By Jeffery Armstrong
Eagle's Landing head baseball coach Blake Lyons likes to say his Golden Eagles are just 18 guys who go to work and do their jobs.
Work has been slow for the Eagles this week due to all the rain that's blanketed the Southern Crescent and the fact that graduation ceremonies and final exams were scheduled this week. Despite the layoff, Lyons said the team is faring pretty well.
"We are really relaxed right now," he said. "Even with the rain, our guys are extremely focused."
Skies should be clear today for the Region 2-AAAAA co-champs as they make the trip back to Fayette County High to face the Tigers in game 2 of the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. If necessary, game 3 will be played shortly after the first game ends.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series Wednesday, defeating Fayette County 7-2 during steady rainfall.
The Eagles have had four complete games from their starting pitchers and offensively, several players have stepped up with clutch hits. Defensively, they have been just as sharp the infielders have turned several double plays and any errors they've committed haven't hurt them too badly.
"We're executing well and it's not always the same guys. I always believe that somebody will do something to make a play," said Lyons. "Our RBI guys are getting RBIs and our pitchers are getting outs."
While hot Eagles hitters Matt Glass and Luke Murton are getting their hits and scoring runs, catcher Nick Allen has been quietly putting together a decent playoff run.
Allen, the team's leadoff hitter, drove in the game-winning runs in game 1 against Coffee County and in Wednesday's game against Fayette. He's batting .333 for the playoffs (4-for-12) with two runs scored and three RBIs.
He also has a good rapport with pitchers Nathan Christenson, Michael Sanders and Adam Fine; Allen credits them with the team's good playoff run.
"The pitchers have been carrying us all year, especially in the playoffs," said Allen. "The three of them are as good as anyone's staff. We're lucky to have three pitchers that are really good."
Sanders will probably get the nod for game 2; Fine will probably start game 3, if it's necessary. The winner of this series will face the winner of South Gwinnett and Roswell in the state AAAAA quarterfinals Wednesday, May 28.