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NET Notes: Looking ahead to postseason baseball

Douglas Fritz • Apr 17, 2018 at 12:46 AM

April is past the halfway point, which means the postseason picture in Northeast Tennessee 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 7 Conference

Needing only two wins in its last four conference games, and two of those contests are against winless-in-the-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.

Sectional view: It’s always 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 2-1 at D-B in 2012. Others in the mix are, in order, Karns, Maryville, Knox Catholic, Halls and 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, specially if it can sweep Sullivan Central today and Wednesday. 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 Gibbs appear to be the biggest threats, but Pigeon Forge is in the hunt. The Tornadoes are 15-3 and have won 13 games in a row, but they 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, Catholic, Bearden and Farragut. Yeah, good schedule.

Watauga Valley Conference

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

Region outlook: Green- back is the biggest threat. The Cherokees (13-6) have played a tough schedule.

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.

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 and 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, East Tennessee State), Courtland Carter (football, Garden City Community College), Logan Harter (football, Bridgewater), Hailie Hatcher (girls basketball, Johnson University), Alex McRae (swimming, King), Makayla Richards (girls basketball, Virginia-Wise) and Carley Williams (volleyball, UNC Pembroke).

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