After dropping a region game to Thomson by one run at home Friday night, the Liberty Panthers baseball team was up bright and early Saturday and hitched a ride to play at West Laurens, but they lost 12-7.
Panther coach David Samuel said the game went back and forth until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Raiders scored five runs to seal the deal.
"Our pitching was adequate and the hitting was good," the coach said about getting 11 hits. "Our defense killed us with seven errors which allowed more batters to come to the plate. The errors also demoralized the pitchers."
Panther Brandon Whitmore was 3 of 4 with an RBI, Javaughn Shuman was 2-4 with 2 doubles, Cameron Harris was 2-4 and Antonio Smith had a homerun and 2 RBI’s. Eddie Chipple had a double and 2 RBI’s. Matt Desbiens had a hit and an RBI. And Cody French had a base hit.
The coach said the game against West Laurens was much better than Friday’s loss to Thomson based on what the coach said was due to lack of focus.
In that game, Panther Joe Watkins gave up three runs to Thomson, all in the first inning.
"All three runs were scored by the first four batters of the game," Samuel said. "After the first inning Thomson had no chance against Joe. He only threw 63 pitches total from the second through seventh innings."
The losses places the Panthers at 4-4 in region 3-AAA, currently fourth behind Thomson, West Laurens and Richmond Hill.
The boys are scheduled to play Burke County and Baldwin at home Friday in a double-header which starts at 4:30 p.m.
"As a team we have to put hitting, pitching and defense together at the same time," the coach said. "Mental toughness will be beneficial for us now as well."