Pull up a rocking chair, grab a big glass of lemonade — electric or otherwise — and kick back. It’s gonna be awhile before the local sports scene gets fired up again.
What’s left? Two high school baseball teams, a track meet and group of young men over at the Collegeboro poised to make a run at the College World Series.
That’s not to say they’ll be plenty of stories to follow over the summer, i.e., the mysterious NCAA investigation of the Georgia Southern basketball program (we haven’t forgotten), catching up with former local stars in their current endeavors and the many happenings over at Mill Creek. But as for chasing a championship, we’re nearing the finish line.
Well the Georgia Southern baseball team got back on track this weekend, putting Samford out of its misery with a three-game sweep.
That’s big news for a team that some may have thought peaked too early and was heading toward a late-season meltdown. Not to be.
With the three wins, the Eagles (35-14) are one step closer to finishing in second place in the Southern Conference. Elon has clinched the regular season title, but the 2-through-5 teams are separated by just 1.5 games in the standings.
If GSU, and I think they will, goes 4-0 this week — a win at Auburn today and a sweep of Wofford at J.I. this weekend — we can all but be assured the Eagles will receive a bid to the NCAA Regionals. That’s an exciting prospect. Even more exciting considering my 4-4 record could move above .500 with said prophecy.
So my challenge to you, oh faithful reader, is to head out to the ballpark this weekend and see this team one more time. They could be in store for some great things in a few weeks.
On another diamond, congrats to the GSU softball team for a gritty run to the SoCon championship game before losing to nemesis Chattanooga. At 29-25, it’s unlikely the Lady Eagles get an NCAA tourney bid, but that won’t stop us on recognizing the great season they just wrapped up.
Three teams entered, two remain.
We won’t sugarcoat it and say it wasn’t disappointing to see Statesboro knocked out in the first round of the GHSA state playoffs this past weekend. But this year things just didn’t work out for the Diamond Devils. They had a host of talented seniors and college prospects, but Harris County didn’t seem to care much.
Congrats to the Blue Devils on a fine season.
As for those who did make it through, Bulloch Academy and Screven County appear to be on a mission.
The Gators outscored Windsor Academy 36-0 this weekend in Macon to secure themselves a berth in the GISA Class AA Elite Eight. The road show continues as BA must now travel to the Heritage School in Newnan, Ga.
One thing’s for sure, Friday’s road trip for BA won’t be nearly as easy as the one to Macon was. Good luck to BA in its upset bid.
As for Screven County, SCHS put up 34 runs of their own in its sweep of Central this past weekend. The Gamecocks host Jeff Davis on Wednesday in a doubleheader for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight in GHSA Class AA. If you’re a baseball nut and need a reason to skip out of work early on Wednesday afternoon, I suggest you head to Sylvania.
Track and Field
One state championship meet down, one to go.
The prep boys completed their track and field season this past week. While no area teams brought home a state title, there were some impressive performances.
Cornelius Roberts of Screven County was the high-point winner in Class AA. Roberts won the long jump and triple jump, grabbed second place in the high jump and was a part of the third place 400-meter relay team. Congrats to Roberts and the Gamecocks, which finished third overall as a team.
Other notable performances included: Nic Lanier (second place, long jump, 23 feet,1⁄2 inch, Class AAAA); Khlid Smith (seventh place, 300m hurdles, 41.13, Class AAAA); Patrick Jenkins (fourth place, triple jump, 46-41⁄2, Class AAAA); Chris Bellamy (state title, shot put, 51-3, Class A); Tevin Roberts (third place, discus, 146-6, Class AA).
The girls’ state meet starts Thursday in Albany.