Hornets, Raiders excited for Elite Eight clash

Crosstown rivals will face off for a spot in the GHSA Class A-Private semifinals

Hornets, Raiders excited for Elite Eight clash

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Crosstown rivalries are one of the things that makes high school sports so special.

It’s even better when those rivalries happen with extra stakes attached. That will be the case this week for the Savannah Christian and Savannah Country Day baseball teams.

The Raiders are contenders for their second state baseball title in three years.
The Raiders are contenders for their second state baseball title in three years. (Source: WTOC)

“It’s been a fun week. I’m really anxious for the games on Wednesday,” says Raider senior pitcher Garrett Bradley. “It’s a classic Savannah team versus Savannah team."

A meeting between these two teams is nothing new. Many of the players grew up together and have developed friendships. But none of those meetings had the stakes this series will, and that means those friendships will have to wait until after.

“It all comes down to baseball. You forget who all is friends and who is not friends," says Country Day senior infielder Christopher Pendleton. "It’s just about your team, trying to win and all that.”

The Hornets won the first playoff series in program history last week against St. Francis.
The Hornets won the first playoff series in program history last week against St. Francis. (Source: WTOC)

Some of the players admit there’s been a little talk between them this week.

“I told [Savannah Christian pitcher Kyle Hilton] to give me a fastball right down the pipe,” laughs Country Day junior catcher Matthew Osterman.

“I’ll blow it by him,” Hilton responded with a laugh of his own. The Georgia Tech commit says there won’t be much of that kind of back and forth from the players before Wednesday’s game.

But after they take the field? That’s a different story.

There’s too much on the line this week, and both sides say those friendships will have to wait until next week.

For now, it’s all about advancing at the expense of the other guys, and neither the Hornets or Raiders plan to budge an inch.

“I know whenever we scrimmaged them and played them earlier this season, they were confident going in,” Hilton says. “But we’ve beat them before. So we know we can do it again.”

“They’ve beaten us in the past. I’m sure they think they’ll beat us again," Osterman notes. :But we’re going to give them some competition. We’re not going to let them just walk away with it. We’re going to play our hearts out and hopefully beat them.”

The Raiders and Hornets meet in a best of three series at Savannah Christian beginning Wednesday afternoon. Game 1 will be at 4:00 p.m. with Game 2 following 30 minutes after Game 1 ends. Game 3 would be Thursday if necessary.

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