The 2013 pre-season state baseball rankings are out and the Russell County Lakers cracked the top 25, coming in at #16, This according to KHSCBA, which consists of high school baseball coaches across the Commonwealth.
The pre-season top 25 is loaded with perinial state powerhouse programs. Several of the teams ranked in the top 25 will square off against the Lakers in 2013. These teams include: #1 Woodford County (2012 State Champs), #2 Henderson County, #8 Lafayette, #9 Central Hardin, #12 Lexington Christian, #20 Lone Oak, #21 Madison Central, and #24 Bowling Green. This type of schedule provides the Lakers with elite competition that will prepare them for a post season tournament run.
The 2013 Lakers will depend heavily on an experienced Senior class. Seniors returning with signifigant experience in 2012: Tyler Robertson (P/SS and 2012 4th Region POY), Garret Stephens (P/OF), Jalen Bennett (C), Austin Hadley (1B) and Lucas Williams (P). Returning Junior playes that started last season include: Alex Turner (P/IF), Ben Bertram (P/OF), and Brett Kimbler (P/3B). In the Sophomore class expect Taylor Grider (P/IF) and Grant Best (P/IF) to see increasedt playing time.
The returning pitching staff in 2013 accounted for 26 of the 39 starts last season with a combined 151 innings pitched and a collective ERA of 2.54. At the plate, there are 7 returning players that logged at least 50 at bats in 2012. These 7 players accounted a batting average of .350, 214 hits, 143 runs scored, 143 RBI's, and 61 extra base hits.