Pitching may have been the name of the game in Georgia high school baseball when the season started, but as hitters have grown accustomed to the less-powerful BBCOR bats, offenses have started to take off.
Northwest Georgia's two remaining teams, Ringgold and Calhoun, are good examples.
Ringgold, 25-4 and winner of 19 of its last 20 games, has scored 10 or more runs 15 times this season and scored 37 in Class AAA playoff sweeps of Lanier and Cairo. The Tigers host 22-9 LaGrange today (4:30) in a doubleheader start to the quarterfinal best-of-three series, and coach Brent Tucker hopes the bats stay alive.
"We've been able to hit a few home runs lately and put some runs on the board," said Tucker, whose team hit seven homers in its sweep of Lanier in round one. "We'll need some runs against LaGrange. They're a good, solid team from a region a lot like ours."
In fact, of the eight teams remaining in the Class AAA field, seven are from Regions 6 and 7.
"I don't know if you can go back and find another season in which two regions have seven teams in the quarters," Tucker said. "These two regions have long been among the best in the state, and this year the teams have proved it."
Calhoun (20-5-1) hosts Lovett (19-11) in a Class AA quarterfinal series today at 5 and begins play as one of the hottest teams in the state. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 consecutive games, having scored 10 or more runs in 10 of those, including a total of 44 in four playoff wins.
In Lovett they face a familiar foe, having defeated the Lions 7-4 and 8-7 in the 2010 semifinals on their way to the state championship.
"We know their guys real well," said Calhoun outfielder and pitcher Josh Schubert, who started on the 2010 team. "It's always a tough series when we play, and I'm glad we get to play them here this time."
Daniels helps Baylor
Tim Daniels, for the past decade the head football coach at Red Bank, has agreed to join the football staff at Baylor.
Daniels, who won six district championships, resigned his coaching position at Red Bank earlier this year and had said he would take some time off. He later accepted the position at Baylor.
"He will be one of our non-faculty coaches and continue to teach at Red Bank," Baylor athletic director Thad Lepcio said. "Tim will be coaching the offensive line. We are thrilled to have someone of his knowledge and experience on our football staff."
E.K. Slaughter was hired as Daniels' successor at Red Bank.
Creswell picks Brenau
Sonoraville High School pole vaulter Hunter Creswell has signed papers to continue her track and field career at Brenau University.
Creswell, who has vaulted 10 feet and finished second at 9-foot-6 in the recent Georgia Class AA state meet, picked the women's school in Gainesville, Ga., over Oglethorpe University and also had interest from Kennesaw State. She was fifth in the state in 2011.