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Panthers top Raiders by a run for 8-7 win
Panther Eddie Chipple was tagged out at second base, but the Liberty boys took an 8-7 victory Monday over the visiting Raiders of Savannah Christian. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Liberty County High School’s baseball team hosted the Savannah Christian Raiders on Monday and managed a one-run victory to send the Raiders home with an 8-7 loss.

The Raiders scored their first three runs in the first inning but the Panthers tied things up when the Raiders’ pitcher walked in a run and Joe Watkins hit a two-run homer.

In the bottom of the second, the home team took a two-run lead when Cameron Harris walked to first and Matt Desbiens hit another two-run homer over left centerfield.

In the third, the Raiders positioned runners on first and third. Panther Pitcher Dylan Connelly struck out the next Raider at bat for the first out. But the next Raider smacked the ball past shortstop Eddie Chipple, scoring two runs to tie the game at 5.

A shot toward Harris in centerfield got the second out but scored another run, and the Raiders regained a one-run lead. In the top of the fifth inning, the Raiders added another run to extend their lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Panther Brandon Whitmore made his way around the bases and Antonio Smith hit one in the infield for an RBI.

Whitmore relieved Connelly in the top of the sixth. Two infield plays by Cody French and a strikeout by Whitmore gave the Panthers their last at-bat for the night.

With two outs, Watkins and French walked. Whitmore’s shot hit the centerfield wall, scoring in Watkins and French for an 8-7 lead. In the top of the seventh inning the Raiders had the tying runner at third off a double and a steal.

The Panthers brought in ace hurler Watkins for the save. A toss out at first retired the first Raider. Watkins struck out the next batter and the final batter faced a full count but Watkins dug deep and tossed the ball for the final strikeout and win.

The boys were set to play Camden yesterday and will host Windsor Forest tomorrow. On Friday, LCHS plays its final region game against Washington County. It will be senior night and seniors French and Chipple will be honored. The ceremony will be before the first pitch at 5:30 p.m.

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