The baseball playoff picture for local schools in Region 8-A is much more cemented than in Region 7-AAA heading into today’s final day of regular season play.
Win or lose today against Athens Academy, fourth-ranked Jefferson (17-4, 16-1 Region 8-A) is already the Region 8-A champion and holds the No. 1 playoff seed for the start of the state tournament next weekend. The Dragons will play host to Trion (6-16), the No. 4 seed out of Region 6-A next Friday in the best-of-three first-round playoff series.
Lakeview Academy (17-7, 14-3) is also playoff bound. The Lions secured the No. 2 spot in 8-A with a win over Athens Christian on Thursday night. They will play host to Gordon Lee (16-6-1) next weekend.
In Region 7-AAA, there are different scenarios still in play for the region title.
Top-ranked Flowery Branch and Gainesville will open up the Class AAA state playoffs at home as the top two seeds in the region and the only question remaining with these two is which one will be the region champion.
Flowery Branch (23-2, 19-2) controls its own destiny, and clinches the region title with either a win today against Lumpkin County or a Gainesville loss.
The Red Elephants’ only formula to earn the region title is a win over Pickens, along with a Flowery Branch loss to Lumpkin County (12-11, 10-10 Region 7-AAA).
Gilmer (18-7, 15-6) is the No. 3 seed in Region 7-AAA. The Bobcats visits Region 5-AAA’s No. 2 seed to open the playoffs next Friday.
White County controls its own destiny with regards to the No. 4 spot in 7-AAA. The Warriors (14-11, 12-9) are back in contention as a result of North Hall’s (16-10, 13-9) loss to West Forsyth on Thursday night in Cumming.
Either White County or North Hall will likely face Region 5-AAA champion and third-ranked Dunwoody (18-5, 13-1) in the first round of the state tournament.
Along with Dunwoody, playoff opponents in Region 5-AAA include sixth-ranked Westminster, Blessed Trinity and Riverwood. Chamblee and North Atlanta still have an outside chance at getting in the playoffs in 5-AAA.
In Region 8-AA, Banks County is already in the playoffs as a result of a region tournament series win against Oglethorpe County last weekend. The Leopards are still jockeying for their specific seed in the playoffs with the Region 8-AA tourney still being played.
Region 8-AA matches up against Region 6-AA in the first round of the playoffs. Region 6-AA is widely considered one of the toughest regions in the state, in any classification, with No. 1 Holy Innocents, No. 3 Wesleyan, No. 8 Greater Atlanta Christian and 2006 state finalist Lovett all playoff bound.