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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Tuesday Highlands Round-Up: Boys Tennis Doubles Team to Play for Region Crown

Baseball Defeats Cooper

Contributed Photo. Highlands senior Peter Laskey made it to the state tournament driving to the 9th Region semifinals at Covington Catholic.

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The Highlands Bluebirds boys tennis team qualified has qualified one singles player and a doubles team for the state tournament so far in the 9th Region Tournament.

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The top-seeded Highlands doubles team of freshmen Eli Back and Eli Hornsby will take on Covington Catholic's Ryan Bosh and Andrew Kennedy in the region championship at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The semifinalists qualify for state at the University of Kentucky June 1-3.

Back and Hornsby beat third-seeded Kalei Christensen and Alex Yeager 6-4, 6-7 (7), 1 (3) to make it to the title game. In the quarterfinals, they beat a team from Ryle, 6-3, 6-1 and a team from Beechwood, 6-1, 6-1 in the second round to make it to the semifinals.

The second doubles team of seniors Matthew Erickson and Joss Finseth beat a team from Newport Central Catholic, 6-0, 6-0 in the second round, but could not get past second-seeded Villa Madonna's Joey Case and Matthew Marlette in the quarterfinals losing 6-4, 4-6, 1 (4).

Highlands senior Peter Laskey made it to state in singles. He took out an opponent from Conner, 6-0, 6-0 in the second round before beating an opponent from Dixie Heights by the same score in the quarterfinals. Laskey lost to the top seed in the tournament in Covington Catholic freshman Brady Hussey, 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals.

Sophomore John Laskey won his second-round match over a Holy Cross opponent, 6-2, 6-4. But the third-seeded Jackson Poulos of Covington Catholic beat him 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Highlands can not win the team crown with 11 points. Covington Catholic has clinched that with 13 points.

The Highlands girls continue the 9th Region Tournament on Wednesday. Junior Honor Valentine and Oliva Hoffmann play in the singles quarterfinals at 5 p.m.

Highlands 5, Cooper 1:

The Bluebirds (17-13 overall) won their fourth in a row at Highland Park against the struggling Jaguars (6-23).

"I wouldn't say it was pretty. But we made enough plays, made enough pitches and had enough hits," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "But it's still a win. You'll take it when you're playing 9th Region teams. When you're getting guys out there and giving them opportunities, you'll take a win whenever you can get it."

Senior Jake Gulley (3-1) pitched into the fifth inning before senior Dom Robinson finished it. Gulley struck out eight, walked four and allowed two hits and one unearned run. Robinson struck out two and allowed two hits.

"Our streaks have mainly come down to pitching," Gulley said. "You can tell when our pitchers throw strikes, our offense likes to respond to that, same with our defense. When we put that together, we're beating good teams."

Highlands made one error and left eight on base. Cooper left seven on base and made no errors.

The Bluebirds batted .217 (5-for-23) in the win. Gulley went 2-for-2 with senior Owen Carris going 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and a run scored. Senior Jason Noe scored twice.

Highlands plays host to Conner on Thursday. Game time is 5 p.m.

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