Liberty Panthers first baseman Jacari Roberts crushed a pitch to the center-field gap, scoring Jacob Albertson to give the Panthers a 2-1 victory in eight innings against Bryan County on Monday at LCHS.
“This is the second time in a week that we have had to go to extra innings to win a game. When we played Savannah Country Day, we ended up in the same situation, but were able to come back and win. Tonight, we didn’t hit the ball as well as we needed to, but even though not putting together a strong night at that plate, we still kept competing and finally had a chance to get something going in the later innings,” Liberty County Panthers coach Tony Glazer said.
Bryan grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when Redskins center fielder Nick Maikles reached base on a dropped third strike and scored after a stolen base and a couple of errors.
That lead was short-lived. Panthers first baseman Colby Rhea singled, moved to second on Vince Smith’s sacrifice bunt and scored off Albertson’s single to tie the game.
The teams remained tied at the end of seven innings.
Rhea struck out eight in three innings of work for the win. Liberty starting pitcher Vincent Brunelli gave up one run off one hit and struck out six in five innings of work, but did not get the decision.
Bryan County pitcher Dillon Pittman worked seven innings, giving up one run on five hits, striking out five and walking two. Pittman was relieved by Nathan Leggett, who gave up the game-winning hit in his only inning of work.
Roberts and Albertson each finished with a pair of singles and one RBI.
Liberty (6-1 overall) will get some tough competition later this week as the Panthers open Region 3-AAAA play Friday in Waynesboro against Burke County.
“Burke is going to be a good team, they have always been strong and went to the state playoffs last year,” Glazer said. “One thing I have been noticing, though, is that their box scores have been lower-scoring than in past seasons, but that does not mean a lot. We are playing them in a doubleheader so we will more than likely see their No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers. We are going to have be ready to swing the bat more effectively as we get into region play.”