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Panthers struggle at plate, fall 12-1 in six
Liberty County High Schools Antonio Smith drove in the Panthers only run in a 12-1 loss to Richmond Hill on Saturday. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Liberty County High School’s baseball team was in neighboring Bryan County on Saturday, where Wildcats pitcher Kevin Matthews pitched six innings and struck out 13 to beat the visitors, 12-1, in a game shortened by the mercy rule.

"Our offense wasn’t working on Saturday," Panthers coach David Samuel said. "Kevin Mathews was on his game, and we didn’t really start to hit him until the fourth inning."

Richmond Hill’s baseball squad, on the other hand, scored six runs in the third inning, and Wildcat Nathan Ward hit a walk-off grand slam in the sixth inning to seal the early victory.

"Defensively, we made three errors and several mental mistakes," Samuel said. "We had a few instances where our guys didn’t run hard to the ball, so Richmond Hill took extra bases."

Panthers Mike Lovelady, Trey Sikes and Antonio Smith each had base hits. Smith had the Panthers’ only RBI.

Panthers pitcher Brandon Whitmore took the loss, giving up six hits, two walks and five earned runs. He had two strikeouts.

"Brandon pitched really well, but the defense behind him caused him to throw extra pitches, which wore him down earlier than necessary," Samuel said.

Freshman Jake Lee pitched 2⁄3 of an inning and gave up four hits, two walks and six runs. He struck out one RHHS batter.

Liberty is 4-8 overall and 1-5 in Region 2A-AAAA. The Panthers will take on No. 1-ranked Wayne County at 6 p.m. Friday in Jesup.

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