By Brad Greer
Ask any player on the current North Delta baseball team when was the last time the Green Wave hosted an opening playoff game and you might get a blank stare in return. That is because most if not all were not even born in 1991.
But that will all change as the Green Wave will host a Class A playoff game for the first time since 1991 when they square off against Central Holmes in the first game in the best-of- three series starting today at 5:30.
Game two will be Thursday in Lexington at 5 p.m while game three, if necessary, will be back at North Delta beginning at 5:30.
Central Holmes (18-5) finished third place in District 2 behind defending state champion Bayou and Humphreys Academy. The Trojans are one of two wild card teams in the North half along with Delta Academy. The winner of the series will take on the Hebron Christian/ Humphreys winner in round two next week.
The Trojans are led by senior pitcher/first baseman Ben Killebrew (.583, 8 HR’S, 41 RBI’S) and sophomore Hunter Blane (.550, 8 HR’S, 41 RBI’S). Killebrew also leads the pitching staff with a 6-3 record and .098 earned run average. Other starting pitchers in the rotation are Jacob Ainsworth (6-2; 1.58 ERA) and senior Ricky Winstead (4-0; 2.74 ERA).
North Delta meanwhile comes into the playoffs with an 11-5 record and are led offensively by Jim Tom Copeland (.500; 8 doubles).
Geri Lamm is second on the team with a .463 batting average to go along with six doubles and two triples. First baseman Michael Magee follows with a .457 average with six doubles and a home run.Senior catcher/pitcher Bateman Greenlee is hitting at a .447 clip with four doubles and three home runs.
Sophomore shortstop/pitcher Ethan Taylor (.423; 6 doubles; 3HR’S) is expected to start on the mound today. Taylor is 4-2 on the season.
Other starters for North Delta include: freshman second baseman Bailey Gurkert (.395) who has struck out twice this season in 38 plate appearances. Outfielder Hunter West (.286; 2 doubles) and Austin Gant (.263) along with senior Britt Lawrence (.190) round out the starting lineup.
Copeland (4-2) and Lamm (2-1) along with Greenlee are expected to see time on the hill during the series.