March 16, 2014

Devin Golden: Series format starts this week for Region 7-4A baseball teams

Who thought of the three-game series idea for Region 7-4A’s baseball schedule? Whoever it was is a genius.

Thank you to that person — and I’ll probably be thinking praise a lot more as this week continues.

This is the first week of play in the sub-divided region — and we start with an interesting series as Dalton and Southeast Whitfield hope to continue rolling from strong non-region records.

Southeast (7-2) and Dalton (5-3) play Tuesday at the Raiders’ field. In most schedules, that’d be all the two teams would see of one another until they play a second time at Dalton’s field. In this region, it’s different. Teams play a three-game series — just like MLB or college teams do during the season — over the span of a week. The benefits are teams can rebound from one loss and still win the series, a feat that adds up in the win-loss column, and pitching depth is a must when playing the same team three times in four days.

The only negative is redundancy — and that’s a nit-pick.

Southeast visits Dalton on Thursday and the action returns Friday to the Raiders’ field. All three games start at 5:30 p.m.

Northwest Whitfield also will enjoy a three-game series this week — the Bruins play Ridgeland on the same days and times. Northwest hosts the Thursday game but plays at Ridgeland on Tuesday and Friday. The defending region champions are 4-3 overall after dropping three straight in the competitive Scenic City Classic in Chattanooga last week.

• While not using the series model, Region 5-3A teams also start playing one another this week.

Coahulla Creek won a double header Saturday and should feel pretty good entering its home game at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday against Sonoraville. The Colts travel to perrenial power Cartersville at 5:55 p.m. Friday.

North Murray has a similar draw, traveling to play Adairsville at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and hosting state contender Ringgold on Friday at the same time. Cartersville and Ringgold are expected to be at the top of the league standings but Coahulla Creek and North Murray are good enough to earn state playoff spots and need to beat the Adairsvilles and Sonoravilles to do so.

• This year’s soccer schedule seems to include a lot more matches featuring local teams, even if it’s without region implications.

This week has two more as Northwest plays at Southeast on Thursday. The girls match starts at 5 p.m. and the boys at 7 p.m. This is a rematch from earlier this year when the Raiders won 4-1 in a sub-region match.

The next day, the two Murray County teams will play one another. The girls match starts at 5 p.m. and the boys at 7 p.m. Both the Indians and Mountaineers are playing well this season — Murray County in Class 2A and North Murray in Class 3A — and a cool rivalry match maybe a bit overlooked considering how strong Dalton, Northwest and Southeast always are.

• Speaking of Murray County, let’s give some props to Morris Innovative’s boys team.

The Tigers beat the Indians, ranked fourth in Class 2A, 1-0 last week for the biggest win in program history.

Welcome to the feature table, Morris Innovative. Your name should be in the discussion from now on when people talk about how good soccer is in Murray and Whitfield counties.

Morris Innovative plays Model on Tuesday, girls at 5 p.m. and boys at 7 p.m.

Devin Golden is a sports writer with The Daily Citizen. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenDev or email him at devingolden@daltoncitizen.com

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