Greenbrier High School swept past Americus-Sumter, and Harlem moves on, taking two of three from Worth County in Round 1 of the Georgia high school state baseball playoffs.
Greenbrier was dominant. It rolled past Americus, outscoring the Panthers 24-2 in the two games.
Harlem had a tougher time but rode the right arm of starter Steven Waters to advance to Round 2. Waters started games one and three and pitched briefly in game two. The scores for the three Bulldogs games were: W 11-1, L 6-7, W 10-5.
Round 2 matchups
Jones County (22-4) at Greenbrier (22-6)
The Pack will square off against a quality program in Jones County. The Greyhounds sport a record of 22-4, including a 13-1 in region play. Also, Jones County has been red hot of late, having won seven games in a row and 17 of their last 19. During their seven-game winning streak, they have scored 10 or more runs in each game.
Jones County swept McIntosh in round one, 11-6 and 16-6. The Greyhounds got off to a hot start in game one with an early three-run blast from third baseman Jody Jones. They also got a grand slam from Wilson Taylor. Greenbrier must also contain the bat of catcher Tyler Roberts. The junior leads Jones County with eight home runs on the season.
Also, for a bit of history, Jones County has produced two former first-round Major League picks in Rondell White (1990 Montreal) and Willie Greene (1989 Pittsburgh).
Troup (20-8) at Harlem (21-5)
These two know each other very well. The Tigers have made the playoffs each of the past four seasons, and they have eliminated Harlem the last two seasons. Last year, Craig Garner's team advanced to the AAA Elite 8.
Troup comes in on a roll, having won 11 of their past 12 games. They outscored Perry 28-4 in Round 1, but needed three games to advance (16-0, 3-4, 9-0).
The key to the series was pitcher Daniel Watts. The senior started games one and three. He threw a four-inning, one-hit shutout in the series opener and returned to shut down Perry for five innings in game three, allowing just two hits in nine innings.
Watts has signed to play at Jacksonville State (Alabama) next season.
At the plate, Harlem also will need to contain Troup's junior catcher, Luke Bailey.
The 6-1, 205-pound Bailey played for the U.S. Junior National Team last summer and is considered one of the top 25 juniors in the country.
Bailey has his choice of big-time college programs and is regarded as a potential early pick in next summer's Major League draft.
For the season, Bailey is hitting .477 with seven homers and 53 RBI.
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