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Area races hit home stretch

A little more than one week is left in the high school baseball season, and several local squads are in the thick of the playoff push, with Friday featuring several important contests.

Chilton County, for example, is 2-1 in Class 5A, Area 5. The Tigers have a doubleheader against Demopolis on Friday and two games left against Carver-Montgomery, on April 7 and April 10.

“We know Friday is the most important thing,” CCHS coach Josey Shannon said. If we lose the first one, we’ll have to sweep Carver (to make the playoffs).

“We’ll see how we respond. I’m disappointed with the way we’re playing right now.”

The top two teams in each area, based on regular season records, advance to the first round of the state playoffs on April 17-18.

One local team, Isabella, is unbeaten in area play. The Mustangs are 6-10 overall and 2-0 in Class 2A, Area 6.

Isabella has area games left against St. Jude, away on Friday and at home on April 7; at R.C. Hatch on April 4, and at Francis Marion on April 9.

Thorsby has games left at home against Vincent on Friday and Fultondale on the road on April 6.

Thorsby was unbeaten in area play until a 4-2 loss at Shades Mountain Christian Tuesday. The Rebels are still ranked No. 4 in Class 2A because of their 14-4 overall record and 3-1 mark in Area 9 games.

Billingsley is 1-1 in Class 1A, Area 5 and plays a doubleheader at Sweet Water on Friday. Coach Todd Reece said he has made his players aware of the importance of each area game left on the schedule.

“That was pretty much the whole stress of practice Monday,” Reece said.

Maplesville evened its area record at 1-1 with a 16-1 win at area and county rival Verbena on Wednesday. Verbena is winless in Class 1A, Area 6 play and has only two area games left.

“We’re making some improvements, so we’ll see how it turns out,” Maplesville coach Steven Hunter said. “We have a young team, but they want to make the playoffs.”