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McKenzie rallies past county rival Panthers

McKenzie junior Chris Shufford spurred on a late-game run in the fifth inning as the Tigers overcame the Georgiana Panthers 14-4.

McKenzie junior Chris Shufford spurred on a late-game run in the fifth inning as the Tigers overcame the Georgiana Panthers 14-4.

The Georgiana-McKenzie rivalry is a tale as old as time, at least in the seven-mile circumference encircling both southern Butler County towns.

But in the arena of baseball, McKenzie has held a clear advantage in 2016, and Thursday afternoon proved no different as the Tigers put away the Panthers handily 14-4 on their home turf.

But it didn’t quite begin that way, as the Panthers posted an early 4-1 lead for the first three innings.

But just as quickly as it was built, McKenzie senior Condie Pugh sent a perfectly placed line drive to the back of the stadium, sending two Tigers home and cutting the three-run lead to just one.

Meanwhile, Georgiana’s sharp pitching began to dull slightly as a number of walks added up to the tune of four additional runs for the Tigers.

Georgiana senior Willie Mobley tried to kickstart the Panthers’ momentum with a  pair of booming hits to right field—including one of which was mere inches from homerun territory—though the hits came too late to turn the McKenzie tide.

The 7-4 lead grew to unmanageable proportions as the Tigers turned in hit after hit in the later innings to the tune of a 13-1 run.

The Georgiana Panthers will travel to Luverne for their next game on Monday at 4 p.m.

The McKenzie Tigers will meanwhile travel to Zion Chapel Monday for a game scheduled for 4 p.m.