After taking a test run on Saturday, the LaGrange Grangers will kick things off for real today.
On Saturday, LaGrange took on Callaway in a preseason game.
Today at 5:30 p.m. at Granger Park, LaGrange will face Hardaway in its season opener.
It will be the first of 12 games for the Grangers before they begin their Region 5-AAAA schedule against Shaw on March 21.
Considering the inexperience on the team, head coach Todd Herrington is glad to have those games to prepare for region play.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Herrington said. “I’m grateful we have several non-region games to go before we get to our region schedule. Hopefully by the time we hit that region schedule, a lot of those unanswered questions will be answered.”
Saturday’s game gave Herrington a chance to see nearly every player on the roster.
A few of the players were unable to participate, including Logan Moody, who just finished basketball, and Jacob Butler, who will wrestle in the state finals this weekend.
Another player is still recovering from appendix surgery.
Everyone else saw significant playing time.
“Everybody played multiple innings,” Herrington said. “It wasn’t just a guy got an at-bat. Everybody got to play at least two innings in the field, and got at least one at-bat, and most guys got two at-bats. It was productive.”
While today’s game will mark the debut for a handful of first-time starters, another player will be looking forward to getting back in the lineup after missing much of the 2013 season with an injury.
Caleb Buchanan was one of LaGrange’s top hitters before he was lost for the season with an injury, but Herrington said he’s at “100 percent” heading into the season.
“He was having such a great year at the plate for us,” Herrington said. “In fact, he was our leading hitter when he went down.”
On Saturday, LaGrange will play Cass and Allatoona at the Home Plate complex in Peachtree City.
The following week, the Grangers will host their own tournament where they’ll play four games, and after that they’ll have five more games before opening region play.
“There’s going to be some good competition (in non-region play),” Herrington said. “After that we’ll begin our region schedule, and open up with Shaw, who is a lot stronger this year, too.”