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McCracken County vs. Pleasure Ridge Park Predictions/Updates (State Championship)

KHSAA Baseball State Championship   

7 members have voted

  1. 1. The 2024 State Champion will be...

    • McCracken County
    • Pleasure Ridge Park

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  • Poll closed on 06/15/2024 at 07:30 PM

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In A Battle Of Top 5 Teams, Mustangs Chasing Title #1, Panthers Prowling For #7 

Wins/Losses: McCracken County (34-9) | Pleasure Ridge Park (39-3)

PBR Ranking: McCracken County (#3) | Pleasure Ridge Park (#5)

Gametime: 3:30pm on Saturday (6/15) at Kentucky Proud Park 

A decade of regional dominance has failed to translate to the state tournament for McCracken County. The Mustangs have stood at the doorstep twice before, only to be turned away in finals losses to Tates Creek (2019) and Trinity (2021). If they're asked for the password this time, the name Miller Green may do the trick. Mr. Baseball is staring at immortality, already having pocketed the state's highest individual honor and the team prize within reach. 

Before PRP became a brand name program, they walked a mile or two in McCracken's shoes. The Panthers struck out on three finals appearances before the flood gates opened. A three-peat of championships from '94-'96 made PRP the center of the baseball universe. The pace slacked off some, but the Panthers have displayed staying power, adding three more ships in the years since. A win on Saturday would give Pleasure Ridge Park sole possession of second place - behind Saint Xavier - for all-time state baseball championships.

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McCracken County

Runs scored: 300 (7 per game)

Team ERA: 1.41 (#2 in the state)

Mustang pitchers lead the state with 388 strikeouts.

Players to watch

Miller Green (INF/P): .434 avg | 33 RBIs | Not eligible to pitch after exceeding the pitch count versus Owensboro Catholic 

Caleb Ehling (P/1B): .339 avg | 51.2 innings pitched | 1.22 ERA 

Alex Calhoun (P): 42 innings pitched | 0.67 ERA 

Eli James (INF): .362 avg | 28 RBIs 

Kendrick Dunning (C/INF): .348 avg | 24 RBIs 



Pleasure Ridge Park

Runs scored: 379 (9 per game/#4 in the state)

Team ERA: 2.02

The Panthers have stolen 171 bases at a success rate of 93%.

Players to watch

Brayden Bruner (OF/P): .388 avg | 46 RBIs | 35/36 stolen bases

Kobie Howard (INF/P): .434 avg | 33 RBIs 

Hank Burns (C): .359 avg | 37 RBIs 

Tanor Fentress (P/INF/OF): 38 innings pitched | 1.47 ERA | .382 avg

Grayson Roll (P/INF): 41.1 innings pitched | 2.37 ERA | .308 avg 

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It's hard to pick a winner between two great baseball teams that will throw everything at each other in a winner-take-all scenario. 

I'll go with McCracken, for no other reason than I'd like to see them get the proverbial monkey off their back.

So much depends on who's pitching. I'm going to take a stab at predicting we'll see Ehling start for McCracken with coach Hobbs ready with a quick hook in favor of Calhoun if Ehling struggles early. See what Ehling can give you, for as long as he can give it, before transitioning to Calhoun, who is strictly a pitcher. Ehling doubles as McCracken's first basemen and one of their best hitters.

Or you could flip that logic and send Calhoun out first, knowing you've got Ehling tucked away for later. Either way, those are the two arms I expect to see for the Mustangs today. 

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McCracken County Line-up
1. Caleb Ehling - P
2. Scout Moffatt - SS
3. Miller Green - 3B
4. Eli James - 1B
5. Kendrick Dunning - 2B
6. Weston Miller - C
7. Jude Farley - CF
8. Casey Hawes - DH
9. Caden Kern - RF
10. Gage Duran - LF

PRP Line-up
1. Kobie Howard - SS
2. Hank Burns - C
3. Brayden Bruner - CF
4. Logan Strong - LF
5. Cooper Burkhardt - 1B
6. Kaleb Settle - 3B
7. Grayson Roll - P
8. Asiuos Kavich - DH
9. Gevar Harris - RF
10. Joey Dudeck - 2B


Pitching Matchup

Caleb Ehling (MC) vs. Grayson Roll (PRP)

They're both right handed pitchers.

Ehling: 8-1/51.2 innings pitched/1.22 ERA 

Roll: 5-0/41.1 innings pitched/2.37 ERA 

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Bottom of the 1st

Howard singles to get PRP's lead-off man on.

Two on now for PRP, as Burns reaches on a fielder's choice.

Still no outs.

Bruner grounds out, but the runners advance. 

An error on Moffatt allows Howard to score.

1-0, PRP

Runners at 1st and 2nd with one out.

Burkhardt grounds out, runners advance to 2nd and 3rd. Two outs.

Settle flies out to end the inning. 

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James singles to lead off the 2nd for the Mustangs. 

Dunning strikes out.

Miller singles. Runners now at 1st and 2nd. Still one out.

Farley fouls out down the 1B line. James advances to 3rd. Two out.

Miller steals second.

Hawes gets plunked. Bases are loaded with two outs.

No harm done, as Roll induces a ground out by Kern.

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For the second time today, Howard reaches with a lead-off single.

A sacrifice bunt from Burns moves Howard to 2nd. One out.

Bruner singles in Howard to right field. Howard's scored both runs for the Panthers. 

2-0, PRP. 

McCracken turns a double play to end the inning. 

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