On the mound: The area's best pitching staff can once again be found here, where hard-throwing Teague, Robinson and Bertram give the Rebels three experienced arms that can shut down any offense. Junior Matt Engle will also be in the mix. Morris and Brandon Record are in the running to be Boyle's regular catcher.
Outlook: Boyle isn't head-and-shoulders above the other area teams as it was this time a year ago, mainly because of its unproven offense, but the Rebels' pitching and defense will command respect while the hitting develops. And they're still feeling the sting of last year's regional tourney upset, so they'll want to be ready to make amends when the postseason rolls around.
29 - PULASKI SOUTHWESTERN, 5:30; 30 - at Garrard County, 5.
1 - BURGIN, 5; 2 - at Madison Southern, 7; 3 - SOMERSET, Noon; 5-7 - Louisville tournament; 8 - at Bryan Station, 1; 9 - MONTGOMERY COUNTY, 1; 9 - CELINA, Ohio, 3; 10 - at McCreary Central, 1; 10 - Dupree, Wis., at McCreary Central, 3; 12 - at Mercer County, 5; 13 - CASEY COUNTY, 5; 15 - at Lexington Catholic, TBA; 16 - at Marion County, 5; 17 - NORTH LAUREL, Noon; 19 - at Lincoln County, 5; 22 - EAST JESSAMINE, 5; 23 - WASHINGTON COUNTY, 5; 24 - MADISON SOUTHERN (DH), Noon; 26 - at Casey County, 5; 27 - DANVILLE, 5; 28 - LINCOLN COUNTY, 5; 30 - Cumberland Valley Classic at Pulaski Southwestern.
1 - Cumberland Valley Classic at Pulaski Southwestern; 3 - MARION COUNTY, 5; 4 - GARRARD COUNTY, 5; 6 - McCREARY CENTRAL, 5:30; 7-8 - North Laurel tournament; 10 - MERCER COUNTY, 5; 11 - at Henry Clay, 7:30; 14 - at Trinity, 8; 15 - at Taylor County, 1:30; 15 - at Eastern, 8; 17 - at Washington County, 5; 19 - BRYAN STATION, TBA; 20 - LEXINGTON CATHOLIC, TBA; 21 - at East Jessamine, TBA.
Coach: Terry Pitman
2003 record: 13-11
Top returnees: Sean Bottoms, Sr., C-OF; Josh Carey, 8th, SS-P; Zack Gross, Sr., P-OF; Joe Harris, Sr., 1B-OF; Daniel Howard, So., P-OF; Shane Trayner, Jr., 2B; Bobby Wylie, Sr., 1B.
On deck: The first winning season in Burgin history and a rare regional tourney berth give former assistant coach Pitman something to build on in his first year as head coach. So does the core of four seniors, the same foursome that led the Burgin basketball team, and three other starters. Gross leads a lineup that Pitman said must be able to produce runs more readily. "We're going to be more aggressive," he said. Below the seniors is a host of young players already gaining experience. Gross and Trayner are five-year starters and the team's top returning hitters, while Trayner and Carey will anchor the middle infield, as Carey moves from second base to shortstop, a position he figures to hold for five years. Freshmen Jordan Darland and Evan Mobley, who started as a seventh-grader but was injured last year, will also contribute.
On the mound: Gross, already committed to Cumberland College, just might be as good as there is in this area in a one-game situation. He's effective enough to be consistent and powerful enough to be intimidating, and the Bulldogs are a different team when he takes the mound twice a week. Behind him are Howard, who improved late last season, and freshman Daniel Loane.
On deck: Gross can keep Burgin in any game, but he can't pitch every game, and the Bulldogs' reliance on young players costs them in consistency. But this team should be better than it was a year ago, and missing the region this spring would be a disappointment.
31 - BETHLEHEM, 5:30.
1 - at Boyle County, 5; 5-6 - 12th Region All "A" Classic at Danville; 8 - MODEL, 5:30; 10 - Bardstown at St. Catharine College, 12:30; 12 - at Paris, 5:30; 13 - GARRARD COUNTY, 5:30; 15 - at Harrodsburg, 5:30; 17 - CASEY COUNTY (DH), Noon; 19 - at Sayre, 5:30; 20 - at Mercer County, 5:30; 22 - at Garrard County, 5:30; 23-24 - Bluegrass Conference Tournament at Sayre; 26 - at Danville, 5; 27 - MERCER COUNTY, 5:30; 29 - HARRODSBURG, 5:30.