THOMASVILLE — One of the hottest teams in Class AAAA will open the postseason Wednesday afternoon at home.
Thomas County Central's 20-11 season netted the Yellow Jackets a No. 2 seed in Region 1 and a home playoff series against Howard beginning Wednesday.
It was the team's eight-game winning streak that put the Yellow Jackets in position to host a playoff series. Central swept then-region leader Cairo and also recorded wins over Class 7-A programs Tift County and Lowndes.
“We're definitely playing really good baseball right now,” Central coach Ryan Strickland said. “I think we've won 11 of our last 13 or so and it's really been a team thing all the way around. We're getting contributions from different parts of the lineup, different pitchers, everything, which is huge. It gives us a lot of confidence knowing that any point in time, somebody's going to be doing something good to help you win and not just ride on one hitter or one pitcher.”
The never-say-die attitude is what has sparked this late-season streak for the Yellow Jackets.
“The biggest thing is they realize that they're never down and out,” Strickland said. “They've always fought and competed but sometimes they would get down when one thing went wrong. They haven't done that anymore. They realize that no matter the score of the game, they're never out of it.”
What has been the rallying cry for the Yellow Jackets the last three weeks will serve them well in a postseason series format. Win two out of three and move on to the next round.
“You're playing for one more week together,” Strickland said. “That's what we talk about here — how much more time as a group can we spend together at this point in the year. We've got to win two out of three. That's what you've got to do.
“You don't really stress too much over, 'We've got to do it.’ It's just 'Play loose, play hard, have fun.’ Leave it all out there. If this is going to be the last one, how do you want to walk off the field?”
The best-two-out-of-three series begins Wednesday with a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. If necessary, game 3 will be on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.