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Big-time challenges await in second round

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

Dylan Johnson and the Callaway Cavaliers will visit Blessed Trinity in the second round of the state playoffs. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_CHS-johnson.jpgDylan Johnson and the Callaway Cavaliers will visit Blessed Trinity in the second round of the state playoffs. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
LaGrange’s Andrew Askew gets a lead off of third base while head coach David Smart looks on during Saturday’s game. LaGrange visits Gainesville on Wednesday. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_LHS7.jpgLaGrange’s Andrew Askew gets a lead off of third base while head coach David Smart looks on during Saturday’s game. LaGrange visits Gainesville on Wednesday. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LAGRANGE – It doesn’t get any easier.

Following dramatic Game 3 road wins on Saturday, the baseball teams from Callaway and LaGrange will be away from home once again this week as the state tournament continues.

Callaway, after its first-round win over Hart County, will visit Blessed Trinity, the state’s top-ranked Class AAA team and a perennial championship contender.

LaGrange, which beat Union Grove in the first round, will also have its hands full with Gainesville in the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs.

Both of those series will begin on Wednesday with doubleheaders, with the third games set for Thursday if needed.

Also, the LaGrange Academy baseball team will be at home for a GISA first-round series that gets under way on Friday.

Callaway, coming off its 1-0 win over Hart County in Game 3, will face an epic challenge this week.

Blessed Trinity, which has won back-to-back state championships, has been steamrolling the opposition this year.

Blessed Trinity (27-1), the champion of Region 4-AAA, has lost one game all season, and it came against a team from Louisiana in early April.

In the first round of the playoffs, Blessed Trinity overwhelmed Brantley County 8-1 and 6-0 to move a step closer to a three-peat.

Standing in Blessed Trinity’s way is a Callaway team coming off a dramatic series win over Hart County.

After the teams split a doubleheader on Friday, Callaway got a walkoff hit from Javoski Leverette in the bottom of the seventh inning to win Saturday’s game 1-0.

Wednesday’s doubleheader will begin at 4:30 p.m.

“It’s baseball. Anything can happen,” Callaway coach Dusty Hubbard said. “You’ve got to go in there and find a way to catch the outs, and don’t give them anything free, and get some big hits.”

LaGrange’s task is a tall one as well.

Gainesville (24-4), the Region 8-AAAAA champion, punched its ticket to the second round with a sweep of Alexander last week, although both games were competitive.

After winning the first game 3-1, the Red Elephants completed the sweep with a 7-5 win.

Gainesville has won 13 of its past 14 games, and it is on an eight-game winning streak.

Wednesday’s doubleheader will get under way at 4 p.m.

LaGrange Academy, which finished second in GISA Region 1-AA, will host the third-place team from Region 4-AA on Friday in a best-of-three series.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports