Playoff format benificial for area teams
We’re about two weeks away from the postseason for baseball and softball, hard to believe, but for area schools, a change to the playoff format for baseball will help, as the division races are tightening up.
Many remember the craziness of last season, where only two teams from each division advanced to the playoffs, with West Union baseball catching the bad end of the deal, falling just shy behind Myrtle and Ingomar. The change from three teams to two created a match-up between the Eagles and Hawks at the end of the regular season, with the winner in the playoffs and the loser out.
Of course, Myrtle would eliminate the defending North Half champs, leading to their own state championship appearance, but this season, the Mississippi High School Activities Association switched back to the original format, allowing three teams from each division into the playoffs, a change that has many, especially in the always-tough Region 2-1A, very happy.
“I definitely think it’s going to help us and it’s going to be fair for us, Myrtle, Ingomar and Potts Camp and even H.W. Byers,” West Union Head Coach Ashley Russell said during the preseason. “Without a doubt, I think we have the best 1A division in the north, top to bottom. There are some other good teams, but we’re talking about a good four to five team division, and I think that’s what we have.”
If the season ended today, Ingomar, Potts Camp and West Union would advance into the postseason, but only a game behind the Eagles is Myrtle. That division will, once again, come down to the final games, and a couple key match-ups in the next week would be between the Cardinals taking on both Ingomar and West Union next Tuesday and Thursday.
For East Union and New Albany, both teams currently hold playoff spots, with the Bulldogs having only lost one game in division play. North Pontotoc currently sits atop the 1-4A standings, so their two match-ups in the final week of the regular season will be interesting to watch.
The same can be said for softball, which also has close races heading into the final weeks.
With the playoff format back to three teams for baseball, this should give the county schools a better shot at making the playoffs, which will hopefully lead to another advancing to state.
About Chris Elkins
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