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There are eight teams remaining in Region 2 of the 3A Baseball playoffs. Half of those teams are all from the same district. North Lamar, Paris High, Pittsburg and Pleasant Grove are all still alive in the baseball tournament.
Unfortunately for them, though, two of those teams will be eliminated after this weekends action. That’s because all four of these teams will be competing against one another. North Lamar will face Pittsburg and Paris High will be playing Pleasant Grove.
It’s pretty incredible that all four of these teams are still alive. Of course the coaches of these teams aren’t surprised by the deep playoff run.
“I told people during the season the pitching [in District 13-3A] is the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Pleasant Grove head coach Craig Jones said. “The playoffs are all about pitching and defense.”
He’s not the only coach to share that sentiment.
“Coach Jones has set the bar high for this District,” North Lamar coach Scott Igleheart said. “Tommy Stewart has done an amazing job in his first year as the coach at Pittsburg, and coach [Bill] Sikes keeps doing great things at Paris.”
Coach Stewart and Igleheart both talked about the two teams from the district that didn’t make the playoffs (Atlanta and Liberty Eylau) and how they feel like they could have won a few playoff series.
All four coaches are trying to get their teams ready for the weekends’ series. With at least two more games to be played, each team will have played the other four and possibly five times this year.
“All the cards are on the table,” said coach Jones. “We know them and they know us.”
“We know each other and try to take advantage of their weaknesses,” coach Stewart said.
Igleheart shared his concerns about playing Pittsburg another time. Beating a team twice in one season is hard enough, much less trying to beat them four times in one season.
None of the coaches would come right out and say this is the best district in 3A but they all gave it extremely high compliments.
“It’s the best district in the North and East,” coach Stewart said. “I’m not sure about the South though. There’s some good teams down there.
Coach Jones said he thinks the pitching is by far the best in the state but he didn’t want to speak about the offense. It’s a debate that is hard to prove. However, with four teams still alive it’s hard to say they’re not the best. For now, though, these teams are getting prepared for more playoff baseball. Of course, Daniel Gibbons may have summed this weekend up the best.
“We’re finished playing playoff baseball,” he said. “Now its time for District play.”
By: Greg Higgins, eParisExtra