COVINGTON - Newton's baseball team is in a position to make it to the Class AAAAA baseball playoffs this spring. After the first half of the region schedule, the Rams are in position to host a first-round series after in the state playoffs.
At 4-3 in region play, the Rams are tied with Union Grove for third place and are two games out of second place.
"If we can go undefeated after spring break, that's kind of our goal, then hopefully, pending our circumstances, we can get into that No. 2 seed," Newton coach Ty Hensley said. "That's been our goal all season, to host a first round of the state playoffs."
Newton's baseball team has not played in a postseason game since 2006, when it was swept by Houston County.
The Rams hosts Union Grove in a pivotal game at 5:30 p.m. today. Union Grove won the first meeting 6-5.
"When we played them the first time, I don't think we thought, as a team, that we could beat them," Hensley said. "I don't think we thought we could play with them. I don't know that we've ever beat Union Grove at Union Grove. That seventh inning I think gave them a little spark, a little confidence. Hopefully, they'll take that with them here (today)."
Newton almost came back, scoring all five of its runs in the final inning.
Regardless of what happens against the Wolverines, Hensley said there is still a lot of baseball left.
"The season's not over if we lose, we can still get in the playoffs. State playoffs would be awesome," he said. "I think this team can attain that goal."
In order to do that, they will have to continue playing well offensively and defensively.
"As long as we keep getting better every time we step on the field, that should help us attain our goal," Hensley said.
Other big games coming up for Newton are region-leading Greenbrier and Luella, teams that the Rams could have beaten the first time around.
"We could easily be 7-0 right now. I think that will give them confidence. We have to keep telling them that we could be easily be undefeated right now in the region," Hensley said. "There's no reason why we can't go undefeated for the rest of the season and peak at the end of the season."
Newton lost to Greenbrier 3-1 and 2-1 to Luella, both on the road.
The Rams will play Greenbrier on Monday at Georgia Perimeter College before playing Luella at Riverside Park next Thursday.
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: If You Go
Who: Union Grove Wolverines at Newton Rams
When: 5:30 p.m. today
Where: Newton High School