Liberty County High School played gracious host to Southeast Bulloch on the diamond Tuesday, allowing the visitors to win, 11-1, in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
"Southeast Bulloch came out and played baseball today," Panthers coach David Samuel said. "We just showed up. We really didn’t play."
The coach said Liberty County (2-2) lacked focus.
"Our boys weren’t mentally ready to play the game," he said. "And it showed on the scoreboard."
The Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and added another run in the second off starter Brandon Whitmore, who went two innings. Southeast Bulloch scored two more runs off reliever Trey Sikes.
Liberty County’s only run came when Joe Watkins drove in Michael Lovelady in the third. Watkins finished the night 3 for 3 with a double, triple and RBI. Lovelady had a single.
Leading 4-1, Southeast Bulloch broke open the game in the fourth against reliever Antonio Smith and scored six runs to go up, 10-1. The Yellow Jackets added a final run in the fifth.
Whitmore took the loss. Sikes, Smith and Curits Michalowicz all pitched an inning in relief.
Samuel said he spoke with his players and told them they never can overlook an opponent.
"This wasn’t a region game, but we still have to come out and play," he said. "We have to execute plays. We have to pitch. You can’t choose to play when you want to play. You have to play every game."
The coach said if his team comes out with the same mentality against Region 2-AAAA foe Richmond Hill High School, the Wildcats will be a challenge.
Liberty County plays host to Richmond Hill at 6 p.m. Friday.