Area baseball teams completed region play this past weekend, with all four Columbia County public school squads advancing to the state tournament.
Now, with all eyes set on the field of 32 teams in the GHSA Class AAAA state tournament bracket, Columbia County's squads know they've got their work cut out for them.
Greenbrier, Evans and Lakeside, all in Region 2-AAAA, will face opponents from Region 1-AAAA in the state tournament's first round.
"It's definitely a tough region to be matched up with," Greenbrier coach Ed Williams said. "Their No. 4 team lost to the No. 1 team by one run and lost to the No. 2 team by one run, so I feel like we're in a tough bracket."
The Wolfpack (25-0, AAAA No. 1) will face Bainbridge (10-15) at Greenbrier on Friday with a double-header starting at 4:30 p.m. The best-of-three series will be completed on Saturday at noon if necessary.
Perhaps the closest matchup of the first round will take place in Leesburg, Ga., where Lee County (17-9, AAAA No. 9) will face Evans (15-10). The two perennial powerhouses met last season in the state semifinals. Lee County took the series 2-0.
"They have a great club that has been there before. It definitely is not going to be easy," Evans coach Ricky Beale said. "Hopefully it will be a great match up of two good programs. They got the better of us a year ago. Maybe we can go down there and play a little better this time around."
Lakeside (14-11) will travel to Thomas County Central (20-6, AAAA No. 6) over the weekend for their first-round series.
Harlem (14-10) is also state playoff bound as a No. 2 seed in the Class AAA state tournament.
The Bulldogs get a first-round home game and will take on Peach County (Region 4-AAA No. 3) this weekend in a best-of-three-games series.
"We've been playing pretty solid, but to have a good season we need to win," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said.
Already in state tournament play, the Augusta Christian baseball team swept a SCISA Class AAA first-round series over Robert E. Lee on May 1, then swept top-seeded Northwood in two games this past weekend.
The Lions will play a home game in the state tournament's semifinal round against Hammond at 4:30 p.m. today.
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