Walks prove costly to Raiders in loss at Tiftarea Academy

Published 12:36 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

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From Staff Reports


CHULA, GA – The Southland Academy Raiders (SAR) could not get the offense going against their GISA Region 3-AAA opponent Tiftarea Academy (TA) and SAR pitchers issued a total of 10 walks in this game. The Panthers were able to take advantage by scoring four runs in the second, three in the fourth and two in the sixth to secure a 9-2 victory over the Raiders on Monday, April 4 at Tiftarea academy.

The trouble started for the Raiders in the bottom of the second inning when SAR starting pitcher Matthew Saint walked the leadoff batter John Jackson. Then both Herschel Moore and Lane Cole followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases.

Wesley Malone then drew a walk that allowed the Panthers to score their first run. John Austin Lee then doubled in two more runs and Matthew Malone later drove in another run on a sacrifice fly. The Panthers got two more runners on base via a walk and a hit batsman, but Saint was able to get John Jackson to line out to SAR third baseman Perry Usher to prevent further damage.

The Raiders got off to a good start in the top of the third inning when Henry Johnson was hit by a pitch from TA starting pitcher Hayden Murphy. Johnson would later reach second base on a passed ball; steal third base and scored SAR’s first run when Usher drove him in on a fielder’s choice.

In the top of the fourth, the Raiders were able to get a runner in scoring position when Luke Exley doubled to left field with one out, but Murphy was able to strike out Buddy Brady and got Caleb Law to ground out to end the threat.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers scored three more runs on three hits and took advantage of three walks. Then in the bottom of the sixth, TA added two more insurance runs on one hit and took advantage of four walks.

Down 9-1 in the top of the seventh, the Raiders tried to make a comeback and scored a run when Fisher Britt drove in Brady on an RBI double, but that would be as close as they would get as the Panthers would go on to win 9-2.

The Raiders had a total of four hits in this game. Fisher Britt, Henry Johnson, Luke Exley and Buddy Brady were the only Raiders to get on base via the hit. Britt went 1 for 1 with an RBI and Perry Usher drove in an RBI on a fielder’s choice. In total, SAR scored two runs on four hits, while the Panthers scored nine runs on nine hits.

Both SAR pitchers Matthew Saint and Trey Sellers struggled on the mound in this game. Saint, who started the game, gave up seven runs on eight hits and walked six batters in four innings of work. Sellers came on in relief of Saint. While he only gave up two runs on one hit, he walked four batters while striking out two.

Hayden Murphy dominated on the mound for TA. In six innings of work, he gave up a run on two hits and struck out 11 Raiders while walking three. Jam Presley came on in relief of Murphy and gave up a run on two hits and struck out one.

Wesley Malone and John Austin Lee both went 2 for 3 at the plate to lead the Panthers’ offense. Both Malone and Lee drove in two RBIs and Malone scored a run.

The Raiders are now 8-5 overall and 3-1 in Region 3-AAA competition. They will try to exact revenge when they face the Panthers again at Southland Academy on Thursday, April 7 at 4:30 p.m. They will then face TA for the rubber match of the series on Friday, April 8 at Southland Academy. First pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.