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Monday February 24th, 2020 3:20AM

Baseball: Area teams try again Tuesday to get crucial week under way

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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Many northeast Georgia area baseball teams are either trying to stay in the playoff race or get back in it. And Mother Nature once again played a factor as rain forced the movement of a few games on Monday. But many of those games are slated for Tuesday now as a big week gets under way in earnest.

Two games involving area teams did manage to get in their games on Monday. Johnson lost 13-0 to Loganville in Region 8-5A action at home and Union County knocked off West Hall 3-2 in Oakwood in non-region play.

(See below for the entire week's schedule of games.)

In Region 8-6A, Habersham Central (14-4, 2-1 Region 8-6A) and Gainesville (6-10, 1-2 Region 8-6A) open a huge three-game series at Ivey-Watson on Monday. The Raiders sit just a game back of No. 1-ranked [Georgia Dugout] and first place Winder-Barrow (12-3, 3-0 Region 8-6A) in the standings while the Red Elephants most likely have to at least win the series to stay in the race. The Raiders, with a series win, can keep pressure on the Bulldogs before their series showdown in two weeks.

In Region 8-5A, Buford and Loganville, tied at No. 1 in Class 5A, jump back into region action this week and both sit a game back of Walnut Grove (10-5, 2-0 Region 8-5A) and Clarke Central (4-13, 2-0 Region 8-5A)  remain deadlocked at the top after taking the week off from region action last week. The Wolves (10-5, 1-1 Region 8-5A) will take on Cedar Shoals in a home-and-away series while Loganville (8-4, 1-1 Region 8-5A) travels to Johnson (1-13, 0-2 Region 8-5A) on Monday to open a home-and-away series.

Region 7-4A continues to show why it may be the deepest region in the state. Despite the teams beating up each other, three teams -- Blessed Trinity (No. 1), Marist (No. 3), and Flowery Branch (No. 8) -- all are ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A. There are several key series matchups this week, starting with Blessed Trinity (14-3, 3-0 Region 7-4A) heading to Cleveland to take on surprising White County (8-7, 3-2 Region 7-4A). Flowery Branch (9-6-1, 3-2 Region 7-4A) plays host to Denmark (6-11, 1-4 Region 7-4A) trying to keep pace before a huge home-and-away series with Blessed Trinity beginning Wednesday at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex. Chestatee (8-5, 1-2 Region 7-4A) and West Hall (6-10, 0-4 Region 7-4A) open a series on Wednesday at Talon Field.

In Region 7-3A, No. 10-ranked Fannin County (12-3, 5-1 Region 7-3A) continues to lead the way with North Hall (8-8, 7-2 Region 7-3A) 1 1/2-games behind in second. Three big series are on tap beginning Monday and Tuesday that could shape the second half of the season as teams 3 to 6 are all within two games of each other. Lumpkin County (8-8, 3-6 Region 7-3A) and Dawson County (6-6, 4-5 Region 7-3A) open a series in Dawsonville; North Hall and East Hall (2-11, 1-5 Region 7-3A) open in Valhalla; and Fannin County travels to slumping Grater Atlanta Christian (6-7-1, 2-4 Region 7-3A) and the two teams head back to Blue Ridge on Friday for a doubleheader.

If not for Region 7-4A, Region 8-3A could lay claim to the deepest area region. Jefferson (13-0, 6-0 Region 8-3A) is ranked No. 1 while Morgan County (15-3, 9-0 Region 8-3A) is ranked fifth. The Dragons open a three-game series in Hartwell on Tuesday against Hart County (8-8, 6-3 Region 8-3A) while the Bulldogs open a series against Jackson County (6-10, 3-6 Region 8-3A), which is desperate need to snap a four-game losing streak to stay in the playoff race. East Jackson (6-8, 1-5 Region 8-3A) takes on Franklin County (7-10, 2-4 Region 8-3A), which has lost three straight.

Region 8-2A resumes region play on Friday with the big showdown No. 8-ranked and region leader Banks County (14-2, 8-0 Region 8-2A) taking on second-place Social Circle (8-7, 6-2 Region 8-2A) in a huge doubleheader in Homer. Rabun County (3-12, 3-5, Region 8-2A) plays host to Oglethorpe County (3-13, 2-6 Region 8-2A) in a battle for fifth place on a chance to stay in the hunt. Union County (5-8, 4-4 Region 8-2A) has won four straight to climb into fourth place and will entertain (2-13, 0-6 Region 8-2A) in a doubleheader.

And, in Region 8-A, Lakeview Academy (12-4, 4-0 Region 8-A) got a thrilling win over Prince Avenue on Friday to stay unbeaten and atop the region standings and will travel to a slumping Riverside Military Academy (8-9, 1-4 Region 8-A) that has lost four straight on Tuesday. The Lions then travel to sixth-ranked George Walton (11-4, 3-0 Region 8-A) on Friday in what they hope is a battle for first place. Riverside will travel to Providence Christian (2-15, 1-2 Region 8-A) on Friday.Class A Public No. 10 Commerce (10-5, 0-2 Region 8-A) plays host to Towns County (4-9, 0-6 Region 8-A) on Monday and heads to Tallulah Falls (4-4, 1-4 Region 8-A) on Friday.

 

TUESDAY'S BASEBALL SCHEDULE (March 26) 
(All times at 5:55 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Athens Academy at Commerce*
Blessed Trinity at White County*
Cedar Shoals at Buford*
Denmark at Flowery Branch*
East Jackson at Franklin County*
Habersham Central at Gainesville*
Jefferson at Hart County*
Lumpkin County at Dawson County*
Morgan County at Jackson County*
North Hall at East Hall*
Lakeview Academy at Riverside Military, 6 p.m.*

WEDNESDAY'S BASEBALL SCHEDULE (March 27) 
(All times at 5:55 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee at Union County, 5 p.m.
Blessed Trinity at Flowery Branch*
Buford at Cedar Shoals*
Dawson County at Lumpkin County*
East Hall at North Hall*
Gainesville at Habersham Central*
Marist at White County*
West Hall at Chestatee*

THURSDAY'S BASEBALL SCHEDULE (March 28) 
(All times at 5:55 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Buford at Parkview
Cherokee Bluff at Denmark
Johnson at Loganville*

FRIDAY'S BASEBALL SCHEDULE (March 29) 
(All times at 5:55 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Commerce at Tallulah Falls, 5 p.m.*
Franklin County at East Jackson (DH), 5 p.m.*
Hart County at Jefferson (DH), 5 p.m.*
Jackson County at Morgan County (DH), 5 p.m.*
Oglethorpe County at Rabun County (DH), 5 p.m.*
Putnam County at Union County (DH), 5 p.m.*
Riverside Military at Providence Christian, 5 p.m.*
Social Circle at Banks County (DH), 5 p.m.*
Lakeview Academy at George Walton, 5:30 p.m.*
Chestatee at West Hall*
Flowery Branch at Blessed Trinity*
Habersham Central at Gainesville*
Lumpkin County at Dawson County*
North Hall at East Hall*
White County at Marist*

SATURDAY'S BASEBALL SCHEDULE (March 30) 

East Jackson at Peachtree Ridge, 1 p.m.
Lakeview Academy at Mount Pisgah, 1 p.m.
Banks County at Washington-Wilkes, 2 p.m.

(* -- denotes region contest)

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