Region titles are great, but the goal each year for Columbia County baseball teams is a state championship. That said, you have to win region playoff games before a state crown is possible.
Harlem, Evans and Greenbrier each earned two-game sweeps as the opened the postseason last week, and in doing so, locked up spots in the state playoffs.
Harlem improved to 17-6 on the season with a pair of easy wins over Hephzibah. The Bulldogs took the first game 11-0 win, and followed that up with a 14-4 lopsided victory in Game 2.
The 25 runs in the two-game sweep should be no surprise. Harlem has scored 64 runs in its past five games against Class AAA teams, and outscored the opposition in those contests 64-5.
With the sweep, Harlem locks up a spot in the state playoffs. Now the Bulldogs will be playing for state tournament seeding and a region crown. The Bulldogs squared off with Cross Creek in the second round of the region playoffs.
With a win, the Bulldogs will earn the right to be at home for the first round of the Class state AAA tournament.
Evans also swept past their opponent in the opening round of the region playoffs. While Harlem broke out the lumber in their victories, Evans did it with pitching and defense.
Evans swept Richmond Hill, limiting the Wildcats to just a pair of runs in the two games.
The Knights easily won the first game 7-1, then held on for a 3-1 victory in Game 2.
Evans now stands at 13-9 on the season
Greenbrier, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA, improved to 20-2 with a pair of easy wins.
The Wolfpack blanked Brunswick 8-0 in the first game behind a tremendous effort on the mound from senior Jordan Hunt. Hunt would also home run in Game 2 as Greenbrier held on for an 8-6 win.
The Wolfpack led in the second game 8-1 until Brunswick erupted for five runs in the final inning.
Austin Robinson was solid for six innings on the mound. Taylor Glover also ripped a pair of doubles in Game 2.
Greenbrier has now won 12 games in a row as they prepare for the second round of region playoff action.
Grovetown’s season came to an end at the hands of a very good Cross Creek squad. The Warriors took the Razorbacks to three games before being eliminated (1-6, 4-3, 2-7).
Coach Mike Jones and company still had a good season. They finished the year 13-11, but had impressive regular season victories over three state playoff teams in Harlem, Westside and Cross Creek.