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GHSA Playoff Preview: Teams to watch in each class

That’s a wrap on the 2018 GHSA baseball regular season! After another exciting season – that came down to the wire for many teams – we look ahead to the state playoffs, which officially commence this Thursday, April 26th before finishing with championship weekend on the weekend of May 21st. Here’s a look at some regular season winners and teams to keep an eye out for in the 2018 GHSA state playoffs:

Class AAAAAAA

Newnan – this region two team went undefeated (15-0) in region play. They reached the semis 7 years ago, but have failed to advance past the early rounds since. I expect that trend to be broken this year. Outside of region play this year, Newnan didn’t fare as well – only 7-7.

South Forsyth – they took region four by SIX games. They had their region locked up for a few weeks and have had plenty of time to prepare for the state playoffs. They finish the season with just one region loss at 14-1.

Mill Creek – one of three impressive Gwinnett teams from this region. They face off against South Forsyth in the first round of the class AAAAAAA playoffs. Both teams have only one loss… one streak will have to come to an end on Thursday or Friday. The Hawks made it to the semis last year, but are still looking for their first finals appearance.

Parkview – another one-loss Gwinnett team in a competitve region, finishing 11-1. Finished just one game ahead of rival Brookwood — Parkview played Brookwood this weekend to decide who would take the region. Parkview came out on top.

Grayson – this will be an interesting team to watch. This is a good team with great potential, finishing at 13-1 in region. They had a tough schedule outside of the region, but finished a less-than-impressive 5-10 outside of region 8 play. They’re going to need to step up outside of the region to have a shot in the playoffs.

Class AAAAAA

Pope – the defending state champs are strong once again and looking to defend their title. At 14-1 in region play, they’ve got a good shot at a repeat.

Heritage-Conyers – made a couple big runs about a decade ago but have failed to advance at all in the past eight years. Will be interesting to se if this 13-2 squad can reverse recent history and get back in the winning column

Lee County – they’ve never won a state title, but finished runner-up last year. They were 9-1 in region play, 21-6 overall and looking to take one a step further this year.

Class AAAAA

Wayne County – speaking of great south Georgia teams, here’s one. They finished a perfect 12-0 in region play this year. They were runner-up to Loganville last season, but think they have what it takes to go all the way in 2018. They easily walked to the region title, leading the rest of the pack by five games.

Starrs Mill – a team we’ve covered a good bit this year. They made it to the semis last year before also losing to Loganville. Starrs Mill faces Union Grove in what’s sure to be an exciting first round matchup.

Loganville – the defending champion has a good bit of competition this year in class AAAAA. They beat out Buford by one game to take the region with a 12-1 record. Can they do it again?

Class AAAA

Blessed Trinity – does anything need to be said? They finished the year undefeated – not only in the region, but against EVERY team they faced from the state of Georgia. Their only two losses come from very quality out-of-state competition. This may be the best team in the state, if not the nation. They’ll be looking to avenge a heartbreaking two-games-to-one series loss last year and with the team they’ve got, they stand a really good shot.

Heritage Catoosa – in any other region, I’d give them a good shot at taking it all, but they’ll most likely have to get through Blessed Trinity first. They weren’t able to do that last year, as they fell to the Titans in the semis. Heritage Catoosa finishes the season a perfect 18-0.

Woodward Academy – a mainstay in the GHSA playoffs. This is their 19th straight season in the tournament. While it’s quite a feat, they’ve only managed to make the semifinal round ONCE in those nineteen years. Will that change this year? Very well could as the team posted a perfect 18-0 record in perhaps the toughest class in the state.

Class AAA

Cook – they were state champions a couple times in the ’90s and they’re looking to party like it’s 1992 once again. They made the round of 16 last year and finished a perfect 12-0 this season in region play.

Southeast Bulloch – Another perfect region slate… but they haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs since 1980. Can the curse be stopped?

Ringgold – They’ve made the state championship five different times in the school’s history — and won zero of them. This year, they’re an incredible 25-4 overall (17-0 in conference), looking to end the drought.

North Hall – they’re the defending champs and a great ballclub, but it’ll take a lot to repeat in this competitive class. Favorable matchup with Hart County to get things started, though.

Class AA

Westside – despite falling out early last year, they’re becoming a mainstay in the state playoffs. The Augusta team finished a perfect 14-0 in region play and stand to go much further this year than last.

Dodge County – it was a pretty easy ride to the regular season title for Dodge County who finishes a perfect region slate three games ahead of the second place team, Bleckley County.

Thomasville – they took down last year’s champion, Jeff Davis, and finished 11-1. Looking for their first semifinal appearance in around SIXTY years.

Class A

Savannah Christian – they finished a perfect 12-0 and are the defending champions of class A.

Hebron Christian – another mainstay in state playoff action – they won it all seven years ago in thrilling fashion – looks to capitalize on a 10-0 year in region play, but a rather dismal record outside of region.

Holy Innocents – state powerhouse finished a perfect 12-0 in region play, but finished sub-.500 in games outside of the region. They played a tougher schedule, but let’s see if they can improve on that in the playoffs.

College student working in radio and sports marketing with an unbridled passion for the game of baseball, the greatest sport on Earth. Proud to cover high school, college, and Braves baseball for Peachtree Pennant.

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