By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Panthers on top with win over Hephzibah
A strong slide at second by Skyler Hoffer caused the Hephzibah defender to lose his balance and the ball in Friday’s 8-0 Panther win. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
The Liberty County Panthers toppled Hephzibah 8-0 Friday securing a 3-0, 3 S-AAA region standing.
According to that means the Panthers are tied for first place in the region with South Effingham as far as region wins and losses.
Friday, the Panthers were quick to swing and strike first.
In the first inning Henry Barrett made second base after Hephzibah made an error off a Chris Arnold hit. Skyler Hoffer took the plate and hit the ball deep, bringing in Arnold and Barrett.
A wild pitch let Hoffer advance to third and Byron Calahan brought Hoffer in with a hit down the first base line. The Panthers closed out the first inning with a 3-0 lead.
After some great defense, the Panthers were back at bat in the bottom of the second. Ethan Pringle hit a clean triple and then scored off a hit by Kendrick Jones. Jones ran to third on a wild pitch and scored a run off a hit by Barrett.
With Barrett on second Aaron Hoffer hit it out of the ballpark and suddenly it was 7-0 to close out the second inning.
Hephzibah tried to rally with bases loaded and only one out in the third. But the batter hit the ball at Arnold who grabbed it off the bounce and converted a double play.
Another double play by Joe Watkins and Kendrick Jones helped the Panthers get a quick 3 and out in the fourth.
Jones made the last score with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, sealing the game at 8-0.
Arnold pitched for 4 innings and Skyler Hoffer finished the game.
As the Panthers enter mid-season undefeated, coach Steve Cotrell still expressed concerns he wants to address to stay on top.
“I think we are getting better,” he said. “I thought we got a little flat after we took an early jump on them. I think we are still lacking that killer instinct we need to have against the bigger teams. We are starting to do a lot of the little things right, but we are not finishing it. When we can finish seven innings we will be a pretty good ball team.”
The Panthers will play next Friday against Benedictine before coming face to face with top seed South Effingham.
“Right now South Effingham is still the one to beat,” Cotrell said. “But we have to take one game at a time and we have Benedictine next Friday. We have to get ready for them and then we can look at South Effingham next Saturday. The worst thing you can do is look beyond your next opponent.”
Sign up for our e-newsletters