It’s time for some Long County High School baseball. The Blue Tide baseball team begins the regular season Monday, taking on Charlton County in Folkston.
It’s the first game of the season and after four weeks of practice, and a few scrimmages, both teams are ready to hit the diamond for real.
The Blue Tide are coming off a year when they went 8-17 overall and 2-13 in the tough 2-AA Region. But even though last year’s record isn’t that impressive, three of the wins were over Groves High School, Appling County and Bradwell Institute. Also six of their losses were by less than two runs, so they were in all of those games right up until the final inning.
And last year’s team was young, loaded with sophomores filling positions normally held by juniors and seniors. Now those youngsters have solid varsity experience and are ready to make a run for a region title. In addition to the juniors in key positions, the Blue Tide also will be depending on several sophomores to step it up and have an impact.
The sophomores include Cody Fleck, Tristan Goodro, Gage Kasperian, Zach Harris, Austin Simmons, Cole Ray, and Austin Middleton. Juniors leading the team include Chase Rogers, Jacob Turner, Shawn Mills, Shane Deloach, John Christianson and Luke Golden.
Even though the Blue Tide will be better, they go into the season as one of the region’s underdogs. Last year the top four teams at the end of the year were Jeff Davis, Appling County, Pierce County and Brantley County. All four teams did well at the state level. Jeff Davis made it to the quarter-finals.
This year, those teams will be looking to do at least as well as in 2011. Also since Tattnall County won 14 games last year, Vidalia won 11 and Toombs County won 9, it is clear that Region 2-AA will be one of the toughest in the state.
Monday's game against the Indians is in Folkston, with the junior varsity beginning at 4 p.m. and the varsity at 6.