By Kyle Parmley
CLAY — There’s only one series remaining to determine which teams will earn a postseason berth from Class 6A, Area 12.
Clay-Chalkville, Pinson Valley and Shades Valley are all pining to earn their spot among the top two teams from the area, and there will be no shortage of drama for the final games to be played April 7 and April 9.
On that Tuesday and Thursday, Clay-Chalkville will square off against Huffman, and Pinson Valley and Shades Valley will battle each other.
The Indians and Mounties sit tied at the top of the area with 3-1 records, with the Cougars lurking in third with an area mark of 2-2. Huffman has been eliminated from postseason contention with an 0-4 record.
For the week’s games to carry any weight, however, Clay-Chalkville must sweep the Vikings to improve its record to 4-2. The Cougars are eager to get back to the postseason after missing out a season ago.
“Missing last year was pretty tough, especially with all the seniors we had,” Clay-Chalkville senior pitcher Matthew Calvert said. “I’ve been trying to tell these guys that the playoffs are just so much different. The atmosphere changes. It’s a whole different ballgame. It’s just fun. It’s fun to be there.”
Pinson Valley qualified for the Class 5A playoffs a season ago, and was swept in the first round by Mortimer Jordan.
If the Cougars are able to sweep Huffman, the drama ensues.
If either Pinson Valley or Shades Valley sweeps the other, then that team would clinch the top seed in the area and eliminate the other from contention. Clay-Chalkville would earn the second seed.
If Pinson Valley and Shades Valley split the first two games, then a third game will be played to determine who holds the advantage between the two teams. If the Indians win the third contest, they will earn the first seed and eliminate Shades Valley, giving the Cougars the second spot. Shades Valley forces a three-team playoff to be played April 11 if they win the third game.
On Tuesday, the games will be played at Clay-Chalkville and Shades Valley. The teams swap locations Thursday, playing at Huffman and Pinson Valley.