Though Cartersville sets the bar high -- extremely high, I might add -- for baseball excellence in the county, the Canes are not alone in Bartow as it pertains to winning programs.
While no other local team can rival Cartersville's championship pedigree -- few in the state can, actually -- Adairsville, Cass and Woodland have put together solid ball clubs of their own.
Only the Class AA Tigers managed to join the Class AAA Canes in qualifying for the state playoffs last season, but four out of the five baseball-playing teams in Bartow -- Excel Christian is the other -- had winning records. Adairsville, which made it to the first round, finished 21-7; Cartersville went 24-9, advancing as far as the quarterfinals; Cass ended up 20-6; and Woodland concluded the year at 15-11.
The Colonels and Wildcats -- who both play in the highest classification of any county team -- nearly made it out of Region 7-AAAA and into the Georgia High School Association Class AAAA state tournament. Cass lost a tiebreaker for the fourth spot, and Woodland was two games out of that state-qualifying spot.
As good as the 2010 season may have been for the aforementioned teams, the current year is shaping up to be even better. The Tigers and Canes again look like prime candidates to make it to state, and either the Colonels or Wildcats, or both, could join them.
Baseball action heats up this week, even as school pauses for spring break, with each team taking the field at least once, except for the Class A Eagles.
Adairsville, Cartersville and Woodland host, respectively, Model, Ridgeland and South Forsyth today while Cass travels to face Creekview.
Many might have other plans on how to spend their spring break, but any Bartow County "staycationers" would be wise to swing by a ball park to catch one of the local teams play. The Canes play five games in six days, and the Colonels and Wildcats each hit the field thrice.
Three teams are on current winning streaks, including two around the 10-win mark. Adairsville has already reached double digits in consecutive wins, and Cartersville is approaching that mark having won nine in a row. Cass has strung together four straight victories.
When it comes to baseball in Bartow -- arguably the county's best sport -- the buck certainly starts with the Canes but, as last season and this year have shown, it does not stop there.