Play in first round at Thomas Co. Central
Jones County fans are hoping the Greyhounds can do what they did the last time they opened the state baseball playoffs on the road against a team from Region 1-5A.
In 2015, Jones County won two of three games in the opening round at Harris County and went on to advance to the state semifinals before falling.
The 2019 Greyhounds were to begin the state playoffs on the road again for the fifth year in a row against Thomas County Central at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. They have been eliminated in the opening round each of the last three seasons.
Jones County swept Dutchtown in a pair of games last week to wind up third in Region 4-5A behind Ola and Locust Grove. Union Grove was fourth.
The Greyhounds also lost a non-region game to Houston County last week to finish the regular season at 16-10 overall and 10-4 in the region.
Thomas County Central is 24-4 and finished second in 1-5A behind Harris County.
The teams were to play a doubleheader at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Thomasville to begin the best-of-three series. The third game, if needed, will be at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
The winner will advance to the second round against the Wayne County-Fayette County winner next Thursday and Friday.
“I’m not sure how strong their schedule was, but they’ve only lost four games so they’re a really solid baseball team,” Jones County coach Jason Page said. “I’ve talked to some people who have played them and they play really good defense, swing the bats well and have a couple of kids who compete on the mound.
“We need to play good, solid baseball to beat them. If we don’t play well on defense, we’ll be in trouble. But if we play the way we can, I think we can get a couple of wins down there and keep going.”
The Greyhounds clinched third place in the region with a 14-4 win over Dutchtown at home last Tuesday, which was also the 100th career victory for Page since he became Jones County’s coach in 2015.
His players tried to douse him with ice water after the game but he was too nimble for them.
“I wasn’t expecting that, but I caught a glance and was able to dodge them,” he laughed. He promised not to run if the Greyhounds get hot and finish the season with a win.
The game against Dutchtown was tight early. After Jones County jumped ahead 4-1 in the first, the Bulldogs battled back with a run in the second and two in the third to tie the score. But the Greyhounds scored four more in the bottom of the third, one in the fourth and five in the fifth to end the game early.
Chandler Wooten went 4-for-4 with a double and four RBIs to lead the attack.
Brandin Johnson added three RBIs with two doubles, and Seth Daniels was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Colby Gordon struck out five in five innings for the victory.
Houston County jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first inning in Gray on Wednesday and held on for a 4-2 victory.
Jaden Woods and Chandler Dawson combined to hold the Greyhounds to four hits and struck out nine batters.
Garrett Baughman went five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, a walk and two hit batters to take the loss. Jacob Thompson held the Bears to one hit the final two innings.
The Greyhounds downed Dutchtown 17-9 on the road Thursday to wrap up the regular season.
Dalton Chapman went 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs, Johnson drove in two runs with two triples, Dawson Barnes was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, and Daniels doubled twice to lead the 13-hit attack.
The Bulldogs also swung the bats well, however, collecting 12 hits off of Barnes and Wooten. They led 6-4 after three innings but Jones County scored six in the fourth to pull ahead and kept adding runs the rest of the way.
Friday’s game at East Coweta was rained out and will not be made up.
Ola was to host Veterans, Locust Grove was to host Bainbridge and Union Grove was to play at Harris County in the other first round state playoff series involving teams from Region 4-5A.