BROOKLET — There’s nothing like playing in front of the home crowd, and the Yellow Jackets of Southeast Bulloch plan to take full advantage of the community support.
Today, SEB will face Jordan in a best-of-three series in the first round of the Class AAA baseball state playoffs and enjoy a little bit of home cooking.
“The biggest plus is we get to play at home. That’s important. As far as seeding and ranking, you can throw that out the window once the playoffs start,” SEB baseball coach Brandon Peterson said before his team’s practice Thursday afternoon. “It’s the playoffs and everybody is going to be ready to go.”
Coach Peterson said he couldn’t remember the last time the Yellow Jackets have been able to host a home state playoff game stating, “it’s been a while.”
SEB has a near perfect record at home, losing just two games on their own turf.
“It’s been a goal of ours to host so our guys are excited about that,” Peterson said.
The Yellow Jackets ended the year with an 11-5 loss to Pierce County in the region playoffs. In order to give his players a little bit of rest, coach Peterson had his players dress in gym shorts and t-shirts for a light Thursday-afternoon practice.
On Thursday, Peterson said he wanted his players loose with fresh legs before the double-header against Jordan today.
For SEB’s seniors, a series win means keeping state championship aspirations alive.
“Home-field advantage has a lot to do with it and is a big advantage in baseball, so I think we’ll be alright,” said Daniel Sanford, who’s hitting close to .370 for the season. “We’ve done good so far, and we’ve pitched well at times so we’re just going to try and come out and get a win.”
Sanford, who blasted a grand-slam in the first inning of a 14-2 win over Tattnall County in the region playoffs, said he’s going to try and continue his hot bat against Jordan.
“I’m going to try and swing the bat like I’ve been doing all season and continue to play good defense,” Sanford said. “I want to do what I can to help the team win.”
Peterson said he will start Bryce Harnage on the mound for Game 1 against Jordan. Harnage has been the ace for the Yellow Jackets all season. As far as the game two starter goes, Peterson said it depends on the situation.
“I honestly don’t know,” Peterson said, laughing. “It’s not like I don’t want to tell you, it’s just that we have different situations so I have no idea.”
First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. If the first two games are split, Game 3 will be played Saturday at 1 p.m.
Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.