By: Cameron McElwaney
The Newnan High School baseball team looks to add on to a five-game winning streak as they start the GHSA playoffs.
Newnan hosts Tucker High School at Joe Pope Field at home on Friday. First pitch is at 3:00 p.m. The Cougars will play a doubleheader against Tucker, and the second game will begin roughly thirty minutes after the first one finishes.
With a win in both games, Newnan will play next weekend in the next round, but with a split (win/loss) in Friday’s game, Newnan and Tucker will play again Saturday.
Newnan has ended the season with an excellent 18-8 record, and the Cougars were 12-2 in region play. Their strong record has landed them with a home playoff series and a two-seed in the playoffs.
The Newnan season was highlighted by a series split against rival East Coweta and a two-game sweep of Westlake. The Cougars finished second in region.
The Newnan seniors, like Brady Barnes, had to assume leadership roles on the team after the Class of 2015 graduated.
Brady explained how this year’s seniors quickly adapted to their leadership roles and used their previous varsity experience to do so.
“I had no problem adjusting as a team leader after starting on varsity since I was a sophomore. I’m not much of a vocal leader, but a leader by example,” Brady commented.
The Newnan offense got off to a slow start but was revived when sophomore Will Wilbanks was called up from JV. Seniors Dahlton Cash, Anthony Marino, Brady Barnes, Blake Crossing and Chancellor Johnson have highlighted the Newnan lineup all season with well-timed and consistent hitting.
Seniors Sawyer Steele and Johnson have been an excellent tandem on the mound for the Cougars. Both have done excellent this season and look to lead their team to victory in the first round of the playoffs.
“We’re just going to take it one game at a time and not try to do too much. We have Tucker first, so as of now, that’s our main priority,” Steele commented on the mindset of the team heading into round one.
After this season comes to an end for the Cougars, the following seniors will be continuing their baseball lives in college:
Brady Barnes – University of West Georgia
Dahlton Cash – Andrew College
Blake Crossing – Dartmouth College
Chancellor Johnson will be playing for Albany State University
Anthony Marino – Point University
Sawyer Steele – Chattahoochee Valley Community College