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Domination week

For the second time this week, the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots won a game in five innings and for the second consecutive day, the team did so without hitting a home run.

The Patriots blasted the Malone High School Tigers, 16-1 on Friday at Dixie Academy.

The win was the team’s third of the week, as the No. 4 ranked Patriots improved to 20-3, and outscored its opponents, including the No. 1 ranked Glenwood Gators, 54-8.

“We had a good week,” head coach Butch Austin said Friday night.

“I thought our guys did a good job (Friday night). We got some good pitching and some good hitting from everyone.”

PLAS sent three pitchers to the mound against the Tigers.

Josh Starling got his first win of the season, tossing two innings of shutout baseball, while giving up two hits and striking out four.

Lawson Stewart came in relief, pitching two innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out four.

Chandler Avant finished things out for the Patriots, throwing the final inning.

“I thought everyone pitched well,” Austin said.

“Josh needed some work (on the mound) and did a good job (Friday) for us.”

At the plate, even though PLAS didn’t hit any home runs, the team still found ways to get extra base hits.

The Patriots hits seven doubles against Malone and were led by Nick McLaughlin, who finished 3-4, with a double and three RBIs.

Trey Walters finished 2-3 at the plate with a double and Avant finished 1-3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs.

“Everyone has been hitting the ball hard for us,” Austin said. “We had a few hit the fence (Friday).”

“When you hit the ball hard, good things are going to happen,” the coach added.

Even though the team went 3-0 this week, next week may be a different story.

On Monday, the Patriots will travel to Lakeside, followed with a date against Fort Dale in Greenville.

Fort Dale is currently ranked No. 9.

On Friday, PLAS will return home to face off with Glenwood for the second time in a little over a week.

“We are going to have to keep playing well if we want to keep winning,” Austin said. “We are going to have to continue to hit the ball hard against those teams.”