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Four local athletes with deep Campbellsville/Taylor County roots have been in the news this spring on the baseball scene.
Sham Gabehart, who played for and was an assistant coach at Campbellsville, was an assistant and hitting instructor on the staff at Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge, La.
The 34-5 Eagles, seeded No. 2, won their 10th state title for head coach M.L. Woodruff. Parkview Baptist had won five straight titles before being dethroned in 2007 by eventual champion Iowa.
Gabehart is the middle school athletic director and also teaches P.E. and Bible. He also is the eighth-grade football coach and his last two teams have gone 13-2.
Gabehart's Eagles hit .404 this season and outscored their opponents 69-7 in post-season play.
Parkview returns seven starters for the 2009 season, one of which has already committed to play for hometown LSU.
Rick McCarty, another former Campbellsville Eagle and a 2003 graduate of Murray State University, just completed his third full season and fifth overall as the pitching coach at Delta State (Miss.) University.
The Statesmen enjoyed another stellar season at 48-11 but were eliminated by Ouchita Baptist in the NCAA South Central Region Tournament championship game. That loss denied Delta State another trip to the NCAA Division II College World Series.
Joe Dunlap, a Taylor County High School graduate, earned Pitcher of the Week Honors in the Gulf South Conference while playing for the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
With two contests on the line, Dunlap, a redshirt freshman, came in out of the Charger bullpen and pitched nearly flawless baseball to run his season record to 6-1 with a pair of wins. The Campbellsville native first silenced Miles College in Birmingham. The Golden Bears had scored five runs in five innings until Dunlap took to the hill and worked two and two-thirds innings without allowing a base runner while fanning a pair.
In his first 18 appearances, Dunlap had 31 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched.
Zack Cox, who played as an eighth-grader at Campbellsville and a freshman at Taylor County, is leading Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park to a potential state championship.
The Panthers won the Sixth Region Tournament last week with Cox being the winning pitcher. PRP started a best-of-three semi-state series with Anderson County yesterday for a berth in next week's State Tournament.
Cox, who is rated in the top 25 of The Sporting News top 50 list of high school baseball players, is expected to be drafted today in the Major League Draft.
Cox, a third-baseman/pitcher has signed a national letter-of-intent with the University of Arkansas.
Taylor County in King of the Bluegrass field
Taylor County High School, led by seniors Chase Cox and Leonard Macon, have been selected to play in the prestigious Canfield Development King of the Bluegrass Classic Dec. 18-23 at Fairdale High School.
Coach Troy Young's Cardinals will be joined by Madisonville, Bullitt East, Bardstown, Anderson County, Lexington Catholic, Jefferson County teams Male, Fairdale, Pleasure Ridge Park, Jeffersontown and Manual and out-of-state teams Seattle (Wash.) Franklin, Canton (Ga.) Cherokee, Franklin (Tenn.), Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey and Miami (Fla.) Coral Reef.
U of L point-guard commitment Peyton Siva plays for Seattle Franklin while UK-bound Jon Hood plays for Madisonville.
Pairings will be announced at a later date.
High school football scuttlebutt
Although there's been no official announcement, look for Taylor County and Adair County to renew their rivalry on the football field.
The Cardinals and Indians hope to begin the 2009 and 2010 seasons with a home-and-home series.
Also, beginning in 2009, Kentucky high schools will have 10 weeks to play 10 games (no bye week) unless