Freshman Panther Dylan Connelly hit his first varsity homer and Chris Arnold hit his fourth this season as the Liberty County Panthers took five innings to put away Baldwin County 13-0 Saturday.
Panther coach David Samuel knew his team would fare well against the Braves and asked his pitcher Justin Eaton to focus on throwing strikes.
"I figured we would score a lot of runs," he said. "Our offense was patient today. We walked 12 times and had 7 hits. Base runners are all it takes. Once we reach base, we can bunt, steal, hit and run and ultimately score many runs."
The coach said the win helped their playoff chances as they are in fourth place behind Richmond Hill in Region 3-AAA. The Panthers play at the Wildcats field on Friday.
"We need to beat Richmond Hill on Friday to move into 3rd. If Thomson takes a few lumps down the homestretch, we can finish as high as 2nd, which would get us a home playoff game. Right now there are many things that can happen."
Samuel said hosting the first round would be an advantage and his players know they need to stay focused and win one game at a time.
"This game means everything to us right now," he said.
Liberty 13, Baldwin 0
Winning pitcher, Justin Eaton 5IP, 2H, OR, 8K, 5BB
Leading Hitters -- Matt Desbiens 2-2, 2 2B, 1 RBI, Zach Hensley 1-1, 2B, 3RBI, Dylan Connelly 1-1, HR, 2 RBI, Chris Arnold 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, Eddie Chipple 1-3, 2B, 1 RBI, Tray Sikes 1-1.