Early on this season fans were worried about Evans High School's baseball team. I heard comments like "This is the worst Evans team in 25 years." Also, many felt Lakeside was way down. Some folks on the various vent forums were calling Lakeside a "J.V. team." Even Greenbrier has been ripped for losses to Brookwood and Parkview, despite using their No. 3 and 4 pitching options in those games.
Well, I am here to tell you, there is still some pretty good baseball being played.
Greenbrier (14-5, 6-1)
This 'Pack team is not as talented as last year's team. However, the 2007 team was not as good as the squad in 2006, but they still managed to win a state crown. Who knows if Greenbrier has another run in them?
They are a very good team. Their losses have come to two teams ranked in the AAAAA Top 10, one of the better teams in Florida, one of the state's most successful programs in Marist, and a better-than-expected Lakeside team.
This season, Greenbrier has:
- Beaten Heritage (2007 state runner-up), 13-2
- Knocked off solid Georgia programs in Carrolton and South Effingham
- Beaten a very good Harlem team twice, by a combined score of 21-1
- Beaten the No. 1 team in South Carolina (North Augusta) without pitching Nolan Belcher
- Yielded three or fewer runs 14 times this season (14-0 in those games).
Evans (12-7, 5-2)
The Knights have been up and down this season. They have some impressive wins, such as knocking off Westside 3-2, and two wins over Lakeside in which they scored a total of 25 runs.
Their inconsistency shows in their match-ups with South Aiken and Burke County.
After beating Burke 23-8 early in the season, they dropped a 12-2 decision to the Bears just a few weeks later. They topped South Aiken 7-2 in mid-March but were shut out by that same team 12-0 on April 2.
The bottom line is that Evans stands at 5-2 in region play and can certainly make a run in the postseason if they get some pitching.
Harlem (13-4, 5-1)
The Bulldogs have a legitimate shot to make a deep playoff run. Of their four losses, two are to Greenbrier and one was to Westside, which is currently 15-1 on the season.
The Bulldogs are the best-hitting team in the county this season. They have won seven of their past eight games, and in those seven victories they averaged 13 runs per game.
The Dogs have five games remaining in the regular season.
I would not be surprised if they run the table to finish 18-4 in the regular season and 9-1 in region play.
Lakeside (8-10, 4-3)
The Panthers are obviously pleased to be 8-10 on the season, but coach Jay Matthews has shown that they are capable of winning big games. They knocked off Greenbrier 5-2 on April 4, giving the 'Pack their first loss to a Columbia County team in three years. And despite a recent loss to Evans, they have won four of their past five games.
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