Harlem and its second-round opponent in the Class AAA state playoffs have a history the Bulldogs probably would rather forget.
For the past two years, Troup has been the team to send Harlem home, and it will have the opportunity again today at 3 p.m. in Harlem.
"We haven't been too successful against them," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. "They've got a good program. They come out of probably the premier baseball region in the state (2-AAA)."
Lewis and the Bulldogs survived a first-round scare against Worth County.
They beat the Rams to open the best-of-three series, but then booted away the second game with some key errors late as Worth County forced a deciding game three.
The Bulldogs eliminated the costly errors Saturday and held off the Rams, 10-5, to advance.
"They fielded every ground ball and fielded every fly ball," Worth County coach Will Smith said. "They don't make mistakes."
The Bulldogs got a lift from sophomore Zach Morris, who hit in the designated hitter spot to keep Derek Beasley fresh for a relief role. Morris singled his first two times at the plate, driving in a run, and executed a sacrifice bunt in the seventh to set up an insurance run.
After Beasley relieved starter Steven Waters in the sixth inning, things got a little tense in the seventh before he closed out the win. Waters pitched in the third consecutive game, more than 12 innings total over the stretch.
"The main factor was Steven Waters," senior Mike Leverett said. "Anybody that comes in and pitches three games back to back -- that's a heart for baseball."
Waters is expected to start today's first game after three days' rest. From there, Lewis probably will go with junior Derek Clayton.
The Bulldogs have faced Troup in the second round each of the past two seasons. The Tigers won the final two games of the series in 2007 after losing the opener. They swept the Bulldogs in 2006.
Lewis said the familiarity could lend an advantage to either team.
"We know a good bit about them; they know a good bit about us," he said.
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