14-9) — 2

3. Tennessee High (17-5) — 3

4. Unicoi County (13-8) — 4

5. Sullivan East (13-4) — 6

6. Elizabethton (12-5) — 5

7. Daniel Boone (12-8) — 7

8. Cherokee (11-10) — 10

9. Sullivan South (9-7) — 9

10. Unaka (13-7) — NR

(tie) University High (11-8) — NR

Softball rankings

Everybody pretty much held their ground, so there was only one small change for this week’s Softball Top 10.

Team (W-L) — Prv

1. Daniel Boone (19-9) — 1

2. Unicoi County (25-5) — 2

3. David Crockett (15-6) — 3

4. Science Hill (20-7) — 4

5. Elizabethton (10-7) — 5

6. Dobyns-Bennett (14-9) — 6

7. Sullivan East (10-8) — 7

8. Unaka (15-7) — 8

9. Cherokee (6-9) — 10

10. Sullivan South (5-11) — 9

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