LaGrange gets another home playoff series

Published 11:41 am Friday, May 12, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – The road to the championship series will go through Granger Park.

After the LaGrange Grangers beat Stephens County on Wednesday, they knew they were going to the Class AAAA semifinals.

What the Grangers didn’t know was who their opponent would be, and where the series would be played.

Those questions have been answered.

Marist beat Madison County 19-2 in Game 3 of their quarterfinal series on Thursday evening, so it earned a date  opposite LaGrange in the final four.

Since Marist and LaGrange are both number two seeds, there was a coin flip to determine home-field advantage.

LaGrange won the coin flip, so it will be at home for a fourth consecutive playoff series.

LaGrange and Marist will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, and if they split those games, a third and deciding game would be on Thursday.

The times for the games will be determined today.

On the other side of the bracket, it’ll be Blessed Trinity vs. Heritage-Catoosa in the semifinals.

The semifinal winners will meet in a best-of-three championship series on May 25.

This is LaGrange’s first trip to the semifinals since 2006 when it lost to Blessed Trinity.

The Grangers haven’t had to leave home to reach this point.

LaGrange, which finished second in Region 5-AAAA, beat Chestatee 10-0 and 10-0 in the first round.

Northside, a number four seed, pulled off a first-round upset, so it traveled to LaGrange for the second round.

Once again it was a sweep, with LaGrange winning 5-2 and 5-3 to reach the elite eight.

Stephens County was also a number four seed, and it pulled off two road playoff wins to reach the quarterfinals.

LaGrange beat Stephens County 6-2 and 5-0, and it was on to the final four.

Marist, the number two seed from Region 7-AAAA, has beaten Cedartown, Cairo and Madison County.

Marist swept doubleheaders against Cedartown and Cairo before being pushed to a Game 3 against Madison County.

The Grangers are rolling.

Including the six victories in the playoffs, the Grangers (24-12) have won nine straight games.

Now, the Grangers are four wins away from a state title.

“We’re going to be really excited for it,” said Ben Anderson, a senior pitcher and outfielder for the Grangers. “I think we can do it. As long as we play hard, we can play with anybody.”

While the Grangers celebrated their berth in the final four, senior shortstop Willis Kemp said no one is satisfied.

“We’re got four more to go,” Kemp said. “We’re not done yet. We’re ready to keep winning.”


WHAT: Final four of Class AAAA state playoffs

WHEN: Wednesday (doubleheader); Thursday (Game 3 if necessary)

WHERE: Granger Park

ON THE LINE: Winner will play either Blessed Trinity or Heritage-Catoosa in championship series on May 25