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Local teams gear up for second round of GHSA playoffs

By Doug Gorman

dgorman@news-daily.com

The dream started back in February when cold temperatures made the weather seem more appropriate for football than baseball.

Now, jump a head nearly three months, and for four local baseball teams who call the Southern Crescent home, thoughts of winning a state title are still alive and well.

For two of those teams, Henry County and Eagle's Landing Christian Academy, brining home the championship hardware is nothing new.

Henry County won a state title in 2005, and Eagle's Landing Christian followed it up the next season with its own state crown.

Both those squads are hoping for a repeat performance this year.

Luella and Mundy's Mill have already made plenty of history on the diamond this season, but it's not over just yet for two schools who hope to win state titles in the Class AAAAA bracket for the first time in their schools' short histories.

Henry County is the only team with a home field advantage heading into Wednesday's second round.

The Warhawks take on South Effingham in McDonough.

Henry County advanced to Wednesday's second-round doubleheader with a sweep of Northside-Columbus Friday.

The Warhawks won the first game 24-14 and the night cap 9-6.

Jamel Mann and Alex Glenn each had five RBIs in the first game.

South Effingham made its reservations to McDonough with a 11-7 and 15-6 sweep over Westover.

The first pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Mundy's Mill (21-5) has been ranked in the Class AAAAA coaches' poll for most of the season.

Until this year, the Tigers, who are ranked seventh, had never been mentioned among the state's best baseball teams.

In the first round of the playoffs, Mundy's Mill took on Henry County foe Union Grove and won the series in a three-game shootout.

After splitting the two games on Friday, Mundy's Mill came back and beat the Wolverines on Saturday, 4-2.

Miguel Starks pitched a complete game for the Tigers, finishing out the series with 11 strikeouts to send his teeam to the second round.

Luella won a playoff series for the first time in school history. The Lions knocked off Hiram 12-8 and 6-4 in Friday's series.

Shaun Ulrich had the hot hand in game one for the Lions, driving in five runs.

They now hit the road for a game at Valdosta (16-4) in the second round.

Valdosta is ranked fifth in the Class AAAAA poll.

The Wildcats beat Bradwell Institute 10-2 and 17-0 in the first round.

Eagle's Landing Christian heads into the second round trying to keep its good fortune in the playoffs alive.

The Chargers came up short in their quest to win back-to-back titles last season when they lost to Calvary Day in Savannah during the finals, but the squad has made it to the Final Four three straight years.

Unlike in previous seasons, ELCA is playing the first two rounds of the Class A playoffs on the road.

Last week, ELCA knocked Georgia Military out of the playoffs for the second-straight year with a 7-2 and 4-1 sweep in Miledgeville.

Jake Davies and Brian Moss led the way from the mound for ELCA.

Wednesday, they travel to Jefferson (20-4) what could be their biggest early playoff test in year

Jefferson, which is ranked third in the Class A coaches' poll, outscored first-round opponent Trion 28-0 en route to its sweep.