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State baseball playoffs expand two of three series to second round

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
A year ago the T.R. Miller Tigers baseball team was knocked out of the Class 3A state playoffs with a 6-4, second-round loss to Montgomery Academy.
This year a loss in that spot, at least by itself, will not eliminate a team.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association has changed its postseason format and made only the first round single elimination. All ensuing rounds will be a best-of-three series. Under the old format the first two rounds were single elimination before play switched to a best-of-three series.
W.S. Neal coach Coy Campbell also favors the switch.
Another change Campbell likes is there is now an on-the-field tiebreaker for determining state qualifiers from Class 3A Area 1 if there is a tie.
Teams still play a home and away game against each Area opponent. However, one of those dates will be a doubleheader. The first Area game is the Area regular season counter. The second game of the doubleheader will be the tiebreaker.
One change Campbell would like to see is to allow all high school baseball teams the opportunity to compete in the postseason.
Hart objects to letting all teams compete.
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Any T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal athletes that qualify for the state track meet will head to a different location this year.
The Class 1A, 3A and 5A state track meets will be held at Paul Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa, while the Class 2A, 4A and 6A state meets will be held at Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham.
Last year the Class 1A-3A state meets were held at Troy University. Troy is in the process of building a new track facility, which is scheduled to be completed in
2006.
The AHSAA has not made a decision on whether or not it will return state meets to Troy once the new facility is completed, but is expected to contact the school about possible usage.