Lakeside baseball is in a dominant position as it heads to spring break.
After a 6-3 win against Evans on Monday, the Panthers had won nine consecutive games and could control its own fate in trying to earn a Region 3-AAAA title and a No. 1 seed in the Class AAAA playoffs.
"It gives us the opportunity to get the No. 1 spot and stay there for a while and make the other teams play catch-up with each other," Lakeside coach T.J. Davis said.
The Panthers avenged their 5-3 loss to the Knights on March 9. Lakeside won its next nine region games and has beaten its toughest two remaining region opponents -- Westside and Harlem.
Lakeside pitcher Harrison Brawley picked up another win. Jefferey Stoner came on in the seventh and picked up the save.
Davis, the Panthers' first-year coach, knew what he was inheriting when he took the job before the season. Lakeside brought back almost all of its key players from a year ago, and Davis said each has found a way to contribute.
"We just have the guys that are contributing all the way around," Davis said. "When somebody isn't doing well, somebody else picks them up."
Evans 7, Harlem 1
The Knights bounced back from their loss Monday to split the season series with Harlem, handing the Bulldogs their second region loss.
Evans pitcher Matt Blume pitched seven innings and allowed only three hits, none through four innings, as Evans kept hope alive for a home date in the Class AAAA playoffs.
"We've got to have some help to catch up with those guys," Knights coach Ricky Beale said.
"We can only worry about what we do and try to get our last couple ballgames in the region and hopefully fall in a position where we can be battling for one of those top two spots."
The win improved the Knights to 7-3 in Region 3-AAAA. Beale said he thought his team's hitting drills, which emphasized making contact, had paid dividends.
The Knights banged out eight hits against Harlem, including three doubles.
"That's swinging the bat well," Beale said.
Greenbrier 8, Union Grove 0
A dead tree leaning behind Greenbrier's baseball field served as the reference point for Wolfpack coach Chris Wilkins when describing a T.D. Davis blast.
The two-run shot in the first inning had sailed over the top of the tree's tallest point, Wilkins said, and helped propel the Wolfpack to their 10th consecutive win.
"It's one of the longest home runs I've seen here," Wilkins said.
"I've seen him hit them before when I was coaching against them (at Richmond Academy). But that was a long one, in a big game, too."
Junior Ben Morgan led off the game with a home run and Shawn McCain walked to set up Davis.
The Wolfpack improved to 6-0 in Region 2-AAAAA, but Wilkins was quick to point out the number of games yet to be played.
Greenbrier's primary competition for the region title, one-loss Luella, travels to Greenbrier on April 17.
"If we keep winning, it's going to be tough to catch us," Wilkins said.
Greenbrier's Chad Farmer pitched a complete game to pick up the win.
The victory came a week after Farmer struck out 17 against M.L. King.
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