With Green Hope's 7-3 win over Holly Springs in Tri-Nine baseball on Wednesday, the stage is set this Friday for a de facto conference championship game between Athens Drive and Holly Springs.
The Wednesday night loss was only the third for the Golden Hawks in conference play this season (12-3). Athens is 11-4, including an earlier loss to the Hawks.
Should Holly Springs win, the Tri-Nine title is theirs outright. Should Athens win, it would mean both teams can claim co-conference championships (since both would have identical conference records and have split the season series).
But both can't be the No. 1 seed, and it's unlikely the tie would be broken by a Saturday or Monday game. Instead, the tiebreaker most commonly used is the "best win" tiebreaker, which goes down the conference standings determining which of the two teams defeated the best opponent. The procedure continues 1-9 until the tie is broken.
Enter Middle Creek. The Mustangs can finish third or fourth (as can Green Hope, but both Athens and Holly Springs split with Green Hope so they wouldn't break a tie either way).
Holly Springs got swept by Middle Creek while Athens earned a split. Therefore, if both the Hawks and Jaguars had equal records, Athens would have the "best win" and also the No. 1 seed.