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Panthers shellack Hephzibah after handing one to Cavaliers
Henry Barrett crosses the plate in the Panthers 4-12 victory over Calvary Day in their first meeting earlier this season. The outcome was reversed and the Panthers lost 5-6 Thursday. Barrett started as the Panthers’ pitcher Thursday. He struck out 4 batters. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
The Liberty County High School Panthers’ 14-0 win over Hephzibah Friday night included three 2-run homers.
Aaron Pringle, Justin Eaton, who also was starting and winning pitcher, and Aaron Hoffer took balls yard, each with another Panther on base.
The run-rule was called after Hephzibah was unable to answer an eight-run fifth inning.
It was a regional game and the win did a lot to restore the boys’ confidence after a one-win-in-five-game streak. The night before they let the Calvary Day School squeak passed them in the seventh inning.
At first, Thursday, it looked as though the Panthers were on the way to a solid victory over the Cavaliers. But the bats suddenly went cold and the errors allowed the Savannah team to take the game away in the bottom of the 7th inning. They need to step up their game as they prepare to face regional opponents that are in the chase for a spot at the playoffs.
“Right now we are our own worst enemy,” Panther coach Steve Cotrell said after Thursday’s game. “We need to quit making excuses or the rest of the season is going to be a struggle.”
Henry Barrett pitched four innings Thursday, striking out four batters. Eddie Chipple finished and took the loss.
Ethan Pringle went 1 for 2. Aaron Hoffer went 2 for 3 with an RBI. And Aaron Pringle went 2 for 3.
“They (Cavaliers) had 5 hits total,” Cotrell said. “We had 10 hits and about 5 good hits they caught.”
The Panthers were scheduled to face Benedictine Saturday. All the recent games,  Calvary, Hephzibah and Benedicting were away for the Panthers, making them tougher battles as long road trips and back-to-back games can lead to player fatigue
 Another obstacle was Saturday was prom night. That may have some of the players’ minds distracted from the game.
“The upside is that we do have a few kids that are working very hard and trying to make adjustments to get us going again,” Cotrell said. “But it is going to take more than just a few. Hopefully, someone is going to step up and be a leader.”
More from Friday and Saturday’s games will be in Wednesday’s Courier.
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