Callaway enjoys this time of year

Published 11:17 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Daily News

The Callaway Cavaliers like this time of year.

Under head coach Dusty Hubbard, the Cavaliers have won at least one playoff series for eight straight years, and four times during that span they’ve advanced to the quarterfinals or beyond.

Callaway continued its run of success in the playoffs with last week’s first-round win over Banks County, and Hubbard’s team will look to keep it going today.

Callaway will host Model in a best-of-three series, with the winner advancing to the Class AA quarterfinals.

They’ll play a doubleheader on Thursday at 4 p.m., and if needed, a third and deciding game would be played on Friday.

Callaway, the number two team from Region 5-AA, had a tough first-round opponent in Banks County, which finished third in Region 8-AA.

After winning the first game 11-1, Callaway completed the sweep with an 8-6 win.

“I thought we prepared really well. I really did,” Hubbard said. “We’ll have to do the same thing (for Model).”

It helps that Callaway has so many players who have been through the playoff grind before.

Last season, Callaway made it to the semifinals before dropping a hard-fought series to Benedictine.

While Callaway lost some key seniors, plenty of men who were a part of that team returned.

That includes third baseman Wesley Marchman, shortstop Drake Wade, second baseman Bryce Kurian and first baseman Braelin Mitchell.

The only infielders who weren’t full-time players last season are catchers Zach Neighbors and Luke Swann.

“Experience really helped us,” Kurian said after the Banks County sweep. “Defensively, we had all upperclassmen (on the infield), and we were able to field everything.”

Other returnees are Trent Sheppard, Jabari Smith, Destin Patrick and Walt Stewart.

LaGrange has experience on the pitcher’s mound, with Dawson Wright leading the way.

In game one against Banks County, Wright threw five innings and held Banks County to one run.

Some of Callaway’s newcomers have come through as well, including freshman Justin Moore, who was the starting and winning pitcher in game two against Banks County.

While Wright and Moore will likely pitch today’s games, Walt Stewart could get the call for game three. Stewart was the game three starter in the semifinals against Benedictine last season.

Model finished fourth in Region 7-AA, and it had no trouble with Region 6-AA champion South Atlanta in the first round.

It’ll be another challenge for the Cavaliers, and Hubbard said “you just keep trying to find a way.”



WHEN: Thursday, 4 p.m. (doubleheader)

WHERE: Callaway

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Callaway finished second in Region 5-AA and beat Banks County in the first round of the playoffs; Model finished fourth in Region 7-AA and beat South Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs

UP NEXT: The winner will play either Thomasville or Bacon County in the quarterfinals