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Local baseball round up
Skyler Hoffer started on the mound in the Panthers' home opener against Tattnall on a very cold Wednesday night. The Panthers won 5-3. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
Bradwell Tigers
Their first scrimmage on Feb. 22 against Bryan County was rained out and not rescheduled. The Tigers took the mound against Brantley County on Monday, but came out with a 6-5 loss. The Tigers had a 5-0 lead going into the sixth inning only to give up six runs in the bottom of the sixth.  Tiger coach Rhett Hellgren said the main problem with the team right now is intensity and concentration.
"We relaxed a little bit and we were happy with ourselves for six and a half innings, everything was going well and we relaxed," he said. "When you do that bad things happen so we need to keep up the intensity."
Hellgren said DeAnte Day pitched his first varsity game and the coach was pleased with his performance.  He was also pleased with his hitters, but said it was still too early in the season to be sure of the starting rotation.
"We have six games before the region games start," he said. "Those are the games that count for everything, right now it's like pre-season."

Liberty Panthers
Liberty opened the season with a scrimmage and a 5-1 victory over Long County on Monday. The Panthers took to the field on a very cold Wednesday night to host Tattnall County.
Skyler Hoffer started on the mound, with Eddie Chipple pitching in the fifth and sixth inning for the win (5-3). Aaron Hoffer closed the mound in the seventh. Panther coach Steve Cotrell said the beginning of the game was definitely influenced by the weather.
"It was cold and mentally they were not ready to play. Midway through the game, they realized that Tattnall showed up to play and that sparked them into action."
The Panthers traveled to Darien to play McIntosh Academy on Thursday. They came away with a 12-4 victory. Ethan Pringle hit a grand slam. The Panthers are 2-0 to date.

Long County Tide
The Blue Tide baseball team began their season this Thursday, taking on Wayne County High School in Jesup. The Long team lost the competitive game to the Yellow Jackets by a score of 2-0 in six innings.
The Tide started out the game with Paul Lewandoski at bat, but the senior was thrown out at first.  The number two batter Shane White hit a grounder toward center field, setting himself up at first, but neither Blake Strickland nor Brian Wingate were able to advance the runner.
Starting the game on the mound for Long County was senior Ryan Simmons. The pitcher sat the first two batters, but a hit by the third batter, and an error at third base, put a Yellow Jacket on second and in scoring position.  However, the fourth batter's ball was snagged, and at the end of one it was 0-0.
In the second inning, Stetson Strickland, Simmons, and Richard Johnson all connected with the ball, but all were thrown out at first.
When the Wayne batters came back out, they got hot in the second, managing three hits, and even loading the bases.  But a big tag out at home by the Blue Tide kept the score 0-0 at the end of two. In the third, Long still was unable to score, but the Yellow Jackets put up a run.  The game continued to be a tight contest, but by the end of the night, the Yellow Jackets had pulled out to 2-0.
The winning pitcher was Jared Harvey, while getting the loss for Long County was Simmons.  Simmons pitched 4 innings for the Blue Tide, and Stetson Strickland pitched 2.
Long's White went 2 for 3 at bat, while Jake Durham went 1 for 2.
"It was a well played game by both teams, I thought our defense and their defense made several really good plays" LCHS head coach Brian Thomas said.
He added, "The difference in the game was that they got a few timely hits and we didn't. All-in-all I was pleased with the play of our team.  We played unselfish ball, and banded together to get out of some tough spots".

Mike Riddle contributed to this story.

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