As area baseball teams close out the regular season, the Harlem Bulldogs are finishing the year at an unprecedented pace.
During Harlem's last week of regular-season play, the schedule called for the Bulldogs to take the field six times in five days. Harlem got a break from action Wednesday, when rained canceled the team's road game against Jefferson County.
Still, five games in six days meant more baseball for the Bulldogs than any other county team during the week.
Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said the number of games didn't matter.
"We would have been practicing anyhow, so we might as well play," Lewis said. "I'd rather play any day than practice."
The stretch of games started Monday with a region matchup against Glenn Hills, rescheduled from a previous rainout. The Bulldogs won 14-2 and maintained their top spot in the Region 3-AAA standings.
On Tuesday, Evans came to town and handed Harlem a 7-3 loss. The defeat was a vast improvement from a March 7 loss to Evans by the 10-run mercy rule.
"We've gotten better," Lewis said. "After our first four games when we got hammered by the other Columbia County teams and Westside, I didn't think we'd win a game, but we've improved a good bit."
Tuesday's game wrapped up regular-season play for Evans and gave the Knights their fourth win in six games. The team, once ranked No. 3 in the state, finished with a 12-8 record.
"I imagine every guy in that dugout would have said we didn't reach our goals in the regular season," Evans coach Ricky Beale said after the game Tuesday. "Fortunately, we get to start over on Friday."
Friday marked the start of the Region 2-AAAA Tournament for Evans, Greenbrier and Lakeside. Harlem's region tournament begins later this week.
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