Patriots unfazed by tough competition

Published 8:59 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In the last week, the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots have been a busy team.

In a four-game span, the team in a red, white and blue has traveled to Phenix City for Border Wars, come back to Troy for a showdown with South Montgomery Christian Academy and then to Auburn for a region battle with Lee-Scott.

In each situation, the Patriots came out victorious and in doing so improved it’s winning streak to eight games.

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The only time PLAS has fallen this season was in the Season Opener against Glenwood.

“We are playing pretty good baseball right now,” head coach Butch Austin said Wednesday afternoon.

“I think we are starting to find who we are as a team right now. We are pitching well, hitting well and playing good defense. The guys are going a lot of good things right now and it’s showing.”

During the four-game stretch, the Patriots have outscored its opponents 46-16, including a 15-1 beat down of South Montgomery Monday afternoon.

But while wins are always important, it’s the region wins that matter the most.

Right now, PLAS is 2-0 in the region, thanks to Tuesday night’s 12-8 win over Lee-Scott in 15 innings.

In a game that Austin called “unusual”, both teams went back and fourth. The Patriots took a 2-0 lead early on, however, surrendered it as Lee-Scott went up 6-2.

In the top of the seventh inning, PLAS scored four runs to tied the game and send it into extras.

Eight innings later, the Patriots were able to walk away with the win.

“I think if we had lost that game (Tuesday night), that would have been a big blow to us,” Austin said. “But our guys held on and got a big win. They played really hard all throughout the game, even when it didn’t look good.”

While the hitting has been key, the pitching and defense have also stepped.

In the last four games, PLAS has committed just one error, which took place against Lee Scott.

The Patriots will again be in action on Friday night and again the games will count towards the region record, as PLAS travels to Lanett to take on foe Springwood in a double header.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.