Tim Perry’s Airport Eagles, the turnaround team of the year in the Midlands, opens the Class 3A state baseball playoffs tonight at 7 p.m. against Hanahan. The rest of the area 3A baseball and softball qualifiers have first-round games on Friday.
The Eagles, who won the Region 5-3A championship, enters the postseason with a 20-3 record after going 4-16-1 in Perry first season in charge. No other team in the Midlands has had such an impressive turnaround this spring.
Airport will play at home in the second round on Monday, regardless of Thursday’s outcome.
The Eagles success has been built on good pitching and solid defense. The team ERA is 2.42 and the team fielding percentage is .947.
Austin Hawley (7-2, 1.40 ERA), Caleb Talton (5-1, 1 save, 1.06 ERA) and Forrest Arnold (4-0, 2.98) are the pitching staff workhorses.
Casey Parker (.408, 1.073 OPS, 22 runs, 7 steals), Talton (.342, 18 RBI), Hawley (.300, 9 doubles, 12 RBI), Jacob Shirley (.299, 19 R, 15 RBI) and Taylor Key (.293, 18 RBI) are the team offensive leaders.
Parker, Talton, Key and Arnold are the only seniors on the roster.