High School Hardball: The Easter Break

I always like to think of Spring Break during the high school baseball season as being like the All-Star Break in the majors.

It's not quite the same, since some teams actually play region games during the week.

Still, it's a pretty good line of demarcation between the early-season and the stretch run towards the state playoffs.

And with as much rain as we've had so far this spring, it's also a good time to get caught up from some early season postponements, though even last week's weather was something out of "The Day After Tomorrow" (snow flurries, followed by sunny and 70 degrees, followed by severe thunderstorms).

Some teams got quite a lot done during the break.

If you count the weekend leading up to the week, Brookwood, for example, managed to get five games in during an eight-day stretch, winning four of them, three of them Region 8-AAAAA games, including two over teams (Grayson, Parkview) they currently share the region top spot with.

With Ronnie Freeman having been consistent most of the season, some of the newer bats in the Broncos' batting order, like seniors Michael Brown, Chris Paul and Wade Brogdon, plus super sophomores Tremayne Toorie and Trey Martin, are starting to get hot.

But perhaps the two teams who did themselves the most good might have been Gwinnett's two representatives in Region 7-A, Wesleyan and Providence, who look like they may be separating themselves from the rest of the region.

Three impressive wins in four games have improved the Wolves to 10-6 (4-0 in region) after a slow start, while the Stars (10-6-1) brought out their big bats, averaging 11 runs per game in four straight wins.

Mark this Wednesday on your calendar, and not because it's Tax Day (I've already filed, for any IRS agents who may be reading). That's when the two teams meet at Providence in a game that will either put Wesleyan squarely in the driver's seat (the Wolves won the first meeting between the two teams) in the region race or really make it a horse race down the stretch.

For others, Spring Break was no day at the beach.

South Gwinnett experienced the fickle finger of baseball fate first hand when lightning kept the Comets just three out short of an important Region 8-AAAAA win over Parkview, only to have the Panthers come back to turn the tables on them the next day when the game was replayed in its entirety.

Kudos to Parkview on the recovery, by the way, which should help put some spice into what figures to be a very entertaining region race the second time through the schedule, with the three-way tie and South just a game back.

So, oil up those gloves, put on that eye black and get in some good practice swings, boys.

Vacation's over and the real season is really beginning to heat up. Now, if we can just do something about the weather.

Oh, and one final note. With Spring Break now over, coaches are reminded to send in their statistical leaders for our weekly report (in each Friday's edition) by Wednesday each week through the duration of the season.

They may be either e-mailed to david.friedlander@gwinnettdailypost.com or faxed to (770) 339-8081. Thanks, and play ball.