The Rockmart Yellow Jackets needed just one more win in Region 7-AA play to complete a championship run for the 2019 season. They got that and more as they completed a clean sweep of every team in the area with just Dade County left on the schedule as of last week.
A 12-0 7-AA run put the Jackets in the driver seat heading into Class AA state tournament play as the first seed for sure with a pair of wins last week over Gordon Central, a 17-0 shutout on the road against the Warriors last Tuesday and a 8-1 win over the the region foe on Senior Night at home to complete a nearly clean run.
Now it’s just a matter of making it through two games against the Wolverines before they can call it a fully undefeated region schedule for the year.
That last hurdle was one that Coach Kenny Yanzetich said was one he looked forward to seeing his Jackets ball club overcome this week. Especially with the state tournament right over the horizon.
“We’ll get to host here for the first round, and if we win we’ll get to host again for the second,” he said. “But then when we get into round three we’ll probably face another number one seed, so we’ll have a coin flip.”
When they play their first round series at home, they’ll face the Region 6-AA fourth place finisher, which at press time over the weekend was Washington with a 7-6 record overall and 7-4 in region play.
Though not officially the 7-AA champion until they completed the series (set to start Tuesday at home against Dade, then the team heads to Trenton coming up on Friday after press time) they have good reason to believe they’ll be able to finish out the region title run without hardships. They are three games ahead of Dade heading into the end of the season as the Wolverines in second place stand at 9-3 and on a two game winning streak.
Rockmart already cleared their path of a third place Chattooga and fourth place Pepperell in region play, and even if the Jackets were to drop their final two Dade would still be a game behind the lead.
Heading into press time, the 18-6 Jackets overall were on a three-game winning streak.
Yanzetich said the team was getting an additional boost from the performance of Dylan Bailey this season.
“He’s been consistent all year long for us as our senior catcher,” he said. “He’s hitting .439 currently. What can you say about a guy like that? He had a great year in football, and is having a great year here with us in baseball. He’s been a big part of both of these programs at the school over the last four years.”
“I think Dylan has got 79 wins in his career in baseball, and had at least 33 in football. He’s won over 100 games here at Rockmart High School,” Yanzetich continued. “It’s just a testament of what he’s done for our programs and our community. He’s just been an outstanding young man and it’s been a pleasure coaching him and the rest of my seniors.”
The team celebrated the Class of 2019 pending graduates against the Warriors in their 8-1 win last Friday, which included three Jackets headed off to college with official signings this fall.