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Cavaliers hit road for playoff test

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

On the heels of a thrilling playoff victory over Pepperell, the Callaway Cavaliers will look to keep their championship hopes alive this week.

Callaway, which rallied from three downs in the final inning to beat Pepperell 7-6 in the decisive game three of their playoff series last week, will be on the road against Thomasville in the third round of the Class AA state playoffs.

They’ll play a doubleheader on Tuesday at 4 p.m., and if needed, a third game would be Wednesday at 2 p.m.

The winner advances to the semifinals to play Jeff Davis or Haralson County.

To reach this point, Callaway had to stage a memorable late game-rally against Pepperell.

Trailing 6-3 in the seventh

inning with two outs, Nate Lee and CJ Stephens came through with RBI singles before Bryce Hubbard gave the Cavaliers the lead with a two-run single.

Justin Moore set Pepperell down in the bottom of the seventh inning to finish things off and send Callaway to the quarterfinals.

“It’s a character win,” said Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard. “Hopefully it’s one of those wins you can ride for a while. It was just unbelievable fight. Our kids never stopped. They believed the whole time. You do that, you give yourself a chance.”

Thomasville, which won the Region 1-AA championship, has beaten Oglethorpe County and Dodge County to make it to the final eight.

Thomasville (22-9) outlasted Dodge County 11-8 in the first round of the playoffs before cruising to an 18-0 victory in game two.

In the opening round, Thomasville beat Oglethorpe County 9-0 and 4-2.

Callaway made it to the playoffs by finishing second in Region 5-AA, and it has beaten Union County and Pepperell in the playoffs. Callaway beat Union County 6-0 and 4-3, setting up a second-round showdown with Pepperell.

After losing game one 12-5, Callaway bounced back to beat Pepperell 10-0 to force a game three.

The Cavaliers were on the ropes in game three, but they found a way, and now they’re two wins away from reaching the state semifinals for the third straight season.

“It’s just tough kids, and that’s how you’re able to win those games,” Dusty Hubbard said. “You don’t win those games if you don’t have high-character kids.”

CALLAWAY VS. THOMASVILLE

WHEN: Tuesday, 4 p.m. (doubleheader); Wednesday, 2 p.m. (if necessary)

WHERE: Thomasville

WHAT: Third round of Class AA state playoffs

UP NEXT: Winner plays Haralson County or Jeff Davis in the semifinals