Seth Kinker, the team's top pitcher, knows that no one can go to sleep on Midland now.
"It was a great effort by the team to get by [Hurricane],'' Kinker said, "No. 1 in the state and all that. We knew they were a good team [but] people don't really give us that much respect around the state. We're a good team, too, but people don't look at it that way.
"We get timely hits and our dugout's always up. We know what it takes to get by the good teams. We've done it the past  games on our win streak.''
Double-A aces deal
Both Hoover and Independence expect to pitch their aces in Thursday's AA opening-round game at about 7:15 p.m.
The Huskies figure to go to junior Tristan Fields (7-1, 1.84 ERA), and the Patriots will counter with Brian Sexton (6-3, 3.09).
"As of right now, that is [our choice],'' said Hoover coach Brian Young of using Fields, "unless something changes. You've got to go day by day on how he's feeling. One thing with us is we've got several kids we can throw out there if we have to.''
Indy actually has a pitcher with better numbers than Sexton. Jeremy McGinnis is 5-0 with a 1.03 ERA and averages more than a strikeout per inning with 46 K's in 34 innings (Sexton has 47 in 541/3).
"We'll most likely throw Sexton,'' Cuthbert said. "He's had to pitch our tough games throughout the year. Another thing is that Jeremy is our catcher when he doesn't pitch, and that affects our defense a whole lot.''
Catholic up in arms
Charleston Catholic coach Bill Mehle has his own decision to make on a starting pitcher for Friday's Class A semifinal against Valley.
The Irish have two senior pitchers capable of drawing that assignment — Andy Hoyer and Kiefer Hovorka.
Hoyer (9-1, 3.04) has pitched 592/3 innings this season, striking out 79 and walking just 10. Hovorka (6-4, 1.37) has drawn some of the team's tougher opponents this season, and also carries a fine 77-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 631/3 innings.
"That's going to be a Wednesday decision or maybe even a Thursday or Friday,'' Mehle said. "A lot of it comes down to who's healthy. We also have a lot of confidence in Rocco Wilcox and Connor Golden.''
Wilcox (4-1, 1.29) and Golden (9-1, 1.51) round out the Irish starting rotation.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.