THOMASVILLE – Brookwood's trio of senior hurlers will be the key to the team's postseason's success.
Jacob Lauderdale, Parker Mirick and Harper McClendon are set to guide the Warriors in the GISA Class AAA playoffs, which begin Monday at home against St. Andrews of Savannah at Strickland Field.
“I think pitching and defense have been our strength,” Brookwood coach Daniel Funt said. “It's been huge to have three quality starters throughout the regular season. It's going to be even bigger in the playoffs.”
Brookwood finished the regular season 15-7 and allowed just 3.86 runs per game. Its top three pitchers have all signed to play collegiate baseball. Lauderdale has already signed with Coastal Carolina. Mirick has inked with Andrew College in Cuthbert and McClendon has signed with Tallahassee Community College (Fla.).
It could be a tough matchup for St. Andrews. The Lions won just two games this year and scored just 62 runs.
The two teams will play a doubleheader at Strickland Field, beginning at 4 p.m. If necessary, a third game will be played on Tuesday at noon.
Brookwood enters the postseason having lost two of its last three in a series with Tiftarea last week (2-9, 2-1, 3-5). Still, the Warriors are confident heading into the playoffs.
“We shot ourselves in the foot in the first game with some uncharacteristic defense but we bounced back in game two,” Funt said of the 2-1 win. “Then we hit the ball really well in game three, and we lost a tough game.“I still think we're playing with confidence.
“We have a couple of injuries that we're dealing with. Guys are coming back. I feel like we're going into the playoffs ready to go.”
McClendon is one of those players recovering from injury. He missed the Tiftarea series with what Funt termed “golf elbow,” a little tendinitis.
“He might throw this first series, maybe an inning or two, kind of like bullpen against hitters for the first time. Then he should be good to go the second round,” Funt said. “He's going to be back. That'll be good, be a boost.”
If Brookwood wins, it'll host either Dominion Christian or Bulloch Academy in the quarterfinal round next Friday and Saturday.