David  (Hazard) vs. Goliath (Trinity)

Hazard’s Garrett Miller rounds third base in the 14h Region Tournament. The Bulldogs will take on Trinity at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night at Whitaker Bank Park in Lexington.

What’s Hazard up against Thursday night in the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament quarterfinals?

Louisville Trinity.

Trinity is the state’s top ranked baseball team.

But Hazard has something that a lot of teams don’t — experience.

The Bulldogs have played at Whitaker Bank Park the past four seasons and five of the last six. And if you add in the two All “A” Classic state semifinal runs, that’s a lot of experience playing at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

Last season, the Bulldogs ran into St. X, the state’s No. 1 team and 2018 state champion in the state semifinals. The Bulldogs fell 3-0, but it was a close game. A late error took the sails out of the Bulldogs’ season.

“Some say this is a David vs. Goliath matchup,” Hazard coach John Meehan said. “We’ve been in this situation before. Last year, St. X was the No. 1 team and we played them on the same stage in the Final Four. These kids just see it as another opportunity to get one step closer to a state title. We’ve played on this stage the past four seasons and five of the last six and then you have to add two more All ‘A’ Classic semifinals in the mix. Our guys have something that a lot of people don’t and that is experience at this stage.”

St. X enters Thursday night’s game with a 37-2 record.

“We play with a lot of grit and guts,” Meehan said. “These kids have played in games where there is a lot at stake. We’re just going to practice and get ready for Thursday. It’s just another opportunity for these guys to play a game. We have a lot of experience. There’s only two teams still left playing who reached the Final Four last season, us and McCracken County. It may be a David and Goliath matchup, but we’re preparing to go down there and play as best we can.”

Tajon Campbell leads the Bulldogs in batting average. Campbell is hitting .421 at the plate. Dalton Baker is hitting .409 on the season. The Bulldogs have seven players hitting over .300.

Andy Baker leads Hazard on the mound with a 7-1 record with a 1.25 earned run average. He has struck out 47 batters this season. Bailey Blair follows with a 5-1 record.

Hazard and Trinity are scheduled to play at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

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