Kevin Price commentary: Spring sports season ramps up for local high schools

April 20, 2014 

The Smiths Station baseball team got the baseball postseason off to a solid start with a sweep of Lee-Montgomery on Saturday in the first round of the AHSAA Class 6A playoffs.

The Panthers had a slow start to the season with a new coach, but they have been on a roll over the last month.

Now, they get a chance for a little payback against Auburn High.

The two teams will start a best-of-three series at Auburn on Friday.

Auburn knocked Smiths Station out of the state playoffs last year. In addition, it swept the Panthers earlier this season.

Glenwood will begin play in the AISA Class AAA state playoffs at home on Thursday. The Gators had a first-round bye.

In Georgia, teams are still battling for region championships.

In 1-AAAAA, Hardaway (10-2) leads Harris County (9-2) by a half-game for the lead.

The teams play a doubleheader Monday at 5 p.m. at Golden Park.

Hardaway wins its second straight region title with a sweep over Harris County.

The Tigers would also clinch the No. 1 seed with a sweep of the Hawks. That would give Harris County a three-game sweep of the season series and the tiebreaker over the Hawks.

Northside is locked in as the No. 3 seed. Lee County has a 1.5-game lead over Thomas County Central for the final playoff berth. The Trojans can clinch the berth with a win over Bainbridge on Tuesday.

Meanwhile in Region 5-AAAA, Columbus and Carrollton are tied for first at 10-2. The Blue Devils play at Alexander on Monday and host Sandy Creek on Tuesday. Carrollton plays at Sandy Creek on Monday and at LaGrange Tuesday.

Columbus swept Carrollton during the season, so the Blue Devils can win the region and the No. 1 seed with two wins.

LaGrange, Troup and Alexander are tied for third in the region at 7-5. Only two of those teams will make the playoffs.

Jordan is in good shape for the final playoff berth in Region 5-AA. The Red Jackets are 8-5 while Manchester is 5-5. The two teams play each other in a doubleheader on Wednesday at Golden Park.

In Region 4-A, Brookstone is 8-1 and has a two-game lead over Schley County for first place. The Cougars play Marion County on Monday, then play Schley County on Thursday and Friday.

In Class A, only the region champions are guaranteed a playoff berth. But the Cougars are 12th in the private school power rankings, so barring a complete collapse this week, the Cougars are in good shape to make the postseason. But a region title would give them at least one playoff series at home.

Baseball is not the only sport headed into the postseason, however.

Ten local tennis teams are set to begin play this week. Both Columbus teams, both Brookstone teams and the Harris County boys will host matches. No dates and times have been announced.

The Central boys and Smiths Station girls will play in the AHSAA Class 6A state soccer tournament later in the week. Teams in Georgia begin play on April 29.

-- Kevin Price is the sports editor for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. You can write to him at kprice@ledger-enquirer.com.

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