Tiftarea baseball to host Westminster in state start

Apr. 26—CHULA — TIftarea Academy missed out on the first round bye, but did get a home series to start the 2024 GIAA Class AAA baseball state tournament.

Tiftarea is the No. 6 team in Class AAA. Monday, they will open state at home against Westminster of Augusta.

Westminster's Wildcats are 10-8 for the year and finished fourth in their district. They had a particularly rough time in district with four run-rule losses in eight games. The Wildcats swept district opponent, St. Andrew's.

The Panthers finished out their regular season Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Southland Academy, raising their season record to 15-9-1. Asher Cox hit a two-run blast and Lane Cole pitched a 12-strikeout gem in the victory.

Cox has all three of the Panthers' homers for the year and is tied with Winston Lamb for the team RBI lead. Jackson Parrish is tops for Tiftarea in runs scored. Lamb, Parrish and John Jackson all have averages of .324 or greater.

On the pitching side, Cole and Lamb have the most victories, with Robert Garner quickly earning a pair of wins since toeing the rubber again. Cole and John Michael White have been neck-and-neck for the strikeout lead.

Should the Panthers win, they would travel to Heritage of Newnan for the second round.