DAMASCUS -- The Southwest Georgia Academy baseball team isn't going far for the GISA state playoffs, which begin Friday.
That's because the Warriors not only took care of buisness against Region 3-AA rival Windsor on Wednesday in a doubleheader sweep -- 10-9 in Game 1, and 10-5 in Game 2 -- but by doing so also earned the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and the right to host.
SGA will now host its first-round state playoff game in Damascus against Strong Rock Christian on Friday at 4 p.m.
"Yeah, buddy, it makes a big difference not having to travel," said SGA coach Tommy Manry, whose team had to beat Windsor two times in a row Wednesday to earn the right to host after Windsor won the two squads' first meeting. "We're glad to be at home."
Manry and the Warriors can primarily thank youngster Carson Ray for that.
Ray came on in relief in Game 1 and pitched the final four innings with his team behind, 9-8, then hit his first homer of the year to lift the Warriors to the win. Ray then had two hits in the nightcap and two RBI as the Warriors' Austin Boyd -- in just his second start of the season after most of the year playing catcher -- picked up the win on the mound.
The state champion five of the last eight years has come out of SGA's region.
And Manry hopes that's a good omen for his team.
"We're just glad to be in it and I think we have a shot," he said.
HORNETS REPEAT AT REGION TRACK MEET:
PELHAM -- The Pelham High Hornets have bullied the competition in track & field in the last decade, and nothing changed Wednesday when Pelham once again won the boys Region 1-A meet at home.
Pelham ran away from the field with 161 1/2 points, more than doubling second place Bacon County (80) and beating Terrell County and Lanier, which tied for third with 68 points. The top two in each event advanced to the state meet next week in Jefferson.
Pelham went 1-2 in the discus as Desmond Smith won the event (144-10) and Michael Cochran was second (134-4). Reuben Martinez won the pole vault and Lester Moore was second in the high jump and the 200. Pelham's Alexander Atkins won the 110 hurdles (15.46) and also won the 100-meter dash. Miller County's Shawdre Sheffield won the 200 (20.18) and Terrell County's Curtis Mallory was third.
--- Story by Brandon Gedeus/Special to The Herald