There has been no need to get anybody warmed up through the first two rounds of the state playoffs.
The Callaway Cavaliers have only needed to use two pitchers.
Perry Keith and Nick O’Berry have each made two starts, and neither one of them has yielded a run as Callaway has crushed Central-Macon and Appling County by a combined score of 50-0.
Chances are at some point - perhaps in a third-round series against Cartersville that begins today - some more pitchers will need to be used.
With that in mind, Callaway’s other pitches have gotten plenty of work on the mound, not in games, but during practice.
“In case we’re needed, we’re ready,” said junior right-hander Cody Mimbs, a possible Game 3 starter.
If head coach Dusty Hubbard does have to dip into the pitching staff behind Keith and O’Berry, the Cavaliers figure to be in good shape.
Mimbs has made 10 starts this season, and he is 4-2 with a 3.43 earned run average.
Terry Godwin has made seven appearances with three starts, and he is 3-0 with a 1.87 ERA.
Freshman Dylan Johnson, meanwhile, has pitched in five games with two starts, and he is 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA.
Keith, O’Berry, Mimbs, Godwin and Johnson are the main five on the staff, but sophomore Hunter Rollins has also performed well when called upon with a sterling 1.81 ERA in five appearances.
As for Keith and O’Berry, they have been nearly untouchable in the playoffs, and for most of the season.
O’Berry, a senior left-hander, is 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA, and he has thrown two no-hitters, including one against Central-Macon in the first round of the playoffs.
Keith, a junior right-hander, is 7-1 with a 1.28 ERA, and he has thrown six complete games, including two in the playoffs.
COMPLETE PLAYER: It has been a stunningly successful senior season for Nick O’Berry.
O’Berry, who underwent shoulder surgery following his junior season, has enjoyed an outstanding all-around season.
For the third straight season, O’Berry is one of the team’s top pitchers, and he’ll start one of Callaway’s two games against Cartersville today in the third round of the state playoffs.
O’Berry has also been a formidable player with a bat in his hand.
O’Berry has a team best .378 batting average, and he’s second on the team with 20 RBIs.
O’Berry is also a standout outfielder who routinely makes highlight-worthy plays.
In the Appling County series, O’Berry made what head coach Dusty Hubbard called “one of the best plays I’ve seen” when he went over the fence to make a catch.
“He’s a good outfielder, a great base-runner,” Hubbard said. “He’s a great athlete, and his instincts are so good.”
WREAKING HAVOC: The Cavaliers aren’t the type of team that is going to sit back and wait for the big hit.
When a Callaway player gets on base, there’s a good chance he’ll be in motion, or that he’ll be taking off if a pitch gets away from the catcher.
Callaway’s players are also always looking to take an extra base if a ball is misplayed in the outfield on a hit.
The idea is to put as much pressure as possible on the opposing team’s defense.
Callaway’s aggressive base-running paid big dividends in Game 1 against Appling County in last week’s second-round playoff series.
Appling’s pitcher in Game 1 was throwing well early and was starting to get into a rhythm, but the Cavaliers ended up scoring 10 runs in the game, and a lot of those runs came because of their work on the base paths.
“We did a great job running the bases,” Callaway coach Dusty Hubbard said. “We took the extra base on them all day. We read some balls in the dirt really well. When they missed the cut-off men from the outfield, we were at second base every time.”
Perry Keith said the game plan coming in was to try to make the Appling County pitcher uncomfortable by doing a lot on the bases.
“Coach Hubbard told us, and the coaching staff told us if you can get pressure to the pitcher early, we’d have a pretty good shot,” Keith said. “That was one way of doing it.”
LOOKING AHEAD: If Callaway beats Cartersville today, it would be on the road again for the semifinals of the state playoffs on May 19 against either Buford or Pike County.
If Callaway makes it to the championship series, which begins on May 24, it would be at home.
On the other side of the bracket, the quarterfinal final match-ups feature Central-Carroll against Blessed Trinty, and Pierce County against Hart County.