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State baseball playoffs get under way this weekend
by Greg Oshust
April 30, 2013 04:42 PM | 2436 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>
North Atlanta’s Austin Hedrick throws a pitch during a game earlier this season.
Staff / Nathan Self
North Atlanta’s Austin Hedrick throws a pitch during a game earlier this season.
When the GHSA state baseball playoffs get under way Friday, North Atlanta will be among the teams participating for the first time.

The Warriors earned a spot in the Class AAAAA playoffs after finishing second in Region 6AAAAA to make it to the state baseball competition for the first time in school history.

Each team will play a best-of-three series, with the first two games Friday and a third game — if needed — scheduled for Saturday.

The Warriors (18-7), as the second seed from 6AAAAA, will host Kell — the fourth seed from 7AAAAA — in their first-round series.

For North Atlanta community coach Gip Johnston, the trip to the state playoffs continues what has been a memorable season.

“We played well during the regular season and we came close to winning the region title — losing out to a very good Dunwoody team — so, we earned it,” Johnson said. “I’m very proud of the boys and what they accomplished this season.”

Riverwood (16-10) joins North Atlanta in the AAAAA playoffs. The Raiders — the fourth seed from 7AAAAA — goes on the road to play Dunwoody.

“Our team has been pretty resilient this year,” Riverwood coach Mike Santoro said. “The couple of times that we have hit a bad stretch, our leaders have stepped up and got us through any tough times. I do believe that if we play the way we are capable of playing, that we will be a tough opponent for anybody in the state.”

Marist (18-7) comes into the AAAA playoffs as the top seed from 6AAAA and will host River Ridge in the first round.

“We look forward to the challenges ahead and know that there are some outstanding baseball teams in AAAA throughout the state,” Marist coach Mike Strickland said.

In AAA, top-seeded 6AAA team Blessed Trinity (22-4) hosts Dawson County, while second seed Woodward (15-8) plays host to White County and third seed St. Pius X (18-6) goes on the road to play Buford.

Westminster (17-7) enters the AA playoffs as the top seed from 6AA and will host Model.

“The team is excited to be in a position to host the first, and hopefully, second round[s] of the playoffs,” Westminster coach Russell Wrenn said. “Playing at home will certainly be an advantage. Most importantly, our three starting pitchers — senior Hays Meyer, junior Conrad Cornell and sophomore Dalton Light — seem to be peaking at the right time.”

Lovett (19-6), the second seed from 6AA, begins its quest for a sixth straight trip to the AA semifinals when it hosts Calhoun. The matchups for the Class A private school playoffs were not set as of press time. The top 16 teams in the classification’s final power ranking, which was scheduled to be released Tuesday, will qualify. Holy Innocents’ (17-9) appears to be one of the 16 teams that will earn spots, with the Golden Bears ranked 10th in last week’s ranking.

The GISA playoffs are scheduled to get under way next Friday.

Which team has the best chance of winning a state baseball championship?

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