Teams need weather to improve to get games in
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
April 19, 2014 04:00 AM | 1194 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Water pooled along the backstop of Woodstock’s baseball field Friday, as rain continued to fall. The Wolverines’ scheduled game with Cherokee was rained out, leaving the county rivals, and other teams in the area, to find room to reschedule their games with time ticking away in the regular season. 
<BR>Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter
Water pooled along the backstop of Woodstock’s baseball field Friday, as rain continued to fall. The Wolverines’ scheduled game with Cherokee was rained out, leaving the county rivals, and other teams in the area, to find room to reschedule their games with time ticking away in the regular season.
Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter
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Baseball fields in and around Cherokee County were covered in puddles, rather than players, Friday as rain soaked the area and forced teams to postpone games.

Woodstock was scheduled to host Region 5AAAAAA foe Cherokee Friday night. Wolverines coach Todd Harris said that game will be moved to next week, although he and the Warriors’ Jason McDaniel hadn’t decided exactly when it would be played.

The Warriors and Wolverines have a regularly scheduled game Monday at Cherokee. Both schools have extensive exams for their seniors Tuesday, and Wednesday is already booked with Cherokee playing at Milton and Woodstock hosting Lassiter.

Harris said that even if the rain stopped overnight, there was no way his field would be in playable condition today, making Thursday the best option.

“It’s just too wet,” Harris said. “The sun isn’t going to come out, and we wouldn’t be able to get it in (today) anyway. A lot of the umpires had taken off for the weekend, so it was going to be hard to get umpires as well. We just went ahead and said we would play sometime next week.”

Moving that game to Thursday would give both Cherokee (7-14, 3-7) and Woodstock (9-9, 1-7) four games over five days, including games on three straight days. Neither program is in position to qualify for the state playoffs, so their seasons will end.

For Etowah, which is on the cusp of a playoff berth, the stakes are a bit higher.

The Eagles (17-5, 6-4 Region 5AAAAAA) were supposed to play at Milton on Friday night, and that game was tentatively rescheduled for tonight at 6 p.m.

Etowah will host Milton on Monday before playing a home-and-home series with Wheeler on Wednesday and Friday. That schedule provides the Eagles with open dates Tuesday and Thursday to get the game in with Milton, should conditions remain unfavorable today.

“It doesn’t look like anyone in the region is going to be able to play (today), but we are going to try,” Etowah coach Greg Robinson said. “There are just some things you can’t control. We all should have played (Thursday), when it was beautiful, but this rain just kind of snuck up on us. Usually, we try to plan ahead and move games up, but this just got by a lot of us. We just have to do the best we can.”

Robinson said it will pay off to have good pitchers in the next week.

“This is when you need depth — when it’s crunch time for all of us,” he said. “Everybody is in the same boat and you just hope you have some good depth in your arms.”

Milton (15-7, 8-2) leads the region standings, making the series vary pivotal for Etowah, which are currently tied with Lassiter (13-9, 6-4) for the fourth and final state playoff berth. A game ahead of Etowah and Lassiter in the standings are Walton and Roswell.

With four games remaining, the only certainty is that Wheeler, Woodstock and Cherokee will not make the playoffs.

In Region 7AAAAA, there will be a lot of baseball next week, but coaches prepared for it with a weather plan.

Teams in the region normally play Friday, but coaches agreed to leave that date open during the final week of the regular season in order to allow time to make up any needed games.

Creekview, which was slated to play at North Springs on Friday, will now try to get that game in today at 5 p.m. The Grizzlies will then host Forsyth Central on Monday, play at Pope on Wednesday and host rival Sequoyah on Thursday.

Should Creekview and North Springs have to postpone today’s game again, coach Mike Nayman expects it to be played Tuesday.

“We’ll dance around the raindrops at some point,” Nayman said. “The weather is going to have to cooperate if we are going to play the game at 5 p.m. If it doesn’t, we will just have to move to Tuesday, or next week, and see what happens.”

Should the game be moved to Tuesday, that would give Creekview games on four straight nights.

“We would just be playing on the first four days of next week,” Nayman said. “It’s not ideal, but it looks like there could be several teams possibly in that boat.”

Creekview (14-8, 11-5) is currently third in the Region 7AAAAA standings behind Sprayberry (15-6, 12-4) and Sequoyah (15-8, 12-5). The Grizzlies are game ahead of Pope (11-10, 10-6).

All told, there are seven teams in the region with eight or more wins, and each still has a chance at reaching the Class AAAAA state playoffs, with four games remaining.

Sequoyah was to play Pope on Friday. The Chiefs have a light schedule next week, with only one game against Osborne on Wednesday before Creekview on Thursday.

River Ridge has its own challenges in Region 7AAAA.

The Knights (12-9, 8-3) were to conclude their regular season Friday at Pickens. The outcome of that game, combined with the outcome of the Cass-Cedartown game, which was also rained out Friday, will determine who will play for the region title Wednesday and Thursday.

River Ridge is currently a game behind Cedartown in their subregion. When the rained-out games are made up and the final standings are decided, the No. 1 teams from each subregion will play for the region title, while the No. 2 and No. 3 teams will play to decide the final two playoff-bound teams.

Those best-of-three series must be concluded by Friday.
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