It’s prom weekend at Effingham County High School. But the Rebels baseball team has other plans before the big evening.
The Rebels are leaving Thursday afternoon on their way to Thomasville to take on the Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs. They’re not taking a direct route to the Rose City — they’re going to Pearson in Atkinson County to take batting practice before spending the night in Tifton.
They’ll work out Friday morning in Moultrie before their 5 p.m. doubleheader against the Yellow Jackets.
A third game, if necessary, will be played Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Rebels haven’t played since an 11-4 victory over Evans last Friday in the Region 3-AAAA playoffs.
“A week off is a lot,” Effingham coach Brett Griffin said. “You’d like to have played a game this week. But the week off gets everybody rested up and ready to play. The kids are ready.”
The Yellow Jackets (17-9) have been off since a 6-4 loss Saturday to Class AA power Cook. They had won their previous four games by a combined 42-8 score. The Yellow Jackets have beaten Tift, Coffee and Lowndes and also handed Lee County its lone Region 1-AAAA loss.
In the win over Evans, the Rebels (15-10) came through with key two-out hits that had been missing in losses to Greenbrier and in their loss in their three-game series with Lakeside-Evans.
The Rebels also rallied to beat rival South Effingham before starting the region playoffs.
“I felt like we are playing some good baseball now,” Griffin said. “We’ve started making adjustments.”
Scouting a team 150 miles away isn’t easy, but Griffin knows the Yellow Jackets will throw two power arms at his team. That’s a matchup he likes — it’s the junkballers and off-speed pitchers who confound his hitters.
“We’ll see some of that, too,” he said.
The Rebels likely will pitch left-hander Zach Dotson and right-hander Dylan Scott in the first two games, though Griffin said he doesn’t know if that projected rotation is a sure thing.