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Panthers' bats come alive
LCHS shuts out Long County 10-0
jc lc baseball
Liberty County sophomore Aaron Hoffer hit two homeruns for the Panthers last Friday at Wayne County. Hoffer, along with his teammates, is pumped for the Region 3-AAA south opener against Burke County on Friday. - photo by File photo
After dropping a 9-7 decision at Wayne County on Friday, Liberty County High School’s baseball team rebounded Saturday to defeat Long County 10-0 in five innings.
Skyler Hoffer pitched a complete game for the Panthers (3-6), allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out 12 Blue Tide (1-7) batters.
Hoffer also was a force at the plate, hitting a homerun over the left-centerfield fence.
The bats could not come alive at a better time for the Panthers as they start sub-region action Friday.
“It’s very positive having this momentum going into (sub-region play),” LCHS coach Steve Cotrell said. “Baseball is 80 percent mental and you have to play the game with confidence.”
On Friday, Liberty County hosts Burke County at 5:30 p.m. to open Region 3-AAA south play.
“We’re starting to have confidence and they’re coming around at the plate swinging the bat a whole lot better,” Cotrell said. “We have 11, 12 guys right now which is a good thing. The young guys are pushing them and they’re getting better every day.”
Also big at the plate against the Tide for Liberty County was Erik Mattingly, going 3-for-3 with three doubles and a walk and Robert Walsh, going 2-for-2 with a homerun and a walk.
Mattingly ended the game with a double, scoring Kendrick Jones from second base. Jones got on base after being hit by a pitch.
The Panthers were perfect in the field, committing no errors.
“We played well and didn’t make an error for the first time since the first game of the season,” Cotrell said. “We shut someone out and got the job done. I think this will give us a little air going in on Friday.”
Cotrell pointed out that all of the Panthers’ previous games had been close with the exception of the loss to Brantley County.
Friday’s loss to Wayne County was another nail-biter.
Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Panthers surrendered five runs to the Yellow Jackets to fall behind 9-3. However, Liberty County rallied with a run in the sixth inning and three runs in the seventh inning before being defeated.
In Friday's loss to the Yellow Jackets, Aaron Hoffer went 2-for-4 with two homeruns and Mattingly finished 2-for-3 with 5 RBIs.
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