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Yellow Jackets in search of state playoff berth

    Just two wins separate Southeast Bulloch’s baseball team from the state playoffs as they face Tattnall County in a Region 1-AAA playoff  doubleheader today.
    The Yellow Jackets (13-5, 11-5) are the hottest team in Bulloch County and finished the year winning 12 of their last 13 games in the regular season.
    Now the Jackets, the No.1 seed in the sub-region, will take on the Warriors who are currently riding a four-game win streak.
    “We’ve talked about how the stakes are higher because it’s win or go home. So we’re trying to play good, situational baseball,” SEB head coach Brandon Peterson said. “It’s really a mental game at this point. You have to be able to play focused, but not play tight.”
    Due to scheduling, the Yellow Jackets have worked hard to maintain focus during practices leading up to the opening round of region playoffs. With school closed because of spring break and inclement weather, coach Peterson said it’s been difficult to get a regular practice.
    “We’ve had some challenges,” Peterson said Friday afternoon. “We’ve had some weather challenges too, but so have other teams. We have to make adjustments.”
    SEB and Tattnall County are no strangers to competing against one another. The Yellow Jackets edged the Warriors on April 6 in a 7-6 victory. After two inning both teams were tied at 6-6. A lone run in the fourth inning would be all SEB needed to clinch the win.
    “It doesn’t hurt us (mentally) that we beat them. Our guys made plays and our guys made pitches. We’re pretty familiar them. Our kids and their kids play on summer league teams together,” Peterson said. “I don’t think that helps us too much.
“Our goal each time we go out there is to be 1-0. We have no control over the past and no control over the future. We just try to play fundamentally sound baseball. We don’t want to play to not make mistakes.”
    As of Friday, Peterson was hush-hush about who will be the game two starter for the Yellow Jackets. The SEB coach confirmed Bryce Harnage will get the call on the mound in game one, but would not name the game two starter.
    “It’s all going to be situational. We have a few different situations we’ve talked through and right now it’s all about those guys executing,” Peterson said.  
    Peterson said his leadoff hitter Blake Carter, along with Daniel Sanford and Harnage have hit the ball well as of late. However, he mentioned it would take a team effort to move on to the next round.
    Weather permitting, today’s game is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.

    Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.