THOMASVILLE — One round down, four more to go for the Thomasville Bulldogs baseball team. After capturing the Region 1-AA title, the Bulldogs rolled into last week's state playoffs and swept the the first two games of a best-of-3 series with Oglethorpe County, 9-0, 4-2.
It was a key playoff win for the young Bulldogs who now focus on Dodge County in a second-round series that begins Tuesday.
“Things just change when the playoffs start. The game's still the same,” Thomasville coach Erik McDougald said. “It doesn't matter No. 1 seed or four seed, really, in a lot of cases, you just never know what another region has competed against all year long. There'll be 3 and 4 seeds as good as anybody else. To come out and play well (in the first round) in an intense environment with some young kids was good to get that under their belt and to experience that whole feeling and what it's about.”
Thomasville has now won three straight and six of its last eight. But the playoff challenge increases this week when the Indians come to Thomasville. The Indians are 19-6 after sweeping Bacon County in a couple of high-scoring games 7-6, 15-11.
The Indians swing the bats well and can score in bunches. They are averaging 7.8 runs per game and have scored at least 10 runs eight times.
“It's like I told them (after the first round), you cut the field in half, nothing's easy. Not that anything's really been easy for us all along,” McDougald said. “You understand that you've got to be on point. Dodge is a good baseball team. Dodge has been a good baseball team. Matt Herring's up there and done a really good job with those kids. They've got some good pitching and swing the bats really well. It'll just be minimizing errors and making the plays we can make. You just control what you can control.”
The Indians have been vulnerable on the road, though, compiling a 5-4 record. That could be an advantage for the Bulldogs who are relishing the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd again.
“It's really nice to be at home, not going to lie,” McDougald said. “It was a great atmosphere (in the first round). The fans really woke up and got into it on both sides. It's really nice not to have to ride somewhere if you can help it.”
Tuesday's doubleheader will start at 4 p.m. A third game will be played on Wednesday at 5 p.m. if necessary.