Defending champion Hammond opens the SCISA Class 3A state baseball playoffs with a second-round doubleheader tonight against familiar playoff foe Laurence Manning Academy. The twinbill at Folsom Field starts at 5 p.m.
The Skyhawks (18-1) have lost only to Brookland-Cayce and are riding a 12-game winning streak into postseason play. The best-of-three series continues Saturday at LMA, if necessary. The winner advances to a semifinal series that begins on May 6.
The Skyhawks, who lost seven starters to graduation off last seasons championship team, have kept the beat going with solid pitching and defense and timely, though not overwhelming, hitting.
Harrison Long (5-1, 2.29 ERA), Fred Wadsworth 4-0, 1.58), James Shepherd (3-0, 2.16) and Canty Heath (4-0, 3.84) are the mainstays of the pitching staff.
Shepherd (.510), Wadsworth (.452) and Long (.360) are the teams top hitters, as well.