The Hopkinsville Tigers didn't do what they wanted in their semi-state contest, but that doesn't revoke what they have done this year.

Head coach Blake Leach said following a 14-1 loss to a McCracken County, he wasn't happy with the result, but he can't help but be happy that his team got there to begin with.

"I'm proud of the fact that we got here and just the difference in last year to this year," Leach said. "How we played today hasn't been how we've played as of late. Maybe it's the fact of who we were playing or the fact it's the real state tournament, I don't know. We kind of went back on some things we've had to deal with. I don't know if everybody was ready to play. I don't know if they were scared or nervous or what.

"It is what it is. It was a successful year, we turned around a lot. Made it here when nobody gave us a shot to."

Leach is behind a remarkable turnaround with his young team, leading a team that went 9-22 a year prior to a 21-win season and a 2nd Region championship, Hoptown's first since 2015.

The 2019 and 2015 editions of the Hopkinsville baseball team are very different, with the latter featuring Easton McGee, who is currently in the Tampa Bay Rays system, along with others going on to play college baseball.

This season's edition of the Tigers doesn't have the high caliber talent, but it still managed to go just as far.

Hoptown put themselves in a position to be a team to beat for the coming years too, as only three seniors depart from the team, and seven of the nine positions return for 2020, setting Leach and his team up to make a run for the region for the next few years.

"We do have some good young talent here, but those seniors did a lot for us this year," he said. "I hate to lose them. They play hard. They were good players and did what we asked them to for the most part. We're going to have to fill those holes and we have guys that can do it. We'll get back to it in the fall ... I think the future is bright, but they've got to understand that hard work is how it happens, I think if they understand that we'll be in a good position."

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