Seminoles face familiar foe in semifinals

CONYERS - What defines a road warrior?

So far this playoff season, the Seminoles have traveled to Atlanta, Dallas and Albany for playoff series and have come out winners each time.

Strangely enough, the shortest drive the Seminoles have taken thus far this postseason will be Monday when they travel to Loganville - a place they've already been once this season and won.

The Red Devils and Seminole have actually played twice this season with the away team winning both times. Salem stole an 8-7 win from the Red Devils in Loganville, while the Red Devils snuck out of Conyers with a 5-2 win.

Salem coach Chris Davis said he doesn't know if familiarity is a pro or a con in

this series.

"There are advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is we know who we got, we know their guys and we know we can beat them at their place," he said. "The disadvantages are just the same. They know us just as well and they know they can beat us. I don't know if it's a wash or what. What we're going to do is approach it the same way we have every other series."

And although the Seminoles have won each series in a different fashion, one thing has been the same.

"We've got to be fundamental and control the things we can control," Davis said. "We're playing baseball, and no matter who the opponent is, they're going to be good at this point. We've just to keep playing good, sound baseball."

Besides playing for pride and prestige, Salem is also playing for one of its fallen players. Jonathan Brewer will miss the rest of the season after breaking a bone in his neck during Game 2 of Salem's series with Lee County.

"These guys have come together so much this season, and when Jonathan got hurt, I think it brought them together even more," Davis said. "They just play every pitch to the last pitch. It was just a realization for them. I know they wanted to win the Lee County series for him (Brewer). They also want to make sure that whenever this ends, they have no regrets."

Although the playoffs have been a whirlwind ride for Davis and his team, he said his team remains focused on the task at hand.

"I think the guys are just focused right now. After each series, they were excited about winning after the game and the next day, but when we come back to practice, it's back to business," Davis said. "We go over the good things and the bad things from the series, but after that, we don't talk about it. It's over. We can't carry any extra runs over into the next series. It's all about the next opponent. We're approaching things the same way we did the first round of the playoffs. Nothing in that regard has changed. The stakes are still the same. If you win, you keep going. If you lose, you

go home."

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans @rockdalecitizen.com

SideBar: If You Go

· What: Class AAAA baseball state semifinals

· Who: Salem Seminoles vs. Loganville Red Devils

· When: Monday, doubleheader, 4 p.m.

· Where: Loganville