By Staff Reports
A dozen DeKalb baseball teams are in the 2019 high school baseball state playoffs which kick off on Wednesday.
Coach Marcus Salter’s McNair Mustangs were one win away from the Region 6-3A championship but fell to fourth heading into the state playoffs. It is a history-making moment for McNair as they return to the state playoffs for the first time in 18 seasons (2001).
It is McNair’s sixth over state baseball appearance and it has brought some excitement to the school. The last playoff series win for the Mustangs came in a sweep of North Cobb in 1996. The other lone game win came against Dalton in a two-games to one series loss in 1997.
The Mustangs (12-10-1) travel to Chattooga (17-11) on Wednesday for a 4:00 pm doubleheader in their best-of-three Class 2A state playoff series. A third game if necessary is set of Thursday at 5:00 pm at Chattooga.
Another DeKalb team returns to the playoffs after a long absence in the Martin Luther King Jr. Lions. After losing a tiebreaker to Tucker, the Lions (16-4-1) under the direction of Coach Greg Boatwright finished third in Region 4-6A and earned their first playoff berth since the 2008 season. The Lions have a long road trip ahead as they travel to Valdosta (21-8) to face the Region 1 runners-up in a doubleheader beginning at 5:30. The third game, if necessary, is set for a 3:00 pm start on Thursday.
Redan (19-10) which had been ranked much of the season finished third in Region 5-3A after a big sweep of Westminster last week to earn a trip to No. 7 ranked Morgan County (22-8) on Wednesday for the 6:00 pm doubleheader portion of the best-of-three Class 3A series. A third game, if necessary is set for 5:30 pm on Thursday at Morgan County.
The Druid Hills Red Devils (13-11) are looking to advance to the second round of the state playoffs for the first time since a 2-1 series win over Eastside in 2003 as they travel to No. 4 ranked Cairo (24-3) for a Class 4A best-of-three series. The doubleheader is set for 4:00 pm on Wednesday and a third game, if necessary, is scheduled for Thursday at Cairo with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 pm
Two Class 5A entries from DeKalb will be hosting and two others will be on the road as they start their best-of-three series on Wednesday.
Coach Tyrus Taylor’s Southwest DeKalb Panthers (15-4) lost just one Region 5-5A game on the way to the No. 1 seed for the playoffs and will host Clarke Central (6-17) in a best-of-three series beginning with a doubleheader on Wednesday at 2:00 pm. The third game is set for Thursday at 5:00 pm if needed.
Chamblee and Coach Brian Ely are making a fifth consecutive playoff appearance as the Bulldogs (17-12) take on Walnut Grove (17-9) at Chamblee in a 2:00 pm doubleheader to kick off their best-of-three series on Wednesday. A third game, if necessary, would be played at Chamblee on Thursday with first pitch at 5:00 pm.
Coach Eric Hoxie’s Arabia Mountain Rams go on the road in the first round for the first time in three seasons as they finished third overall in Region 5-5A. The Rams (10-11) travel to No. 2 ranked Buford (18-9) on Wednesday for a 4:00 pm doubleheader with a third game, if necessary, set for Thursday at 6:00 pm at Buford.
Samuel Marion’s Lithonia Bulldogs are making a second consecutive appearance in the state playoffs after a 12-year absence. The Bulldogs (10-10) get the task of locking horns with No. 1 ranked Loganville (21-6) in a road playoff series on Wednesday beginning at 4:00 pm. The third game, if necessary, is set for 6:00 pm on Thursday.
Coach Chan English’s Dunwoody Wildcats came up just shy of a host role in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs, but instead have to go on the road to go toe-to-toe with No. 3 ranked Harrison (22-6) on Wednesday at 5:00 pm in the doubleheader. The third game, if necessary, will be at 6:00 pm on Thursday.
The Tucker Tigers and Coach Matt Masce get a host role in the Class 6A state playoffs by virtue of their tiebreaker win over Martin Luther King Jr. The Tigers (13-5-1) entertain Coffee County (12-17) in a 2:00 pm Wednesday doubleheader with the third game, if necessary, set for 4:00 pm on Thursday.
First-year Head Coach Timothy Jones has his Stephenson Jaguars headed into the state playoffs as a No. 1 seed and hosting a first-round series. Lee County (15-15) invades Jaguar country on Wednesday for a 3:00 pm doubleheader. The third game, if necessary, will be at 3:00 pm on Thursday.
Donnie Hayes and his Lakeside Vikings (16-10) are vying to advance to the second round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2016 as they travel to No. 2 ranked North Gwinnett (25-5) on Wednesday for a 4:30 pm doubleheader to kick off their Class 7A best-of-three series. The third game, if necessary, will be at 6:00 pm on Thursday.