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Southland Academy Baseball defeats Valwood

HAHIRA, GA – The Southland Academy Raider Baseball Team (4-4, 3-0) got their second region win in a row Friday night, March 23, when they went down to Hahira and defeated the Valwood Valiants 9-4.

Southland scored six runs in the top of the fourth inning to put the game away. George Wall singled on a 1-0 count, scoring Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy had reached on an error, then advanced to second base on a single from Harrison Bell. Hunter McCain then hit a sacrifice to Valwood pitcher Mac McRae. That advanced Kennedy to third base and Bell to second with one out.

Ross Minick drew a walk, loading the bases for Wall. James Griffin was brought in for Minick as a courtesy runner. Wall then singled, scoring Kennedy and advancing the runners. The bases were still loaded with one out and the scored tied at 1-1.

Luke Law then flew out to right field, but it was not deep enough to score the run from third. At this point, there were two outs in the inning with the bases loaded for the Raiders. Nathan Duke was brought in for Wall as a courtesy runner. Will Hubbard then hit a ground ball and reached on an error by the Valwood shortstop. Both Bell and Griffin scored on the play, and Duke advanced to third. At this point, Southland had a 3-1 lead with two outs.

The count was 2-and-2 to Landon Law. On the 2-2 pitch, Law hit a fly ball to left field, but the left fielder committed an error, allowing Duke and Hubbard to score. Law advanced to second on the error, and the Raiders had a 5-1 lead.

Southland got another insurance run when Clay Owens singled to right field, scoring Landon Law. The inning finally ended when Tyler Kennedy struck out, but the damage had been done as the Raiders plated six runs in their half of the fourth.

Southland took a 7-1 lead in the top of the seventh. With one out, Hunter McCain singled to center field. After Ross Minick struck out for the second out of the inning, Wall singled on a pop fly to left field, scoring McCain. Duke was brought in for Wall as a courtesy runner. Then Luke Law singled, advancing Duke to third base. However, the Raiders weren’t able to get the RBI hit as Will Hubbard popped out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Valiants mounted a comeback. Sam Martin led off the inning with a walk. Jaharie Boone flew out, then Martin stole second base. J.M. McRae grounded into a fielder’s choice, advancing Martin to third with two outs. After Tayte Barry drew a walk, Mason Williams doubled, driving in two runs. Caleb Burns grounded out to end the inning, but the Valiants had cut the lead to 7-3.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Raiders responded with two more runs. Landon Law led off the inning with a single. Law then stole second, and Clay Owens hit into a fielder’s choice, advancing Law to third. After Kennedy grounded out to the shortstop for the second out, Harrison Bell belted a two-run homer over the center field wall to give the Raiders a 9-3 lead.

McCain flew out to end the inning, but Southland extended their lead to 9-3.

The Valiants scored another run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was not enough as the Raiders claimed the 9-4 victory.

Southland scored nine runs on eight hits and committed one error. Valwood scored four runs on seven hits, but committed four errors, which proved to be costly.

Harrison Bell went 2-for-4 with a two0run home run. George Wall went 2-for-3 and drove in two RBIs. Landon Law went 1-for-3 and scored a run, while McCain went 1-for-2 and scored a run for the Raiders.

Raiders starter Ross Minick got the win. He pitched Five innings, giving up three runs on four hits. He walked five and struck out three. Harrison Bell came on in relief for Minick. Bell pitched two innings, giving up one unearned run on three hits. He walked none and struck out one.

Mac McRae took the loss for Valwood. He worked four innings and gave up six runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out four.

The Raiders will try to keep their winning ways going when they travel to Albany on Tuesday, March 27, to take on the Knights of Deerfield-Windsor. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.