The first-round of the Georgia Class AAA baseball state playoffs is set.
And for the second year in a row, the Thomson High Bulldogs are right in the thick of those playoffs. All of the exciting action begins this Friday with a double-header beginning at 2 p.m. as Thomson plays host to LaGrange in the first game of a best-of-three game series. The second game will immediate follow the first game. A third game, should it be necessary, would be played at the Thomson field on Saturday at 2 p.m.
"It feels great to be back in the state playoffs," remarked Thomson first-year head coach Jason Osborn. "I'm hoping our boys are ready for the challenge. We're looking forward to the series against LaGrange."
Thomson, which has occupied the No. 6 ranking in the Class AAA state poll the last three weeks, finished regular season play with a record of 20-4. And for the second consecutive year, the Bulldogs captured the Region 3-AAA Championship.
Unfortunately, the last game of regular season didn't end like players and coaches would have liked, as they fell 2-0 at the hands of the Richmond Hill Wildcats last Friday night. It marked the second time this season that the Bulldogs have fallen victim to the Wildcats, who finished runners-up in the region standings. The first time around, Richmond Hill won 8-6 at the Thomson field.
The playoff series against the LaGrange Grangers this week will pit two teams who average lots of runs per game. Thomson averages 9.4 runs per contest, while LaGrange averages 7 runs per contest.
In runs given up per game, Thomson averages 3.6 runs, while LaGrange gives up 6.1 runs.
LaGrange, who is guided by head coach Donnie Branch, finished the season with a 12-14 record overall and a 6-6 mark in Region 2-AAA. In the Grangers last game of the regular season, they ended up losing to Troup County 17-6 in a five-inning Region 2-AAA affair. Earlier in the season, the Grangers lost to Troup by only a run, 5-4.
Like Thomson, LaGrange has played some tough opponents. For example, they played Columbus and lost 8-0; lost to Hardaway 9-4; lost to Brookwood 7-0; defeated Shaw 11-8; lost to Newnan 3-2; defeated Carrollton 11-7 and 6-2 this season; and defeated Kendrick 12-1.
The Bulldogs are somewhat of an aggressive ballclub -- but haven't been consistent in that area.
They hit the ball well and are capable of scoring lots of runs.
During regular season, they defeated seven different opponents within five innings.
"We've been aggressive at times this season, but nothing consistent like I'd like to see this team develop," said coach Osborn. "I'd like to see that change in the playoffs."