Georgiana prevails over McKenzie

Published 9:02 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

South Butler County rivals Georgiana and McKenzie met on the diamond for the first time this season, and the Panthers won the opening round 16-5.

Georgiana jumped out to an early lead, scoring six runs in the second inning courtesy of Kevin Brogden, LaJordan Crittenden, Terrance Hatcher, Jeffrey Phillips, Derric Crittenden and Levi Ray.

Hatcher and Jarrod Lee scored two more for the Panthers in the third inning to make the score 8-0, but McKenzie fought back in the fourth inning with a three-run home run from Cliff Pugh.

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Hatcher answered with a solo shot with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, and Georgiana added two runs after that and five runs in the fifth.

Dustin Shell and Calvin Henderson scored in the fifth inning for McKenzie on an RBI double by seventh grader Roscoe Moorhead and a sacrifice fly by Ben Presley.

Both coaches said they were proud of their team’s effort, but see room for improvement.

“We ran the bases well, but we didn’t do a great job of selection at the plate,” said Georgiana head coach Shane Smothers. “We weren’t disciplined. We’ve had a 14-day layoff, and maybe they were anxious to swing, but that’s not an excuse.”

McKenzie head coach Mike Bass said he saw an improvement at the plate.

“We hit better, but we had trouble with errors and walks. Our hitting was better, but our fielding wasn’t,” he said. “We’re learning, but it’s on-the-job training.”

The win was an area victory for Georgiana, and another step toward their season goal.

“We’ve harped since day one that our goal is to make the playoffs,” Smothers said. “These kids are working hard and we’re one step closer, but there’s a lot of baseball left. We had a good home crowd, and these kids loved that. Hopefully we can keep that going too.”

The Panthers moved to 3-0 on the season for the first time in several years.