Scott Gillon

Barren County High School baseball coach Scott Gillon.

Barren County’s spectacular baseball season continues tonight when the Trojans take on Christian County in the semi-state round of the state baseball playoffs.

The Trojans and Colonels square off at Henderson County High School in the best 2-of-3 series with the winner moving on to the state tournament, which begins June 12 in Lexington. The semi-state games are set for tonight and Thursday, and if necessary, Friday. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. each night.

Christian (25-11) enters as the 8th District and 2nd Region champions. The Colonels defeated homestanding Henderson County, 4-1, to win the regional title last Friday.

“They’ve got two or three really good arms,” Barren coach Scott Gillon said. “Tyler Gilliland throws in the mid-80’s. Then they’ve got Cole Isom, a left-hander, that throws in the high 70’s. He’s a pretty good pitcher.

“They’re a good hitting team as well. So it will be a pretty good test for us.”

Gilliland, a senior, has signed to play at Western Kentucky University. Isom, a southpaw, is just a sophomore.

While this is Barren’s first-ever trip past the regional tournament, Christian is no stranger to going deep into post season play. The Colonels went to the state tournament three straight years, from 2004-06. They won the state championship in 2004. This is the Colonels’ fourth trip in five years to the semi-state round.

The Trojans (27-10) won the 15th District and 4th Region to get to tonight’s game. Barren topped Bowling Green 1-0 on Memorial Day, before rain and graduations forced the team to play both the semifinals and finals on Saturday. The Trojans routed Cumberland County, 10-2, in the semifinal before beating Greenwood, 8-6, in the regional final.

Gillon said that the game’s fundamentals were key for the Trojans to come out on top.

“It’s the same thing that it always is, really,” Gillon said. “If we get good pitching and play good defense, if we get those things, we’ll have a pretty good shot at it.”

While the Trojans advance to another round, the format changes. The semi-state is a best 2-of-3 series, while the district and regional tournaments were single elimination brackets.

“You have to look at match ups,” Gillon said. “You have to look and see who’s pitching where. It’s all about match ups.

“But that being said, I don’t really see this being any different than the regional tournament.”

Barren and Christian last faced each other in 2007 at Barren County. The Colonels won that game, 15-4, in six innings.

The two schools played a pair of common opponents this season in Franklin-Simpson and Warren East. Christian won 6-1 at Franklin-Simpson on March 25 and picked up an 8-2 home win over East on May 3.

Barren was 1-2 against the two schools. The Trojans dropped a 3-2 decision in eight innings to East in the first day of the Franklin-Simpson Wood Bat Tournament on May 9. Barren committed eight errors in the game which led to three unearned runs for the Raiders. The Trojans then topped the host Wildcats 6-4 on May 10 in the second day of the tournament. Barren dropped its final regular season game at Franklin-Simpson with a 6-5 loss on May 16. The Trojans have won five straight games entering tonight’s contest.

“The thing I keep saying is that with a senior team, there’s not a lot that we haven’t seen or experienced,” Gillon said. “We’re a pretty confident group going in. Now you never know what may happen once you get up there, but we’re pretty confident heading into it.”

How they got there

Barren County (27-10) Christian County (25-11)

15th District 8th District

BC def. Glasgow 4-0 CC def. University Heights 12-4

BC def. AC- 6-2 CC def. Hopkinsville 2-1

4th Region 2nd Region

BC def. BG 1-0 CC def. Union County 7-3

BC def. Cumb. Co. 10-2 CC def. M’ville-N. Hopkins 4-0

BC def. Greenwood 9-6 CC def. Henderson Co. 8-6


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