State success for Warriors
Published 12:43 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a break-through performance for the LaGrange Academy Warriors.
Coming into the season, it had been more than five years since LaGrange Academy’s baseball team had won a series in the state playoffs.
LaGrange Academy remedied that situation by sweeping Twiggs Academy in the opening round of the GISA Class A playoffs.
LaGrange Academy’s season then came to a close with a loss to Thomas Jefferson in the state semifinals.
“I told them, this is my sixth year coaching, and this is the first time we’ve won a state-playoff game. And then we won the series,” said LaGrange Academy head coach Brandon Lybrand said. “So it was one of those where they were glad to get the monkey off their back. They played real well and competed.”
There were five teams in the Class A state playoffs, and fourth-seeded LaGrange Academy and fifth-seeded Twiggs Academy faced off for the right to advance to the semifinals.
After winning the first game 13-5, LaGrange Academy held on for a 3-2 win in the second game.
That set up a matchup with top-seeded Thomas Jefferson in the semifinals.
After winning the first game 11-1, Thomas Jefferson completed the sweep with a 16-0 victory.
“I was proud of the boys, because they never gave up,” Lybrand said. “They kept battling, kept swinging the bats, kept making plays.”
It was the swan song for LaGrange Academy’s three seniors, Riley Hess, Joseph Calhoun and Alex Wilson.
While Wilson was a first-year player, Hess and Calhoun are veterans of the program and multi-year starters.
“It gets tougher every year to talk to those seniors after you know it’s the last time they’re going to play with you,” Lybrand said. “It’s tough, but you enjoy it while you have them.”