The competition is heating up in the First Region, with baseball regional tournament play kicking off at McCracken County’s Edward Jones Field on Saturday, June 5.

Eight high school baseball teams will go head-to-head for the regional crown and a chance to represent the local region during the KHSAA state tournament semi-state round at Western Kentucky University.

In the first round of the tournament, Marshall County (13-10) will face Hickman County (19-10) to start the day off at 10 a.m. The two teams did not face each other in the regular season.

The second game of the day will be between tournament host McCracken County (29-5) and Mayfield (11-21) at 12:30 p.m.

“I think Mayfield is a good baseball team, and, Richard (Collins) does a good job with those guys,” McCracken County head coach Zach Hobbs said. “We’re going to prepare for it. I’m not sure on our pitching rotation yet, but we’re trying to make sure we put ourselves in a good position for Saturday.”

While the two teams did not meet in the regular season, Hobbs and his squad knows what it takes to continue in the postseason, taking it day-by-day, one game at a time.

“You know, we’re just trying to take one game at a time,” Hobbs said. “At this point of the year, you try to survive and get to the next day. We certainly are focused and ready for Mayfield, and if we’re fortunate enough to get by that game, whoever we have next.”

The third game of the day will be between Graves County (21-7) and St. Mary (17-8) at 3 p.m.

“Well, first of all, the biggest advantage is being in the opposite bracket of McCracken County,” St. Mary head coach Chris Haas said of his team’s draw. “Not to state the obvious, but you know, whenever you get to this time of year, there are no easy ballgames.”

In the two regular-season games between the Eagles and Vikings, the St. Mary bunch had Graves County’s number, defeating them 5-4 on March 29 and 7-4 on April 22.

“As far as our matchup with Graves County, we had two very competitive close ballgames that we’ve played against them. We came out on top of those two games,” Haas said. “But beating someone three times in a row is a big challenge, and Graves has proven through the year that they are a solid team and well-coached. They beat McCracken, and we certainly haven’t even come close to beating them.”

The fourth and final game of the day will be between Carlisle County (20-14) and Calloway County (16-16) at 5:30 p.m.

In the three regular-season games between the Comets and Lakers, Carlisle County took home two wins — 11-1 on April 23 and 2-0 on May 27. And on May 15, Calloway defeated Carlisle, 10-4.

The winner of each game will advance to the semifinals on June 7. The first game will start at 5 p.m., with the second game following at 7:30 p.m.

The championship game is scheduled for June 8 at 6 p.m.

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