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Panthers embrace role of underdog in second playoff round

Published 6:53pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jemison High School’s baseball team has a simple strategy approaching the playoffs:

“Keep it loose,” said head coach Jason Easterling. “Try to keep our normal routine; nobody expected us to be here.”

The Panthers (17-14) finished the regular season needing a win in the last series against West Blocton to even make the playoffs. They did, and then stunned Corner, defeating them in two, winning the clincher 11-10.

They now face area foe Bibb County (19-10) in the second round. Easterling said he feels confident about his team’s chances, despite losing two close games to the Choctaws in the regular season.

“We’re pretty well matched,” he said. “We had them beat in area play; we just have to finish. We know what they’re going to do.”

Easterling said he felt closing the game out was the key to the Panthers moving on.

“We’re looking for pitching to step up,” he said. “Whoever finishes out [will win]. We let up before; [now we focus on] finishing.

The Panthers will visit Bibb for a best-of-three series beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. Another game will follow the first on Friday. A third game would be played if necessary at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

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