By Chris Parsons
The weather has been quite cool to start the 2013 high school baseball season, with a few snowflakes even flying during a game at one point last week.
Despite the fact, the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have found a way to keep warm and their 8-0 start, the best in the past 10 seasons for the program, is proof that they’re as hot as any team in the 13th Region and possibly in the state.
The last time Williamsburg started the season this well was 2005 when the Yellow Jackets went 6-0 before losing the next five games.
The team is averaging 10.75 runs per game so far this season, while giving up just four on the defensive side of things. They’ve won their games by an average margin of 6.75, with Saturday’s 11-10 come-from-behind, extra inning win being the only time they were really threatened.
In the process of earning those eight wins, third-year head coach John Mountjoy’s squad has won its first 13th Region All ‘A’ title since 2007 with four wins in the tournament, capped off with a 9-3 win over Middlesboro in the championship game.
After Friday’s win, Mountjoy said his team had put a lot of time and effort into the All ‘A’ tournament and it almost seemed like a relief to have won the championship.
“This is the first time we’ve won this thing since 2007, so I’m really proud of this group for what they’ve done,” he said. “We’ve lost to Middlesboro more times than I care to mention in this thing, so It feels especially good to be able to beat them to get there.”
Before the season started Mountjoy pointed to the size and youth of his team as a possible weakness. To this point though, Mountjoy has had several of his young players step up when they were needed during the win streak. He also said he expected his young players to battle each other for playing time and so far, that’s been the case and it’s paying dividends for the Yellow Jackets.
“Any time you have young kids like we have, none of them want to come out of the game or be out of the lineup,” Mountjoy said. “You have kids that are trying to one-up their buddies to get in the game and that kind of healthy competition is good for a team because it makes everyone want to play better on a daily basis.”
Since taking over the Yellow Jackets in 2011, Mountjoy said this is by far the best start his teams have had both record-wise and the way the team is playing overall. In his first year as head coach (2011), the Yellow Jackets dropped five of the first six games of the season, while last season Williamsburg got off to 6-1 start.
“We’ve really played some solid baseball and we’ve gotten some good pitching from our kids and that’s always huge early in the season,” Mountjoy said. “Hopefully we can keep playing well, because teams aren’t just going to show up and roll over for you because you’re playing well.
“We showed a few signs of complacency in Saturday’s game and Berea really jumped on us, but we were able to battle back, and we really had to battle, to get that win,” he added. “That just shows you we have to show up every single game and play like we’re facing a team like South Laurel out there because they’re the region champs until someone knocks them off.”
Yellow Jackets off to best start in a decade with 8-0 mark
By Chris Parsons
- Local Sports
It’s hard to imagine anybody as big as Corbin head coach Jason McDaniel having any trouble filling shoes.
Here we go again
It'll be a matchup between two of the most historic programs in the 13th Region tonight when the Clay County Tigers defend their 13th Region title against the Corbin Redhounds.
The Way It Is
We’re not even through with the 2013-14 season yet, but it’s never too early to talk about next season. Since we’ve crowned a 13th Region champion on the girls’ side of things, let take a glimpse of what might be for the 2014-15 campaign.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
Well, here we are, Corbin vs. Clay County for the right to see who will represent the 13th Region next week at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
For the seventh time in the last 10 seasons, the Corbin Redhounds are headed to the 13th Region finals, after their 56-48 win over the Bell County Bobcats in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Like It or Not
I hate to steal an idea, but I guess in the end that's what everyone seems to be doing these days. After reading Les Dixon’s list of what he thought were the top five upsets in recent memory of the 13th Region Tournament, I decided to rank my top five basketball movies in today's column. With that said, here goes.
Williamsburg sees Cinderella run come to an end
For the third straight year, the Clay County Tigers are playing for the 13th Region Championship and the opportunity to play in the Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena, after their 79-58 victory over the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
- 13th Region Tournament Schedule
Clay County, Bell County fall in semifinal round
Both Corbin and Harlan had to withstand battles during the 13th Region semifinals, but when all was said and done, they both won, punching tickets into the finals of the 13th Region Girls Tournament title game.
Pick Up Game
Six straight 50th District titles and a 10-game winning streak were not enough to place the Corbin Redhounds as the favorite heading into their matchup with the Jackson County Generals in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament.
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