Four local area baseball teams will being their quests towards state championships today, with the start of the state baseball playoffs.
All teams will play a doubleheader today with the ‘If’ games being played the following day. All first round matchups are best two-out-of-three series.
Lowndes will host Hillgrove in the Class AAAAAA state playoffs, Berrien will host Putnam County in the Class AA state playoffs, Cook will visit Lamar County and Clinch County will host Treutlen in the Class A playoffs.
Rain could be a major factor in the first round. Heavy rain is projected to soak the South Georgia area, which could force the doubleheader games to Saturday and the “If” games to Monday. The Georgia High School Association prohibits teams from playing on Sunday.
The Class A-AAAAAA state playoffs begin this weekend, with the second round games being held May 8-9. The Class A semifinals will be held May 13-14 and the state championship games being held May 18-20. The Class AA-AAAAAA quarterfinals will be held May 14-15, semifinals May 20-21 and the state championship series being held May 25-27.
Here is a breakdown of the local playoff series set to begin today:
Hillgrove (14-12, 11-5 in Region 4) at Lowndes (17-8, 10-2 in Region 1)
When: Today; Doubleheader begins 4 p.m.; “If” game Saturday
Where: Noel George Field, Lowndes High
Outlook: Hillgrove was the No. 4 seed from Region 4, which features the likes of McEachern, Marietta and Harrison. The Hawks’ powerful pitcher is Chase Adkins, who threw a no-hitter against Kennesaw Mountain earlier this season. Hillgrove has lost two straight games entering this weekend, having lost to Harrison 9-6 and 10-5 in their final two regular season games.
Lowndes won Region 1, but hasn’t played in a week. The Vikings have won three of their last four games.
Local player to watch: Josh Day, catcher. Day leads Lowndes with a .382 average, an on-base percentage of .494 and has a team-high three home runs and 27 runs batted in. Day is committed to Georgia and is currently receiving other offers.
Coach Danny Redshaw’s thoughts: “They are not the typical four-seed. It is Cobb County baseball. They lost in the finals two years ago to Parkview. They got knocked out in the quarterfinals last year to Parkview, which won state. That tells you all you need to know about them. They are well coached. I am sitting here looking at the scouting report. They are pretty solid. They have good team speed, great pitching, swing the bats well. There are regions up there, the Cobb and Gwinnett (County) regions, their three and four seeds are usually as good as our No. 1 seed. It is going to be quite a challenge.”