Thursday May 23rd, 2024 1:10AM

Baseball: Playoff push will be furious in 8-6A; 7-3A on final week

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

The 2024 regular season will come to a close this week, and while nine northeast Georgia area teams already have punched their playoff tickets across the eight Georgia High School Association classifications, there are still plenty of teams on the proverbial bubble.

The is plenty of drama left in Region 8-6A, where four area teams are among six fighting for a playoff spot. Apalachee (16-10, 11-2 Region 8-6A) still holds a one-half game lead over North Forsyth (18-9, 12-3 Region 8-6A) for first place. Habersham Central (17-7, 9-6 Region 8-6A) leads Gainesville (11-12, 8-8 Region 8-6A) by 1 1/2 games and the Red Elephants lead Jackson County (9-16, 5-9 Region 8-6A) by 1 1/2 games for the final playoff spot.

Habersham Central needs just one win to clinch no worse than third place and the Red Elephants need just one win to clinch a playoff spot. Gainesville can claim the third spot if it wins out and Habersham drops its final three games this week.

Region 7-3A still has some work to do overall but No. 2 Pickens (24-3, 17-1 Region 7-3A) has completed its region schedule and also has clinched the region title. Wesleyan (13-11, 9-6 Region 7-3A), Dawson County (14-9, 8-7 Region 7-3A), Gilmer (12-13, 6-9 Region 7-3A), Lumpkin County (12-14, 6-9 Region 7-3A), and White County (13-14, 5-10 Region 7-3A) are all still alive for the other three playoff spots.

All five of those teams are in action this week in three game series. Gilmer takes on West Hall beginning on Monday. Wesleyan and Lumpkin County open a series in Dahlonega and White County and Dawson County begin their series in Dawsonville on Tuesday.

Region 8-4A has concluded its regular season schedule and will hold its three play-in series beginning on Tuesday. Cherokee Bluff is the only area school assured of a playoff spot as the Bears clinched the North subregion and will play Seckinger in a three-game series for the No. 1 seed. North Hall and East Forsyth also will be involved in three-game series to get into the state playoffs.

(See the entire schedule for Monday below:)

(All games start at 5:55 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Apalachee at Jackson County*
Dacula at Buford*
Gilmer at West Hall*
Heritage-Conyers at Flowery Branch*
Jefferson at Loganville*
Johnson at Cross Keys
North Forsyth at Habersham Central*
Shiloh at Gainesville*

(* -- denotes region contest)

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