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Panthers 2-0 in 3 S-AAA region with 6-3 win over Richmond hill
Also defeated Tattnall in non-region game on Wednesday
Ethan Pringle connected on what should have been a triple but he was called out at third. The hit brought in the three runs the Panthers needed to get the win. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
The Liberty County Panthers are undefeated in their 3 S-AAA region as they pulled the plug on the Richmond Hill Wildcats and took a three-run victory Tuesday night amid dropping temperatures.
The Panthers held on to a 3-0 lead all the way until the fifth inning when the Wildcats evened the score.
“We talked to other coaches and we knew they were going to be a scrappy team,” Panther coach Steve Cotrell said. “They lost a lot of seniors last year and they have a bunch of younger kids trying to fill those roles. They showed a lot of heart today in the way they played.”
With the game tied in the sixth the Panthers defense stepped up and held the Wildcats to no runs scored.
With 1 out and bases loaded Ethan Pringle stood at the plate and connected. He brought in all three runners and made it to third on what should have been a triple, but the umpire called him out at third. The call drew boos from the fans who believed the runner was safe. However that hit gave the Panthers the winning score of 6-3.
“I was contemplating on having someone pinch hit for him because he looked bad on his first two appearances at the plate,” Cotrell said after the game. “But he made an adjustment and that is what our seniors have to do. I always ask them would you rather be 4 for 5 with a strike out and the game on the line or would you rather be 1 for 5 and get the game-winning hit. That’s the decision our seniors need to make if they want to have a good team.”
Justin Eaton started and pitched for 4 innings. He got 3 strikes and allowed 6 hits and earned the win. Skyler Hoffer pitched 3 innings with 1 hit and the save.
Pringle went 1 for 3 with 3 RBIs.
Cotrell said he felt his team was not swinging the bat, but added that his squad did all the little things that were necessary to keep them ahead despite the lack of hits.
“We made the fundamental plays with our pitching and routine plays that made up for lack of hits,” he said. “We can be a dangerous team if we start swinging the bats.”
The Panthers traveled to Tattnall County Wednesday afternoon for a JV and varsity double-header.
“Tattnall is a young team,” Cotrell said. “Their coach told me they have 26 kids in the program and 15 of them are freshmen. Aaron Pringle hit a homer in the junior varsity’s 7-4 victory over the Tattnall County Warriors.
Aaron Hoffer and Chris Arnold hit back-to-back homers in the varsity’s 14-9 victory.
The Panthers had a change to their schedule and will host Hephzibah Friday night instead of traveling. The Panthers will also host Houston County for junior varsity and varsity games on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. The junior varsity game should provide some excitement as the Houston County JV squad is rumored to have several of the Warner Robins Little League World Series Champions players on its roster. The varsity squad is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
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