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April 24, 2014

Win and you're in: THS eyes Fitzgerald rematch with playoffs on line

THOMASVILLE —

Thomasville could be down to its final game of the season.

The Diamond ‘Dogs travel to Fitzgerald on Friday with the final spot for the AA state tournament on the line. Thomasville (13-10, 5-6) will qualify with a win or Brooks County loss.

Brooks, which has lost seven region games – twice to Cook, Berrien and Fitzgerald and once to Pelham – holds the tiebreaker against Thomasville having swept the Bulldogs this spring.

So how have the Diamond ‘Dogs grasped the ‘Win and you’re in’ outset?

“Quite honestly, I do not know,” Thomasville coach Erik McDougald said. “I told them – you’re never, ever going to forget Friday night. What comes after that raises the big question: Did I put myself in the position to succeed or fail? That’s not a baseball thing. That’s a life thing.

“If you tell yourself that the beach looks good at this point or that you don’t want to come back to practice next week; if you’re asking yourself all those kind of questions, you’re going to be mad at yourself down the road.”

McDougald said the most sentimental chat he’s had regarding the rematch has been with Thomasville basketball player Trevarius Wimberly, who told the coach that the ‘win or go home’ revelation “is cool – if you’re an athlete. An athlete understands it. A go-getter gets that. It’s supposed to be fun,” McDougald paraphrased. “The only thing that would make it more fun is if Fitzgerald was in the same position. We’ll see how they adapt to it.”

Thomasville is coming off a 3-2 win over Early County on Tuesday, which positioned the team into a postseason frame for Friday’s game against Fitzgerald.

These teams last played in a 1-0 pitching duel that came down to a final play when Garett Hasty scored on a wild throw to first base on a sacrifice bunt by Morgan Meyers. Hasty, who was already digging towards third base on the play, turned the bag and headed home on instinct when he saw the ball dribble into right field.

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