Editor's Note: This story was published prior to the CVN print deadline.
By PHIL PERRY
Coal Valley News
CHARLESTON - Scott High School had a hardball showdown with Frankfort Friday evening at Appalachian Power Park for a shot at the Class AA title game on Saturday.
Scott High baseball coach Brett Kuhn has said that he would throw his ace Carter Lyles in the semifinals since the Skyhawks wrapped up the region with a pair of wins over Point Pleasant after dropping the first game in the series to the Big Blacks.
"The way I see it, in the sectionals you have a little more wiggle room to gamble and we threw Peyton (Brown) in game one and Carter in the second game," he said. "I think when you get to the regional and state tournament, you have to throw your No. 1 guy in the first game."
Scott, the Cardinal Conference champions (28-7) plated 10 or more runs in 15 games this season, including 20 or more in four games.
Coming into the game with the Skyhawks, Frankfort (29-7) had allowed just nine runs in five postseason victories.
Kuhn is locked into the notion that tomorrow can't dictate what happens today.
"You can't worry about Saturday until you win on Thursday," he said. "We've told out team that one game, one inning, one pitch, one at-bat at a time. If you look toward Saturday, you're in trouble. I'll tell you this, Frankfort lost to Bridgeport 2-1 in eight innings. That is a quality team right there. You'd better respect them and prepare for them. This isn't a team that went 14-16 and got hot and snuck into the state tournament."
Kuhn spoke about the Falcons' No. 1 starter, Caleb Hare (11-1, 0.97 ERA), who he expected would start game one as well.
"He is tough and a very good athlete," Kuhn said. "He comes at you from a different angle (side arm) that makes him hard to pick up. He's a very, very good pitcher and we've been able to watch some film and research him a bit."
Zack Whitacre is another quality arm for coach Matt Miller's squad and considered their No. 2, according to Kuhn.
In the power rankings, the Skyhawks and Falcons have leapfrogged each other in the top three slots throughout the year.
For the sake of comparison, Scott fell to Bridgeport 10-7 on April 20.
With a Skyhawk win over the Falcons, Kuhn will face a tough decision in the title game. Peyton Brown (8-1, 1.83 ERA) threw a pair of stellar innings in a warm-up win over Hurricane on May 27, but Aaron Adkins (2.41 ERA) has proved a valuable chess piece in the post-season for Scott.
"We're laser focused on the task at hand," said Kuhn. "We aren't looking past anyone. We have work to do and we have a quality opponent in front of us in Frankfort."
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @philipdperry.