Power surge

Published 9:43 pm Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming into Monday’s region showdown with Hooper, Pike Liberal Arts was looking to avenge a rare loss it suffered over the weekend Macon-East.

Before people could file to their seats at Butch Austin Field, the Patriots had already taken some of its frustration out on its opponent, Hooper Academy.

By the end of the first inning, PLAS had already built a 6-0 cushion thanks to a two-run home run and a three-run home run by Trey Walters and Lawson Stewart.

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The Patriots would never look back, as it dismantled the Colts, 30-2 in five innings.

“It was very important that we came out (Monday) and got a win,” head coach Butch Austin said. “We had to have this one.”

“I think (the team) was mentally in the right place coming into the game (on Monday). We had a good practice on Sunday and I think they were ready to get back on the field and get back on track,” the coach added. “This was a good win.”

The run tally eclipsed the Patriots’ previous high mark of 23, which was set earlier this month against Coosa Valley Academy in the Jonah McWaters Tournament.

The win improved PLAS to 16-3 on the season.

In all, every Patriot in the starting lineup had a hit, as the team finished with 24 overall.

Ross Hixon, Walters, Justin McLaughlin, Sam Carroll and Lawson Stewart all had three hits.

Five different players hit home runs in the game.

Walters and Stewart in the first, Will Startling hit two three-run homers in the second inning while Carroll also added a three-run homer in the second and then to top it off, Logan Stewart added a Grand Slam in the third.

Starling led the way with six RBIs, while Walters finished with three and Carroll finished with four.

The Stewart brothers combined for nine RBIs and two home runs.

“I just saw the ball really well today,” Starling said. “I knew both were gone right away.”

“To get a region win like this was very important – it is something that will help us get back on track.”

Each of the batters in the PLAS starting line up has now gone yard, thanks to the Lawson Stewart home run in the first.

“We were all pretty down (after the loss at Macon-East),” Logan Stewart said.

“But we all stayed positive. We knew we needed to come out and play well and we were able to do that (on Monday).”

Carroll got the win on the mound, pitching three innings, striking out three, while giving up two hits and two walks.

Lawson Stewart finished things up for the Patriots, pitching the last two innings, striking out two and surrendering Hooper’s only runs thanks to a two-run home run in the top of the fifth.

“Sam threw well today – both of our guys threw well,” he said.

“Sam has been doing a good job. He has to have more confidence in himself (on the mound) and I think (Monday) will help.”

PLAS will be back in action on Thursday afternoon as it heads to take on the No. 2 ranked Glennwood Gators.