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ELCA hits the blacktop for a playoff opener at Georgia Military

By Doug Gorman

dgorman@news-daily.com

The Eagle's Landing Christian Academy baseball team is headed to the playoffs.

There's nothing new about that. The Chargers won the Class A state title two years ago, and advanced all the way to the championship series last year before getting eliminated by Calvary Day.

Eagle's Landing Christian (19-5) opens the first round of the 2008 tournament on the road against Georgia Military (15-6-1) in Miledgeville.

It's the first time in three years, ELCA has started the playoffs on the road, but not the first time they have faced the school from Milledgeville in the postseason.

"It will be very different," ELCA coach Doug Campbell said. "You get a little different focus when you start out on the road."

The Chargers have knocked Georgia Military out of the Class A tournament the last two years en route to their trip to the Class A championship series.

ELCA could have a huge pitching advantage against Georgia Military.

Georgia Tech signee Jake Davis takes the mound in the first game, and Brian Moss gets the ball in the nightcap.

Matt Barlow is scheduled to start if a third game is needed.

Despite going 19-5 overall, ELCA settled for third place in the Region 5-A standings to send them on the road for the first time in three years to open the playoffs.

Landmark won the league title with a 15-1 region record, and Providence finished second with a 14-2 mark.

Despite finishing in third place, ELCA split its series against Landmark, handing the War Eagles their only league loss of the year.

They lost to Providence in a pair of one-run games each time they faced the Stars.

In the loss to Landmark, Campbell feels like his team could have won the game.

"When we lost to Landmark, that was the game we probably hit the best," he said.

"We have really hit the ball harder than we have all year. Then we play a team like Providence and we have excellent pitching, and our defensive failed us in the last inning."

ELCA has tuned up for the playoffs playing competition from around Henry County.

They knocked off Class AAAAA opponent Union Grove, and also defeated Class AAAA foe Dutchtown and Class AAA rivalry Henry County.

All three of those teams made it to the playoffs.

"It says a lot about the county, there is great baseball here and that can only help us," Campbell said.