Looking to start fresh and turn their 3-6 season around, the Panthers baseball team traveled to Burke County on Saturday where the Liberty boys beat the Bears 12-0 in five innings.
The win gives LCHS a Region 3-AAA record of 1-2.
According to Panther coach David Samuel, the Panthers batted seven players, scoring three runs in the first inning. Two of the runs were off a two-run homer by Eddie Chipple, who knocked the ball over the center field wall.
Joe Watkins pitched the game, giving up only one hit.
"Joe never faced more than five batters in an inning," the coach said. "He did not strike a lot of guys out, but he was effective by getting eight ground outs and only one fly ball out. The only hit allowed was by their eighth batter, Hunter Baxley. Watkins had Baxley overpowered with two fastballs. I decided to call one more fast ball. Baxley turned it back around up the middle for a solid base hit. Beside the one base hit, no Burke County player hit the ball hard."
On the other hand, the Panthers scored two runs in the third inning. Chipple scored and Austin Schultz crossed from third base on Cody French’s sacrifice fly to center field.
The Liberty boys added two runs in the fourth while facing two outs.
"The first two batters were retired," Samuel said. "Then Javaughn Shuman reached based on a dropped third strike. Cameron Harris then walked and Matt Desbiens hit a bases clearing triple."
In the fifth inning, Watkins and French hit back-to-back doubles and Brandon Whitmore singled. Trey Sikes then doubled in two runs. Harris walked and Chipple singled in Harris to end the scoring.
"I was happy with our performance," the coach said. "Burke is not a solid team, but we played the way we should. Sometimes teams play down to the level of the less superior team, but our guys did not do that. We were very aggressive at the plate and on the base paths. I can think of three instances when