Last Thursday, Liberty County High School defeated Pierce County for the first time in two seasons; however, the Panthers suffered a setback Monday, losing 14-5 to Appling County at home.
LCHS pitcher Chris Rafferty took the loss as the Panthers went through five pitchers in an attempt to bring down the Pirates.
Rafferty, Brandon Whitmore, Eddie Chipple, Antonio Smith and Dylan Connelly all logged time on the mound.
It was a 3-1 game until the top of the fourth inning when a Pirate slugged in a three-run homer to go up 7-1.
In the fifth inning, the Panthers staged a rally. With Cameron Harris on second, Matt Desbiens hit one out to centerfield, allowing Harris to score. Later, with two runners on base, Panther Joe Watkins hit his own three-run homer to make it a 7-5 game going into the sixth inning.
Watkins has hit a homerun in every home game so far this season.
"Joe has been doing great so far," Panther coach David Samuel said. "That is the reason he has been batting fourth for me. He has good control of the bat. He understands what the pitcher will be throwing in specific counts, and he puts the ball in play."
In the sixth inning, the Pirates smacked a few to centerfield and eventually ran in five more runs.
In the final inning, Appling
County scored twice for the 14-5 win.
"Our team needs to work on intensity from the time they arrive at the field until the third out of the last inning," Samuel said. "We lose focus, which means errors from fielders, missed locations by pitchers and poor decisions while hitting."
The coach said the players need to work on their mental game as they prepare for Washington County on Friday.
"As soon as we get everyone working together mentally, the physical aspect will come and our team will be tough to beat," the coach said.
Friday’s game starts at 6 p.m.