Worth County first baseman Cole Melton fields the throw to force out Monroe’s Cornelius Jenkins during a game earlier this season. The Rams earned the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AAAA and will open the Class AAAA state tournament this weekend against Statesboro. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
The first round of the Georgia High School Association state baseball playoffs begin this weekend, and for Lee County coach Brandon Brock they couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Trojans enter the postseason with an 8-17 record and a fourth seed from Region 1-AAAAA. But Lee County is as confident entering today’s doubleheader against Region 3-AAAAA champion Ware County as it was when the season began nearly three months ago.
“I’ve been telling our guys that if you can make it to the playoffs, the record during the regular season is meaningless,” first-year head coach Brock said.
“There is a difference sometimes between the one and four seeds. But that is the great thing about the playoffs … everybody is 0-0.”
Lee County is one of six Southwest Georgia teams competing in the first round, which was scheduled to begin today around the state. Heavy rain, however, has forced many sites to postpone today’s openers, including Region 1-AAAA No. 2 seed Worth County, which will begin its series at home against Statesboro at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Today in Class AAAA, Westover visits Region 3-AAAA champion Wayne County, and Region 1-AAAA champion Crisp County hosts South Effingham.
In Class A, Region 1-A champion Miller County plays host to Claxton, while Baconton Charter heads to Alamo to meet Wheeler County.
Lee County begins its doubleheader series with Ware County at 4 p.m.
Worth County will play its first home series since the Rams won the Region 1-AAAA title in 2010. Worth finished its season strong last Friday when it defeated Crisp County. Rams coach Will Smith hopes his team can continue its momentum.
“The guys are excited,” said Smith, whose team finished 19-7. “But the thing I like most about them right now is that they are calm. They understand that if they go out and do what they’re supposed to do, we maybe can sneak up and get somebody.”
Worth County begins its doubleheader with Statesboro at 4 p.m.
Westover, which earned the No. 4 seed, will try and slow down a Wayne County team that features standout pitchers Sid Royal and J.D. Paul. Royal has been dominant this season.
Crisp County will entertain a young South Effingham team that could be dangerous. They will play two games today beginning at 4 p.m.
Meanwhile in Class A, Miller County is playing its best baseball of the season at the right time. The Pirates are led offensively by junior infielder Cole Vann, who is batting .500 with six homers and 30 RBIs.Their doubleheader series begins at 4 p.m.
Baconton Charter, which boasts one of the region’s top performers in catcher/first-baseman Zack Jones, will tackle a Wheeler County team that is led by talented catcher Bryce Rogers and pitcher/shortstop Austin Oliver. Their doubleheader begins at 3 p.m.