Patriots improve to 5-0 in region play

Published 9:44 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

For the first time in two weeks, the Patriots of Pike Liberal Arts found themselves in region play.

And like the first two games, it was the Patriots who came out on top, this time defeating Macon-East by the score of 13-1 in five innings.

It was Lawson Stewart on the mound for PLAS, pitching all five innings, surrendering just four hits and one run, while striking out eight and walking three.

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“Lawson threw well,” head coach Butch Austin said over the phone Tuesday night.

“It had been a while since he pitched and wanted the opportunity to do so and looked good.”

At the plate, the Patriots again had a dominating performance.

Blake Floyd led the way, going 4-for-4, hitting his third home rune of the season as well as adding four RBIs.

Nick McLaughlin finished 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Josh Starling finished 1-for-2 with four RBIs.

Stewart finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.

“We hit the ball hard (Tuesday),” Austin said. “There were a lot of timely hits.

While the offense and pitching were looking good for the Patriots, the defensive play was always outstanding, according to the head coach.

“We played as well defensively as we have all season long. The guys played well in the field, which is always good to see. Both Robert (Benton) and Josh (Starling) had some great plays.”

The win improved PLAS 20-3 overall on the season, and 5-0 in region play.

“I hoped we would be in this kind of a position at the beginning of the season,” Austin said.

“We are playing good ball right now, but we have to keep playing well.”

Another region test is up next for the Patriots following a game against Emmanuel Christian Academy on Thursday, as PLAS will play host to a region double-header against Monroe Academy Friday afternoon.

The Patriots have played the Volunteers once already this season, in last weekend’s Tuscaloosa Academy.

There Monroe got the best of PLAS in the first ever meeting between the two teams, winning 8-5.

The Patriots will take on Emmanuel Christian Thursday afternoon at Butch Austin Field, with a first pitch set for 3 p.m.