Panthers drop opener to Hillcrest

Published 2:58 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Georgiana Panthers got the 2009 baseball season off to a good start with an 8-7 win over Hillcrest last Friday.

“It’s always good to win your first one,” said head coach Shane Smothers.

Kevin Brogden started the game on the mound for the Panthers and pitched four complete innings, while recording seven strikeouts.

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With the Panthers up 6-2, Javontay Feagin, a sophomore, came in to relieve Brogden.

Feagin pitched well, and the Panthers led 8-5 going into the bottom of the seventh inning.

With the score narrowed to 8-7, Levi Ray came in for the save.

“With the bases loaded, Levi got the next two batters out,” Smothers said. “They all played well for the first game.”

Friday’s game featured pitching performances by a freshman and a sophomore, and Smothers said that’ll be typical this year.

“We’ve only got six returning players from last year,” he said, talking about Brogden, Jerrod Lee, Joe Mixon, Jim Grayson, Jeff Phillips and Cory Ray.

Of those six, only three are returning starters.

“We also got Terrance Hatcher back out, but he hasn’t played in a few years,” Smothers said. “He’s a senior, and he did a good job of catching against Hillcrest.”

Smothers said one of the team’s goals this season is to make the playoffs.

“It’s our last year to be Georgiana High, and we haven’t made the playoffs since 1992, so we’re going to try to put together a good season,” he said. “We’re working hard for that goal. We’re going to work hard every day and practice and see what happens on game days.”

Saturday’s scheduled home games were cancelled because of inclement weather.