NEW SEASON: River Region teams open AHSAA baseball playoffs on Friday
Coach Tommy Goodson and the Prattville Lions open the Class 6A playoffs Friday against Northview. (Staff Photo)
Since suffering a few struggles at the plate a few weeks ago, Prattville coach Tommy Goodson suddenly likes what he sees from his Lions.
The timing for the bats to come out of cold storage could not have been better.
“We are hitting much better,” Goodson said. “We haven’t been perfect but I like what we have been doing at the plate. We just have to keep it going because it’s now or never.”
The Lions (19-11) are one of several teams from the River Region that will open play in the Alabama High School Athletic Association state playoffs Friday. The first round will feature Best-of-3 series.
Four teams from the area earned first-round home games, including Prattville, which won the Class 6A, Area 5 title. The Lions will play Northview in a doubleheader on Friday.
Goodson’s giddiness occured despite losing to Tallassee earlier in the week. He was more excited about his team’s performance in a previous tournament last weekend.
"We took it easy on Monday (in the loss to Tallassee)," Goodson said. "We won some big games this (past) weekend in Troy. We didn’t put any pressure on this game, just play baseball. Maybe that was my fault.”
Robert E. Lee and Wetumpka will join Prattville in the Class 6A playoffs. Lee will travel to Enterprise while the Indians travel to Russell County.
Trinity, Tallassee and Alabama Christian are at home for their respective first-round series. The Wildcats (3A) will face Greene County while Tallassee (5A) will play Chilton County.
Tallassee has won 11 of 12 heading into the playoffs.
"The biggest thing is we have 11 juniors and seven of them started last year as sophomores," Tallassee coach Adam Clayton said. "They got a lot of game experience last year and I think that’s paid off for us this year. It’s just a good group of kids that play well together. When you talk about a team’s makeup and what you want, I think this is the epitome of that."
Alabama Christian, the top-ranked team in 4A, faces the same first-round opponent from a year ago in Handley.
LAMP (3A), Brewbaker Tech (4A), Holtville (4A) and Billingsley (1A) are on the road Friday. The Golden Tigers’ streak of two consecutive area championships ended this season and that sends them to Gordo for the first round.
Brew Tech faces UMS-Wright in Mobile while Billingsley faces Holy Spirit in Tuscaloosa. Holtville travels to Childersburg.