High School Baseball

Cougars seal second, home playoff series

Newnan head baseball coach Marc Gilmore set specific goals for his team at the beginning of the season.

One was to play well enough to secure home-field advantage to open the playoffs at home.

With Wednesday’s 13-3 victory over Langston Hughes, the Cougars locked down the second seed and will begin the playoffs at Joe Pope Field against Valdosta out of Region 1-AAAAAA.

Junior Matt Thomley picked up the win for the Cougars, and helped the squad improve its Region 3-AAAAAA record to 7-3 in a complete-game performance that included 14 strikeouts.

“He did a fantastic job,” Gilmore said. “He really had his breaking ball going.”

Newnan scored on several Langston Hughes errors and passed balls.

Chris Turner finished the game with two hits. The offense included several extra-base hits including a triple by Ty Herring and doubles from senior Justin Groover and junior Bailey Bryant, who hit a ball off the top of the fence.

In a week monopolized by Region 3-AAAAAA games, Gilmore was glad to use his depth to his advantage. s

“It’s good when we have people who don’t get a lot of playing time show they can step up,” he said.

After beating Westlake twice on Tuesday, Gilmore said his team didn’t play with a lot of energy at times against Langston Hughes after beating the Panthers 16-1 in four innings to begin the week on Monday.

“That was such an emotional win,” he said. “We weren’t always as focused as we should have been today.”

Newnan resumes action tonight as it celebrates Senior Night to close out the series against Langston Hughes, before hosting Douglas County on Friday.

Newnan is also scheduled to travel to rival East Coweta on Saturday to close out the regular season.

Both teams will be at home to open the playoffs. after East Coweta clinched the Region 3-AAAAAA title with its win over Westlake.

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