COLUMBUS, GA - The Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots and Chattahoochee Monsters each begin their respective SunBelt Baseball League Semifinal series tonight with the potential for an all-Columbus final looming in the distance.

By virtue of finishing first overall in the regular season the Hoots have home field advantage and enjoyed a bye into the Semis. The Monster, meanwhile, scrapped their way to a fourth-place finish by sweeping a doubleheader on the final day of the regular season from the Gainesville Gol’Diggers - coincidentally the team’s opponent in this Semifinal round.

The drama for the Monsters extended to the Wild Card round, where they lost game one at Golden Park to the Atlanta Crackers and then completed a miraculous comeback from an 8-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 2 of the series to advance.

For the Chatt-a-Hoots they also face an upstart team in the Atlanta Blues. The Blues finished the regular season in sixth but upset the third-seeded Brookhaven Bucks by winning two games on the road in the Wild Card. Now the Hoots must get back into the groove quickly, not having played a game since last Saturday night.

During the regular season, both Wild Card winners made life difficult on the top seeds. Chattahoochee split the season series with Gainesville 2-2, with each team holding serve on its home field. The Hoots also split the season series with the Blues, with each team winning once at home and once on the road.

“They may not have finished with the best record, but that’s a team you look at and think ‘they have a ton of talent’,” said Hoots Manager Steve Smith Tuesday on the Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots Coach’s Show. “The Blues beating Brookhaven was not a surprise to me.”

Indeed all four remaining teams have plenty of talent on all sides, but the Hoots and Gol’Diggers do have the advantage of fresh arms across the entire pitching staff since neither has played yet this week.

Columbus has a pair of five-game winners on its staff in Brian Trepanier and Will Fuller, which tied for the league lead this season along with Gainesville’s Maddox Thornton. They also received an outstanding season from lefty Joey Gill, who finished second in the SBL this season with 48 strikeouts. The depth of the rotation certainly favors the Chatt-a-Hoots in the series against the Blues, especially if it goes to a deciding third game.

The Monsters season has been much more divided in terms of success. The team started with a 4-0 mark and seemed poised to challenge for first place all season, but then a stretch where the club lost 8-of-10 games saw them drop back to the pack and struggle for consistency. Chattahoochee finished the season strong, winning seven of the last ten including the dramatic doubleheader sweep over the Gol’Diggers last Sunday, to nab fourth overall and home field in the Wild Card. 

More encouraging for the Monsters is that the offense came alive down the stretch. In its final five games the Monsters out-scored opponents 34-19. That same offense waited until the final inning of the Wild Card round to explode for eight runs and complete one of the most dramatic come-from-behind victories in SunBelt history 9-8 to advance past the Atlanta Crackers.

The schedule for the Semifinal round is as follows:


Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots vs. Atlanta Blues - 7:05 pm at Golden Park

Chattahoochee Monsters at Gainesville Gol’Diggers - 6:35 pm at Ivey Watson Field


Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots at Atlanta Blues - 7:05 pm at Georgia State University

Chattahoochee Monsters vs. Gainesville Gol’Diggers - 7:05 pm at Golden Park

MONDAY, JULY 31 (if necessary)

Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots vs. Atlanta Blues - 7:05 pm at Golden Park

Chattahoochee Monsters at Gainesville Gol’Diggers - 6:35 pm at Ivey Watson Field

The winners will then face off for the SunBelt Baseball League title with dates and times to be announced.

Tickets are available for all weekend playoff games right now by calling (706) 507-4625 or going online to and There are also packages available including groups, suite rentals, party decks, and Columbus Live! Call or email groups@ignitesportsusa    .com for more information.