It hasn’t taken long for the Bethlehem Christian Academy baseball program to go from an infancy stage to full adulthood.
What the Knights have accomplished in less than five years is nothing short of remarkable. There are many people involved who deserve credit, most of all the players who have competed or are currently competing on the field. BCA has been well represented by baseball talent and this spring is no exception.
Mark Barth, currently the athletic director and boys basketball coach at BCA, was the first baseball coach in program history. He would turn the program over to Nick Pou, who guided the Knights to a Final Four appearance in 2012 and a state championship in 2013.
Pou moved on following the championship season and the work he has done at Islands High School on the Georgia coast shows just what level of baseball knowledge he possesses.
Colby May, a former standout player for the University of Georgia baseball program, has stepped in as head coach this spring and has continued the winning tradition previously established.
BCA won another region title in recent weeks and is now set for play for a state championship for the second consecutive season.
Just how dominant have the Knights been during their historic run? The team did not lose to a GISA Class A team a year ago and the setback to Fullington in the quarterfinals this year has been the only loss to a fellow Class A team in 2014.
Region opponents have simply been overmatched by BCA again this season.
The closest game was an 8-4 contest that really wasn’t as close as the score indicates.
After being pushed to a three-game series against Fullington in the quarterfinals, the Knights swept Robert Toombs in the semifinals Saturday on the road. Before Saturday, BCA has not competed in a playoff series on the road. It is common belief that winning in the postseason on the road is a good bit tougher than winning at home. BCA has now shown it can win at home and on the road.
This year’s championship series will not be easy. Crisp Academy is a perennial playoff program and has become somewhat of a rival for the BCA Knights.
Two years ago the Wildcats defeated BCA in the semifinals before the Knights returned the favor in 2013.
In 2014, they will meet in the finals, something many predicted would happen when the playoff brackets were released.
Will it be an easy task? Of course it won’t. But having seen this group of BCA players all spring, I do know this: it is going to take a special opponent to defeat them and deny more championship glory.
Some would say I’m a little biased toward the Barrow County-based program. That’s true as well.
However, something tells me the state championship trophy will make its way from Cordele to Bethlehem in a few days.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.