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Monday February 24th, 2020 3:57AM

Baseball: Serious playoff push begins for area teams on Friday

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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Area baseball teams will continue all-important region schedules Friday as they try to either stay in the playoff race, get back in the playoff race, or solidify their positions in the region standings.

(See below for Friday and Saturay's schedule of games.)

In Region 8-6A, Habersham Central (15-5, 3-2 Region 8-6A) and Gainesville (7-11, 2-3 Region 8-6A) will conclude their three-game series with the rubber-match at Ivey-Watson. It's not a must-win for the Red Elephants but they need a win to stay within striking distance. The Raiders are tied for second two games behind No. 1-ranked Winder Barrow (14-3, 5-0 Region 8-6A) 

In Region 8-5A, Buford and Loganville are still rolling and tied at No. 1 in Class 5A and sit one-half game behind Walnut Grove (11-5, 3-0 Region 8-5A). The Wolves (12-7, 3-1 Region 8-5A) are off from region play until next week.

In Region 7-4A, No. 1 Blessed Trinity and No. 3 Marist have begun to put some distance between the rest of the region at the mid-way point. The Titans (16-3, 5-0 Region 7-4A) play host to No. 8 Flowery Branch (10-7-1, 4-3 Region 7-4A) with the Falcons looking for a split in their series after a 14-4 loss on Wednesday. White County (7-9, 3-4 Region 7-4A) travels to Marist (15-4, 6-1 Region 7-4A) trying to keep pace for the No. 4 spot. Chestatee (9-6, 2-3 Region 7-4A) heads to West Hall (6-12, 0-5 Region 7-4A) with a chance to pull into a statistical tie for third place with Flowery Branch with a win and a Falcons loss on Friday.

In Region 7-3A, North Hall (10-8, 9-2 Region 7-3A) jumped into first place after taking the first two games of its series with East Hall (2-13, 1-7 Region 7-3A) and No. 10-ranked Fannin County (12-4, 5-2 Region 7-3A) falling to Greater Atlanta Christian (7-7-1, 3-4 Region 7-3A) on Tuesday. Lumpkin County (9-8, 4-6 Region 7-3A) and Dawson County (6-7, 4-6 Region 7-3A) close out their series in Dawsonville with the winner having a chance to move into fourth place with a Fannin County sweep of GAC.

In Region 8-3A, No. 5 Morgan County (16-3, 10-0 Region 8-3A) leads No. 1-ranked Jefferson (14-0, 7-0 Region 8-3A) by percentage points for first place. The Dragons play host to Hart County (8-9, 6-4 Region 8-3A) in a doubleheader while Morgan County takes on Jackson County (6-11, 3-7 Region 8-3A) in a doubleheader in Madison. The Panthers are trying to snap a five-game losing streak but are still holding on to the fourth-place spot for the moment.

In Region 8-2A, No. 8 Banks County (14-2, 8-0 Region 8-2A) leads second-place Social Circle (8-7, 6-2 Region 8-2A) by two games and can clinch a top-two seed in the playoffs with a sweep over the Redskins in a huge doubleheader in Homer. Rabun County (3-14, 3-5, Region 8-2A) plays host to Oglethorpe County (4-13, 2-6 Region 8-2A) in a battle for fifth place and a chance to stay in the hunt. Union County (7-8, 4-4 Region 8-2A) has won five straight to climb into fourth place and will entertain Putnam County (4-15, 1-7 Region 8-2A) in a doubleheader.

And, in Region 8-A, Lakeview Academy (13-4, 5-0 Region 8-A) leads the region by just one-half game over Athens Academy (9-1, 4-0 Region 8-A) and Athens Christian (7-9, 4-0 Region 8-A) and will travel to sixth-ranked George Walton (12-4, 3-0 Region 8-A) looking to stay in first place. Class A Public No. 10 Commerce (11-6, 0-3 Region 8-A) heads to Tallulah Falls (4-5, 1-5 Region 8-A) looking for its first region win of the season.

 

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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