The final week of the baseball regular season is under way and after a big Monday, several teams now find themselves battling for their playoff lives.
Class 3A No. 2 North Hall (21-4, 15-1 Region 7-3A) captured the Region 7-3A crown with a win over West Hall on Monday and now the Spartans (19-8, 11-5 Region 7-3A) are fighting to hang onto second place as the two teams meet at Cottrell Field on Wednesday.
Staying in 7-3A, No. 10 Cherokee Bluff (18-9, 10-6 Region 7-3A) continued its push for a second place finish with a rout of Gilmer and those two teams will resume their series in Ellijay.
In Region 8-4A, Chestatee (16-12, 8-8 Region 8-4A) is locked in duel for fourth place with Madison County (10-18, 8-8 Region 8-4A). The War Eagles, who own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Madison County, play host to No. 6 Flowery Branch (20-7, 11-5 Region 8-4A) while Red Raiders travel to No. 5 North Oconee on Wednesday.
The Falcons, No. 7 Jefferson, and North Oconee all have clinched playoff berths and are battling for the top two spots.
A fun matchup on Thursday, and a playoff primer for both, will be Class 6A No. 1-ranked and Region 8-6A champion Buford playing host to Class 7A No. 2-ranked Grayson. The Wolves already have knocked off Class 7A No. 1 Parkview during the season.
(Check below for Wednesday's and Thursday's schedules.)
(Rankings taken from April 17 Georgia Dugout polls)
AREA BASEBALL SCHEDULE FOR Wednesday, April 21
(Games listed by visiting team in alphabetical order)
(Area teams highlighted in bold)
(Games begin at 5:55 p.m., unless otherwise noted)
Cherokee Bluff at Gilmer*
Dawson County at Lumpkin County*
East Hall at Jefferson*
Flowery Branch at Chestatee*
Gainesville at West Forsyth, 6:15 p.m.*
Habersham Central at Lanier, 6 p.m.*
Johnson at Apalachee*
Rabun County at White County
The Weber School at Lakeview Academy, 5:30 p.m.*
Walnut Grove at Jackson County*
West Hall at North Hall*
AREA BASEBALL SCHEDULE FOR Thursday, April 22
Commerce at Social Circle (DH), 5 p.m.*
Grayson at Buford
Rabun County at Rabun Gap
(* -- denotes region contest)