Tough region test for Cavaliers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’ll be a top-10 matchup when the Callaway Cavaliers and Bremen Blue Devils get together this week.
The two Region 5-AA rivals will play three times this week, including once on Tuesday, and twice on Friday.
Bremen will host Tuesday’s game at 5:30 p.m., and the scene shifts to Callaway for a doubleheader on Friday starting at 4:30 p.m.
According to Maxpreps.com, Callaway is the third-ranked team in Class AA, while Bremen is ranked sixth.
Callaway (11-4 overall) dropped its region opener to Temple, but it has won three consecutive region games since then.
After beating Temple twice, Callaway rallied late to beat Heard County 5-3 last week to improve to 3-1 in the region.
Callaway and Heard County were supposed to play a doubleheader on Friday, but the games were postponed because of storm damage in Franklin.
Bremen (8-5) is 3-0 in the region after taking three games from Haralson County.
Bremen, Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard believes, is well-deserving of its lofty ranking.
“The biggest thing is their depth,” Hubbard said. “They have so much more depth than most Class AA schools. It’s depth on the mound, depth from a position standpoint. From what we’ve seen and the people we’ve talked to, they’ve got four or five pitchers that they really believe in.”
Bremen hasn’t been an easy place for Callaway to play the past few seasons.
In 2019, a Callaway team that reached the state semifinals for a second straight season lost both of its games at Bremen.
Last year, in what turned out its final region game a few days before the season ended because of COVID-19, Callaway lost to Bremen 10-3.
“We’ve struggled defensively there,” Hubbard said. “Their field plays really fast, and we’ve made quite a few errors there, and we’ve had instances where we’ve had outfielders lose the ball in the lights. It’s been a place where defensively we’ve had some problems, so we’re going to have to go in there and play a little better than we have in the past.”
Winning at Bremen would be a big step for Callaway as it looks to take two of three games this week.
If the Cavaliers prevail on Tuesday, they would only need to win one of two games on Friday to capture the series.
“Against a good team like that, you want to win the series,” Hubbard said. “If you do anything outside of that, it’s icing on the cake. You do whatever you can to take two out of three.”
The Cavaliers, as their record indicates, have been playing winning baseball, but Hubbard believes the team hasn’t come close to peaking.
“We haven’t played our best baseball yet,” Hubbard said. “If we can get to the point where we’re playing our best baseball by the end of the year, we’ll be a tough out. And it’s mostly from an offensive standpoint. I don’t think we’ve hit our stride yet offensively. The guys are working to get better, and hopefully the next 10 or 12 games we’ll hit our stride offensively and be rolling when it’s playoff time.”
WHEN: 5:30 p.m.
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. (doubleheader)
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