Region champs

Published 10:12 pm Monday, April 12, 2010

With its win over Glenwood Academy on Friday afternoon, the Pike Liberal Arts baseball team put itself in a good position to win the AAA Region 1.

The win gave the Patriots a two game advantage on the rest of the competition, and baring any major collapse, the region was theirs for the taking.

There wouldn’t be.

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Less than three days later, PLAS claimed the 2010 region crown for their own thanks to a 13-6 victory over Lee-Scott at home Monday afternoon.

“It feels great,” head coach Butch Austin said about winning the region. “I am proud of the guys.”

The win assures the team two straight playoff series at home.

“I thought we hit the ball well and Logan (Stewart) pitched really well for us (on Monday),” the coach said.

“We didn’t play well on defense though and that is something that is a big concern to us.”

The Patriots committed five errors in the win against the Warriors.

“We gotta get better,” the coach said about the defensive miscues.

“A good team is going to take advantage of those mistakes, especially in the playoffs. It’s important that we fix our defense,” Austin said.

“I think we are right where we want to be with everything except the defense – its just awful,” the added.

Stewart pitched six complete winnings, striking out two while allowing five hits and five earned runs.

The win improved the senior to 3-1 overall on the season.

Stewart ran into some trouble in the fifth inning, when the bases were full of Warriors while the Patriots were holding on to a 5-4 lead.

Stewart would get out of the jam and as it turned out, that would be as close as LSA would get.

In the bottom half of the inning the Patriots answered to the adversity by batting around its lineup, sending six men to the plate off of six hits and two walk, and stretching the lead out to 11-4.

Both teams would score two runs a piece in the sixth inning.

Ross Hixon pitched the final inning, striking out two the three batters he faced to clinch the win for his team.

Both Will Starling and Blake Floyd went deep in the Patriot victory. Starling finished 2-3, with two RBIs, while Floyd finished 2-2 with a triple and three RBIs.

Justin McLaughlin finished 3-4 at the plate, and knocked in his 19th RBI of the season.

The win improved the No. 1 ranked team in the AISA to 24-3 with two games left on the schedule.

On Thursday, the PLAS will play host to Abbeville Christian Academy while on Friday, Fort Dale will make a visit to Butch Austin Field.