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Gamecocks brace for first round of state

            SYLVANIA — For baseball teams throughout the state, it’s time to get down to business.

            One area team starting its postseason journey is Screven County, which hosts Jeff Davis for a doubleheader tonight in the first round of the GHSA state playoffs.

            As the No. 2 seed out of Region 3-AA, the Gamecocks (16-9, 8-1) have been playing solid ball all season.

            Screven breezed through the regular season schedule of its region, but stumbled in a 10-0 loss to Toombs County last week that cost it a second consecutive region title and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

            “Our boys took it hard,” said Screven coach Billy Pollock. “This isn’t the time to dwell on losses though. We were beaten by a very good team, but now we have to move on and look forward to the next game.”

            From here on out, all of those games will be important as each round of the state playoffs is a best-of-three series.

            First up for the Gamecocks is No. 3 seeded Jeff Davis.

            It has been an up-and-down season for the Yellow Jackets (16-10, 12-4 Region 2-AA). Jeff Davis hasn’t won or loss more than three consecutive games all season, but has been playing some of its best baseball down the stretch, closing out with four victories in its last five games.

            The Jackets will be no strangers to Screven County.

            Last year, the Gamecocks stormed through the opening round of state, only to be swept out of the second round by Jeff Davis.

            “We still have all of our notes on them,” said Pollock. “We think we have a good idea of what to expect. It’s important not to approach this series with revenge on our minds. This is a different team, and we just need to take care of this season’s business.”

            To counter the Jackets’ strong arms, Screven will send out a batting order that is both deep and powerful.

            “We’ve been going back to fundamentals this week,” said Pollock. “The most important thing for us is to hit the ball, move runners over, and take advantage of any opportunities we may get with runners in scoring position. We’ve got a very experienced team, and that means a lot this time of year. We just need to execute and we should be alright.”

            Game one of today’s doubleheader will begin at 4 p.m. with the second game following 30 minutes after. If the teams split, a decisive third game will be played — also in Sylvania — at 3 p.m. Saturday.


            Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.