The Liberty County Panthers picked up a win Friday night after two consecutive losses. This one mattered, however, as the local boys were playing their first region game.
They beat the Richmond Hill Wildcats, 8-4, setting their region record at 1-0. RHHS' region record is 0-2 and 3-3 overall. The local boys' overall record is 3-2.
Right handed senior Joe Watkins picked up the win, hitting his mark and keeping the batters guessing until the sixth inning when Kevin Mathews, David Katzman and Jaylen Reyes all got hits, scoring two.
The Wildcats had also scored two in the first, but both crossed home when a bloop fly by Nathan Ward hid in the sun long enough to fool the fielders.
Overall the Wildcats got six hits. They sent only three hitters to the plate in the second, fourth and fifth innings. Four in the third, when Kevin Davis picked up a double.
Watkins completed the game with 15 strikeouts, allowing only one walk. In two innings the Georgia Southern-bound hurler finished off the side with only 10 pitches.
The loss went to the Wildcats' lefty Billy Kilmer, who went five of six innings. He picked up 9 K's. Ryan Esenwein finished the sixth. The Panthers didn't bat in the seventh.
Panther batting was led by Curtis Michalowicz, who went 2-3 with singles and got on that third time on an error. Seniors Brandon Whitmore and Trey Sikes both hit towering homeruns.