With 13 games under their belt and 13 games to go, the Long County baseball team is looking to make a surge over the last half of the season to get in the play-offs.
Currently the Tide has an overall record of 6-7, but they know those numbers have little meaning. The numbers that matter are the 2-AA Region record.
The Blue and White stand at 2-5 in the region, which puts them 2 ½ games out of the crucial fourth spot, behind McIntosh County and Brantley County that are both at 4-4.
"We are only two games back, in the loss column, from being in the fourth spot for the playoffs. As of right now, I would give our team a C. We have played some really good games and a few bad ones, as well," Tide head coach Brian Thomas said.Thomas is right, the team has played well at times. They beat McIntosh County and only narrowly lost (3-4) to Appling County, the top team in 2-AA. But Long County also lost big region games to Benedictine and Brantley County by narrow margins of 3-5 and 1-3.
The lack of offense has to turn around if the team is going to make a run at the post-season.
"I have been pleased with our pitching staff and our defense, but I have been a bit disappointed with our offensive production," Thomas said. "We haven’t scored enough runs to win some close games."
Though the Blue Tide is near the bottom of the standings, Thomas knows a playoff opportunity is there. Of the final 13 games, nine are region against opponents.
Of those nine games, six of are against the five teams ahead of them. So Long County controls their own destiny. Thomas is optimistic.
"I think with some much needed rest and team building, we are going to be ready for the challenge of the second half of the season," he said.
The Tide will have the opportunity to make up ground Tuesday when they take on Pierce County, which has a 5-2 region record. In their first game of the year last month, the Bears won 11-2 over the Blue and White. But even though Pierce won that game, on paper, the Tide appeared to be the better team.
The Tide has put up 78 runs this season for an average of 6 a night, compared to the Bears putting up 95 runs and averaging 6.3 runs. On defense, the Bears have given up 105 runs for an average of 7 a game, compared to the Tide allowing 64 runs for a 4.9 average.
The game is in Blackshear at 6 p.m.