Cavaliers are back in semifinals

Published 9:53 pm Friday, May 11, 2018


Daily News

For the first time in 11 years, the Callaway Cavaliers are one of the last four teams standing in the state baseball tournament.

Callaway earned its spot in the Class AA semifinals by beating Thomasville in game three of their playoff series on Thursday.

Callaway’s opponent will be Benedictine, which swept Social Circle in the quarterfinals.

The game times for the series, which will be played at Callaway, were set on Friday.

They’ll play a doubleheader on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., and if needed, a third and deciding game would be played on Wednesday.

Whatever happens next week, this has already been one of the best seasons in the history of the program.

The Cavaliers (26-10) captured the Region 5-AA championship, and they’ve won three state-playoff series.

Callaway beat Douglass-Atlanta 16-0 and 16-0 in the first round, and it swept Rabun County 3-0 and 9-7 in the second round.

Against Thomasville, Callaway lost the first game 9-3 before rallying for a 2-1 victory.

In Thursday’s winner-take-all game, Callaway built a 9-1 lead and held on for a 9-6 victory.

That win propelled Callaway into the state semifinals for the first time since 2007 when it lost to Holy Innocents’.

The current head coach is the same one who led the Cavaliers to the semifinals in 2007, and Dusty Hubbard doesn’t believe the players are just happy to be here.

“I really think this group won’t be satisfied,” Hubbard said.

Kyle Campbell, one of four seniors on the team, said “we’re not done yet.”

Another one of the seniors, Buster Perry, said it was a “surreal” moment when he realized the Cavaliers were going to the semifinals.

“This is my first year playing varsity, so it’s an amazing feeling,” Perry said. “It’s something I can’t express. It’s really emotional. I love all of these guys. It’s a great experience.”

Senior Chandler Lott and Campbell both transferred to Callaway for their junior seasons, and their goal was to help the team win a state championship.

The Cavaliers, who lost in the second round of the state tournament last year, are four wins away from that goal becoming a reality.

“This is what we came for,” Lott said. “I didn’t come here to just win region, and I told coach Hubbard that when I first met him.

“I told him I didn’t just want to win region, I want to keep going. It might not have happened last year, but it may happen this year.”


WHAT: Semifinals of the Class AA state playoffs

WHEN: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. (doubleheader)

WHERE: Callaway

ON THE LINE: Winner plays Berrien or Jeff Davis for the state championship.