Houston County, Veterans baseball off to hot start

Sun News correspondentMarch 19, 2014 

Houston County and Veterans entered this season as the clear favorites in the area to make a deep run in the GHSA state baseball playoffs later this spring. Neither team has disappointed to begin the year, as each are off to a hot start despite challenging non-region schedules.

The highlight for local fans so far this year was the two games in which Veterans and Houston County squared off against one another. The Warhawks won the opening game 7-5, and the Bears took the following matchup 8-2.

Bears head coach Jason Brett also challenged his team two weeks ago with a three-game road trip to the metro Atlanta area that included two games against playoff teams from a year ago. Houston County beat Loganville 8-1, before sweeping a double header the following day by beating Johns Creek 14-4 and besting Chattahoochee by a final of 4-2.

The Bears also faced two other playoff teams earlier this year in Blessed Trinity and No. 1 ranked Lambert, as well as beating Pace High School from Florida.

The difficult schedule appeared to pay dividends in the GHSA Region 2-AAAAA opener for Houston County on Friday. The Bears trailed Northside for the entire contest before rallying for three runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a walk-off 5-4 win. The victory improved the Bears record to 9-3 overall.

Veterans’ early season slate wasn’t much easier. Head coach David Coffey began this year by scheduling eight opponents in a row from higher classifications. The Warhawks rose to the task by finishing 5-3 in those games.

Veterans swept a pair from Northside, beat Warner Robins, bested Jones County and split with Houston County. The other two losses were to GHSA Class AAAAAA quarterfinalist Tift County.

The tough games early also appeared to prepare the Warhawks for the start of their region schedule last week. Veterans had 10 straight hitters reach base in a 14-4 mercy rule win over Rutland on March 11, before taking down West Laurens 5-2 on Friday.

Veterans has now won a remarkable 28 consecutive GHSA Region 2-AAAA games and appears to be well on its way to another region championship.

The Warhawks will return to action this week with three road games against Westside, Dodge County and Baldwin.

Houston County will also head on the road for two games against Warner Robins and Jones County.

Contact Ryan Jordan at rjordan398@gmail.com.

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