Godwin, Exley and Luvin come through for Raiders in comeback win over Knights

Published 9:53 pm Thursday, April 6, 2023

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ALBANY – After shutting out Deerfield-Windsor 3-0 two days before in Americus, the Southland Academy Raiders (SAR) made the trip down to Albany on Thursday, April 6, with hopes of defeating the Knights again and sweeping the home and home series. After five innings of play, however, it looked as if DWS was going to exact revenge, as the Raiders gave up two unearned runs early in the game on an error and trailed 2-0 for the first five innings. However, thanks to a solo home run by Will Godwin and an RBI single by Scout Luvin in the sixth, along with a sacrifice fly RBI by Luke Exley in the seventh, the Raiders were able to pull off a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Knights at Addison Field on the DWS campus.

“I told them that there was a lot of good to pull out from this game,” SAR Head Coach John Brady said. “We made a couple of mistakes in the first inning and gave up two unearned runs. We turned the page and just kept playing.”

Brady went on to praise the work of SAR starting pitcher Perry Usher, who gave up two runs on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings of work.

“Perry was really good and the defense, after the first inning, played really good behind him,” Brady said. “I think we had two strikeouts. We were hitting the ball and hitting it hard sometimes into some tough luck, but we just kept coming every inning.”

Southland Academy centerfielder Scout Luvin went 1 for 3 at the plate with an RBI in the Raiders’ 3-2 victory at Deerfield-Windsor.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Raiders fell behind 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning, as the Knights notched back-to-back singles from Davis Coleman and Grayson Spears. Lane Sceals then reached on an error that allowed two runs to score. Over the next four innings, the Knights held their 2-0 lead, as DWS starting pitcher Thomas Ray was able to keep the SAR offense at bay.

However, the momentum of the game began to change in the top of the sixth inning when Will Godwin belted a solo home run over the Centerfield wall. Usher then drew a walk and pinch runner Trey Sellers was able to steal second with two outs.

Scout Luvin then came through with an RBI single, scoring Sellers and tying the game at 2-2. At this point, momentum was clearly on the Raiders’ side and it would continue that way for the rest of the game.

After holding DWS to just one single in the bottom of the sixth, the Raiders would eventually take the lead in the top of the seventh. With one out, Henry Johnson and Chase Ledger came up with back-to-back singles. This was followed by a sacrifice fly from Luke Exley that allowed Johnson to score the winning run from third.

In the bottom of the seventh, all that was left was for Usher to close the deal, which he did by retiring all three batters he faced.

Godwin went 2 for 4 at the plate with the solo home run to lead the Raiders’ offense, while Johnson, Ledger, Exley, Luvin and Luke Tarrer each came up with a hit in the contest.

Southland Academy first baseman Luke Exley went 1 for 3 with a Sacrifice Fly RBI that drove in the winning run for the Raiders in their 3-2 victory at Deerfield-Windsor.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The win extends the Raiders’ winning streak to three games and they are 9-5 overall on the season, with a 4-2 record in GIAA Region 3-AAA competition.

The Raiders will try to extend their winning streak to four games when they travel over to Dawson, GA on Tuesday, April 11, to take on the Eagles of Terrell Academy. This is the first of a home and home series between the two teams. Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the second game is scheduled to played at Southland on Friday, April 14, at 4 p.m.