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Athletes of the Week: Lawson Cole and Micah Takac

The two Stratford Academy standouts will both be taking their talents to Mercer University this fall.

MACON, Ga. — Our latest Athlete of the Week actually is our Athletes of the Week, because these two Stratford Academy standouts pretty much come attached at the hip.

“I mean we fight like brothers, love like brothers. It's just how we are.”

That pretty much sums up the relationship between senior pitchers Micah Takac and Lawson Cole.

The two have played baseball together since the age of four.

“We've known each other since we were kids so getting to play with him is going to be really fun, just being able to continue,” Takac said. “We're rooming together, so we'll be around each other all the time. A little too much but, it'll be fun.”

The two have been the aces on the Eagles staff for the last four seasons. Now, they're setting their sights on the next four -- together. They'll both head down the road to play for the mercer bears beginning this fall.

“We're going to be roommates and we argue a lot but we always figure it out,” Cole said. “I mean, I could say the sky is blue and he'll say it's red. We always disagree with each other.”

But it's that brotherly kind of love that makes the difference when they're on the field together.

“High school's a lot different than college. We know what each other's thinking,” Cole said. “We both have a high baseball IQ so we think the same way in certain situations.”

That baseball IQ is on full display this spring. As of this week, Cole is 4-1 with a 0.94 ERA, with 45 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched. He also threw a perfect game in early March vs. Carver. Meanwhile, Takac owns a 3-1 record with a 0.61 ERA, striking out 29 batters in 22 innings of work.

The numbers speak for themselves, but why Mercer?

That's a two-part answer.

“It's close to home,” Takac said. “Maybe a little too close sometimes but it'll be nice if I ever need anything I can always come home.”

“They're one of the four teams to win 35 games every year, it's a great program,” Cole said. “They know how to build players. Then Coach Barton came in as pitching coach, really working with pitchers, getting velocity up. And I think it'll just be really beneficial for me to go over there and work on my game.”

Being nearby also means getting to watch this year's Mercer team up close.

This spring, one of the hottest teams in the entire country is giving one heck of a recruiting pitch.

“I mean it's just awesome to watch how they play, how they conduct themselves,” Cole said. “It's fun to watch.”

“I'm like, ‘wow, that dude's good,’ and then I realize I'm going to be on the same team as him next year,” Takac said. “It's fun to watch and see before I'm even there.”

As for the work the guys do in the classroom, they both push each other to finish homework as soon as possible, so they have more time together on the field.

Stratford continues its season on Friday night with a home matchup against Tattnall Square Academy. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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