Ola coach Ryan Parejko will lead his team against Warner Robins in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs, which begin on Friday. The Mustangs, the Region 3-AAAA champions, will get to host the best-of-three series.
By Derrick Mahone
Lovejoy coach Craig Chatman realizes that not many people will give his team much of a chance in the Wildcats' first round Class AAAA playoff game at Wayne County.
The top-ranked Yellow Jackets are undefeated with a 24-0 record and the Region 2-AAAA champions. Wayne County is ranked No. 6 in the nation in the latest Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association poll.
"We know people are not giving us much of a chance down there," Chatman said. "If this was Vegas, we would be the longest odds. But this isn't Vegas, it's high school baseball."
Chatman is confident that his team will not be intimidated taking on of the top teams in the country when the playoffs open on Friday.
"It will be a lot of fun for us," he said.
In all, seven teams from the Southern Crescent made the postseason, including Mundy's Mill and Ola, which enter the playoffs as top seeds after winning their respective regions. Mundy's Mill, which only lost to two teams from the state, is the Region 4-AAAA champion while Ola won Region 3-AAAA. The last two seasons, the Mustangs won the Region 4-AAAA titles before being reclassified into Region 3-AAAA.
"It is the goal of our teams every year to win the region and host a playoff game," Ola coach Ryan Parejko said. "It is always nice to play at home."
Mundy's Mill will be making its first playoff appearance since the 2008 season when it reached the second round. The Tigers have been ranked the majority of the season. Its only in-state losses have come against Redan and Jonesboro, which finished the regular season as the Region 4-AAAA runner-up.
"It is a real exciting part of the season," Mundy's Mill coach Patrick Smith said. "It is a good feeling being the No. 1 seed and getting to host a playoff game. We have been a pretty balanced team all season."
Despite the odds, Lovejoy is still excited about making the postseason for the first time since the 2000 season.
Going into its regular season final game against Creekside Friday, Lovejoy had already clinched a playoff spot. The Wildcats were just playing for seeding.
Unfortunately, Creekside got a game-winning RBI from senior Justin Brown to clinch third place in the region with a 14-13 win.
With the loss, Lovejoy has to make the four-hour trek to Jesup to take on top-ranked Wayne County in a best-of-three series starting Friday.
"Our kids have fought hard all season," Chatman said. "We have been down before, but this group always find a way to fight back."
All games start Friday
South Cobb at Luella
Lovejoy at Wayne County
Greenbrier at Jonesboro
Effingham County at
Warner Robins at Ola
West Laurens at Locust Grove
Eagle's Landing Christian at