Baseball playoffs are upon us now

Published 12:45 am Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nothing is quite like a nice spring day sitting outside with a nice breeze in your face watching a baseball game.

Something about the leasurly pace of the game, the weather and the ambiance of the crowd makes me love going out to the ballpark.

Football and basketball games are so intense and fast paced, but baseball has a nice ebb and flow to it that makes it very enjoyable to watch in person.

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That’s why I’m so excited about the high school baseball playoffs getting started this week.

Sure, there were a couple of games over the weekend, with Franklin County coming from a game down to beat Greene County and Cathedral being stunned in the first game by Mount Olive, but the playoffs don’t begin full bore until Monday.

And right off the bat it begins with an elimination game, as Cathedral comes back home to try and stave off a big upset at the hands of all the McNairs at Mount Olive.

Game 2 of the series is at 4:30 at Chester Willis Field with a third game to be played right after, should Cathedral win the first game.

It will be interesting to see how the Green Wave respond to some pressure that has been put on them after breezing through the season.

They were able to romp through Region 8-1A undefeated, with a good many of those games being blowouts. This is really the first time the team has been tested in a while, so it should be interesting to see how they respond.

You would think they’d be able to get past the fourth ranked team in Region 7, but you never know.

While Cathedral will try to continue its season on Monday, Trinity and ACCS will open up their playoffs on Tuesday with home games.

Trinity, the champion of District 3-AA will play the winner of the South State Wild Card Tournament, which concluded late Saturday night at Huntington. The Saints will play either Copiah Academy, Prairie View or Oak Forest in a best of three series, which will begin Tuesday at Chester Willis Field.

The Saints always expect to win district championships, but it is a small surprise that they were able to run away with the title with a 10-1 record in their first year in Class AA.

But coach Matt Mason said his team is used to playing AA opponents, as they would always schedule tough when they were in Class A.

I don’t expect Trinity to have much trouble with whoever they wind up playing in the first round. They are just that good.

ACCS, on the other hand, is in for a battle against Brookhaven Academy. The Cougars have a powerful hitting lineup that should test the sometimes shaky Rebel defense.

I expect some tight games between the two schools with a play here or there determining the victor.

Natchez High also made the playoffs but will have to wait a little while before beginning their quest for the championship.

The Bulldogs, the No. 2 team from Region 6 will play Hattiesburg, the No. 3 team from Region 5 on April 24 in the first game of what is a three-team regional. Ocean Springs, the No. 1 team out of Region 7 is the other team.

Natchez High got off to a slow start to their season, but came on strong in the closing weeks and charged to finish second place in the region just ahead of Jim Hill.

It will be a difficult task to take out a strong baseball program like Ocean Springs, but the Bulldogs are riding a wave of momentum.

Vidalia High is also making the trek back to the playoffs, but still has a regular season game left and won’t start the postseason for another week.

So whichever team you root for, get out to a park this week and see some great baseball action. It’s time to “Play ball!”

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3633 or