Panthers top Jaguars in opener

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Georgiana School edged Class 5A Wilcox-Central 13-11 on Tuesday to earn a victory in its season opener.

The Panthers (1-0) were forced to delay the start of their season due to the school’s basketball team making a run to the Final Four. Tuesday proved worth the wait.

“Some of the guys have only been with us for a few days because of our success in basketball and they performed very well without much time to learn what we are doing,” Georgiana head coach David Watts said. “Overall I am very proud of the effort that they gave.”

Four Georgiana hurlers held the Jaguars to just three hits. Walks however were an issue. The Panther pitchers combined to issue 10 walks. Georgiana also committed six errors.

“Those things will get you beat usually,” Watts said. “I was very proud of the effort the guys gave me. We just need to clean some stuff up.”

The Panthers’ play at the plate was enough to overcome their mistakes in the field.

“We were very patient at the plate,” Watts said. “Mike Dunn did a very good job at the top of the lineup setting the table. We executed the run game very well and bunted very effectively when it was needed.”

Georgiana pushed at least one run across the plate in each inning it came to bat, including four runs in the first and three in both the third and fourth innings.

Dunn led the charge with a 2-for-4 effort. He also scored two runs.

Matt Sheffield was 1-for-2 with a run scored and Derrick Blackburn drove in two runs. Shaun Giddens scored one run in the win.

Blackburn, Giddens, Rodney Cheathan and Devin Bonner all saw action on the mound for Georgiana. Cheatham earned the win and Giddens was credited with the save.

Georgiana will be back in action Thursday when it hits the road to take on Red Level High School. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.