Columbia County's high school baseball fans won't have to wait long to see some classic contests during the 2002 prep campaign.
Evans' Justin Walker pitches during a recent practice.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
In fact, they won't have to wait at all, as the opening-week action features a pair of diamond matchups pitting Columbia County rivals.
The excitement starts today at 6 p.m., when Evans travels to take on Greenbrier. On Thursday, Harlem visits Lakeside for a 5 p.m. showdown.
"It's always a big rivalry, and it's fun to play then at the beginning of the season," said Greenbrier coach Ed Williams, whose Wolfpack has opened the season against Evans the past three years.
In the first Evans-Greenbrier matchup, Steven Dunham no-hit the Pack to begin the 1999 season. Greenbrier pitcher returned the favor and no-hit the Knights the next year.
In the 2001 season opener, Evans topped Greenbrier in extra innings, and the Knights later swept the series by beating the Pack at the Brierpatch.
"Some exciting things always happen when we play Evans," Williams said.
Over the past few seasons, Lakeside and Harlem also have waged some nail-biting battles. The best, however, came last year at Lakeside, where the Bulldogs outlasted the Panthers, 4-2, in a 16-inning marathon.
"That was probably the best game we've ever had at Lakeside," Panthers' coach Jimmy Smith said.
In other prep baseball games this week, Lakeside plays at North Augusta today (6 p.m.), Augusta Christian plays host to Deerfield-Windsor Friday at Patriots Park (6 p.m.), and Harlem welcomes Thomson Friday at 5 p.m.
There is a full slate Saturday, including three sets of doubleheaders: at Westside, Greenbrier plays Effingham County and Westside (game times TBA); Augusta Prep plays two at John Milledge Academy (Game one starts at noon); Morgan County duals the Bulldogs in Harlem (1 p.m. start); and, Augusta Christian has a home double-dip against North Cobb Christian and Greater Augusta (noon start).
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