1. Can the Jaguars repeat? After winning the Class 6A title last season, Blue Valley West returned all its starters. The Jaguars battled some injuries during the year, but enter the state tournament with an 18-4 record and the No. 3 seed. The Jaguars will play Eastern Kansas League foe Blue Valley, 15-7, at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence.
2. KC-area matchups. In addition to the Blue Valley and Blue Valley West matchup in Class 6A, De Soto and Tonganoxie will add a little local flair to the Class 4A Division I state tournament with a 6:30 p.m. game on Thursday at Dean Evans Stadium in Salina. De Soto is the No. 3 seed with a 17-4 record. Tonganoxie is seeded sixth with a 15-7 record.
3. Lancers are Sunflower’s hope. Shawnee Mission East might have finished third in the Sunflower League this season, but the Lancers were the conference’s only team to make it to the Class 6A state tournament. The Lancers are the fourth seed with a 17-5 record and will face Maize, 16-6, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence.
4. Right-hander leads St. Thomas Aquinas. Behind sophomore right-hander Riley Pint, who won every Eastern Kansas League game and has an 8-0 record, St. Thomas Aquinas enters the Class 5A state tournament as the No. 4 seed with an 18-4 record. The Saints will face Shawnee Heights, 16-6, at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan.
5. Perfect game propels Timberwolves. Miller Hogan tossed a perfect game against Washington and then Blue Valley Southwest defeated Turner to advance to the Class 5A state tournament. The Timberwolves, 15-7, are the No. 6 seed and will face Eisenhower, 19-3, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Tointon Family Stadium.
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