West Laurens showed their batting ability Friday as the Raiders baseball team chalked up a 20-6 win against the Liberty County Panthers.
It was a region game, dropping the Liberty boys to 2-6 overall and 0-2 in region 3-AAA.
The Raiders started scoring in the second inning. With a runner on first a Raider smacked one out to right field and over Panther Chris Rafferty’s head. Two batters later a Raider hit one out to center field where Panther Cameron Harris got the out, but deep enough to score a Raider. The next batter hit another ball out to right and scored the second run.
Panther Brandon Whitmore was on the mound and was met by Raider sluggers in the third inning.
A walk and a slew of hits earned the Raiders a 10-0 lead. Facing two outs Whitmore was relieved by Rafferty who struck out the next batter.
The Panthers struggled offensively but managed to score six runs, three coming off a three-run homer from Trey Sikes. It was his first hit of the season, according to Panther coach David Samuel.
"He got a fast ball and he crushed it over the left field wall on a line drive," the coach said. "He did a good job of hitting the ball. We’ve been doing a lot on hitting this week and it really showed yesterday. Even though we didn’t have a lot of hits, I think everybody at least put the ball in play and hit the ball pretty hard."
The Raiders’ batters ran up 10 more runs in six innings.
Panther Eddie Chipple pitched the last inning.
Harris was 2 for 2. Chipple was 1 of 2 with 2 RBIs. Sikes’ homerun earned 3 RBIs and Antonio Smith had one hit.
The boys were on the bus Saturday morning headed to Burke County for another region game. The coach said he spoke with the players and told them to wipe the slate clean and look ahead.
"We are going to start and act like today is our first game and show up with a lot of enthusiasm," he said. "And if they are able to do what they are told to do, we should be good. We have 10 more region games. There is still plenty of time, so there is no reason to fall apart. We have plenty of time to come back and do lots of good things."