There are a lot of unknowns that go into the state high school baseball playoffs each year, and the 2019 postseason, which gets underway Wednesday, is no exception.
For example, the exact number of Gwinnett teams participating wasn’t certain until Monday, when the at-large berth in Class AAAAAAA, which turned out to be Collins Hill, and the seedings in Class A (Private) were announced.
Even then, Dacula had to await the result of a make-up game between Lanier and Habersham Central late Monday night to find out its first-round opponent in the class AAAAAA and where that best-of-3 series will be.
Still, there will be some familiarity for many Gwinnett teams, especially in Class AAAAAAA.
With the all-Gwinnett Region 6 and mostly Gwinnett Region 7 matched up with each other, three different first-round series will pit two county teams against each other in the state’s largest classification’s bracket.
That includes perhaps one of the marquee matchups in any classification when Mountain View (20-9) travel to the Dave Hunter Complex to take on Brookwood (21-9) in a first-round series beginning with a doubleheader Wednesday at 5 p.m.
“Once you’re in (the playoffs), the level of parity of all the 32 teams (increases),” Mountain View coach Jason Johnson said. “But then you throw in the fact that we get to play the very first team the caliber of Brookwood, that ups the ante a little bit.
“Realistically, you play anybody in Gwinnett County … it’s going to be a tremendous series. (Brookwood has) a storied program with all the history they’ve had. And (Broncos) Coach (Titus) Martin does an amazing job with his players. We played them earlier in the year, so we’re a little bit familiar with them. If there’s anything that goes with (the matchup), it’s a little bit of familiarity with the fact we’ve already played them.”
The Bears and Broncos met once during the regular season, with Mountain View taking a 5-3 victory March 19 at Mountain View.
While both teams are likely in different places from that first meeting over a month ago, Martin is certain both teams learned enough about each other in that game to make things a little more interesting for this week’s series.
“They were definitely one of the top teams in the state for most of the year,” Martin said of Mountain View. “We had a good ball game against them. They’re tough. They’ve got great pitching. They did the little things to win (that day). (But) our guys are playing well, so we’re excited.”
Of Class AAAAAAA’s other two all-Gwinnett matches — Peachtree Ridge at Parkview and Norcross at Mill Creek — neither have played each other this season like Brookwood and Mountain View.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean those teams will be total strangers with each other.
“Even if (those teams) didn’t play each other, there’s so much familiarity … in the county,” Johnson said. “I hate that with the level of play in this area, especially, that we have to play each other in the first round, but that’s baseball. That’s part of it.
“When you get on the field and you’re playing against some of the kids who have played against each other with their summer programs, and they know each other, it feels like we’ve already played these guys. These guys know each other, so that adds some other factors to it.”