Columbia County is famous for its baseball.
The county's three public schools that advanced to the state playoffs didn't disappoint, with all three advancing to today's second round. All will be underdogs.
No. 7 Evans (19-7) had the toughest matchup of the first round, traveling to Douglasville, Ga., to play Chapel Hill, which was ranked for much of the season.
The Knights, ranked as high as No. 1 this season, lost Game 1, 8-5, but responded with big wins, 13-3 and 16-4, in Games 2 and 3. Shawn Ward and Ken Raborn hit home runs in Game 3.
The Knights now travel to Columbus, Ga., to take on third-ranked Hardaway (21-5), which ended Lakeside's season last year in the first round. Hardaway beat Ware County in the first round.
Harlem also took three games to beat Class 1-AAA's No. 1 seed, Crisp County.
The Bulldogs won Game 1, 5-2, and lost Game 2, 7-4. But the Bulldogs responded for a 13-2 win in the third game of the series.
Now Harlem travels to LaGrange to take on the second-ranked and defending state champion Grangers. LaGrange (23-5) beat Peach County to advance to the second round. Game 1 will begin at 5 p.m.; the second game will begin 30 minutes after the first ends.
Lakeside (16-11) rounds out the triumvirate on the road after sweeping Woodward Academy, 12-3 and 17-7, last Wednesday.
Lakeside, winner of five of its past six games, will travel to Leesburg, Ga., to take Class AAAA's top-ranked team, Lee County.
Lee County (25-3) has lost only one game to a school from Georgia this year - to No. 3 in Class AAAAA Lowndes - and has arguably the state's best player. Buster Posey, a Florida State signee, is one of the more dangerous hitters in the state and the ace of the pitching staff.
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