I always try to do a ranking of the teams in Columbia County as the region baseball playoffs get underway. This year, Greenbrier has made selecting the top team easy.
The Pack raced through region play with a perfect 9-0 mark and seemed to get better and better as their younger players gained confidence. I cannot say enough about the job done by Jason Osborn and his staff. The kids are pitching and playing defense and their bats have really been better of late.
After the top spot there are some tough calls, but here is my ranking of the five GHSA schools in Columbia County.
1. Greenbrier (15-4, 9-0) The pack can pitch and play defense and Adam Sasser gives them a game changer at the plate Chris Michaels, Knox Marchman, Connor Hoover, can also swing the bat and they have plenty of post season experience.
2. Evans (13-8, 4-5) This was a close call. Lakeside beat Evans two out of three meetings, but Evans has a load of talent and a much better overall record. However, do not let the ranking fool you, it has been an very disappointing regular season for the Knights.
They have had to deal with a key injury to catcher Matt Anderson and have had some off field issues, but this team was the favorite to win the sub region and some they may challenge for a state crown. The evaluation may have been little inflated, but EHS has no business having a losing record in sub region play.
3. Lakeside (8-12, 4-5) I considered putting LHS at No. 2 but it is hard to ignore the fact that they have only won 40 percent of their games. They do pose a threat in the region tournament because they are capable of beating any team at any time.
4. Harlem (10-12, 6-1) The Bulldogs are not used to having a losing record, but six of their losses came vs. other Columbia County schools (AAAAA opponents). Harlem has posted some quality wins and have lost several tight games. They play in a weak region, but Harlem is still a post season threat.
5. Grovetown (8-11, 1-8) The Warriors are getting closer to competing with Greenbrier, Evans, and Lakeside. Like Harlem, they have lost several close games and were 7-3 in non-region play. They also have one of the best players in the county in Cameron Busby.
Some of the records may not look so good, but keep in mind the teams in Columbia County beat up on one another during the regular season, which means they are playing good competition, and are prepared for anything they see in the post season. A team has made it to the state championship series each of the last three years.
I’m not sure that will happen this spring, but I would not be surprised either. Greenbrier obviously has the best chance.