Patriots defeat Lowndes 16-4 in round one of tournament

Published 3:00 am Friday, March 18, 2016

A 10-run rally in the second inning helped lift the Patriots to a 16-4 win over Lowndes in the opening round of the Macon East Tournament on Thursday.

The Patriots (18-5) jumped out a 1-0 in the first inning, then scored 10 runs in the second thanks to key hits from Hunter Jones, Adam Grice, Hayes Lee and Reed Jinright.

“We played a solid game tonight,” said Patriots head coach Allen Ponder. “We played good defense and we were able to barrel up some baseballs and hit the ball much better tonight.”

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Ponder said his players did a better job of putting the ball in play then they had earlier this week, when they lost 8-5 to Monroe Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

“We did a much better at just putting the ball in play,” Ponder said. “When we had runners in scoring position we were able to get the big hits tonight to score the runs. It was a much better showing for us.”

More important, the entire lineup contributed to the win.

“Nobody really stuck out,” Ponder said. “Tonight was truly a nine player effort. It was much more than that because we subbed guys in, and they did a great job. Everybody we had dressed tonight contributed and that makes for a great game.”

Freshman Clay Barron pitched in his first start for the varsity. He threw three innings. “I knew he was a little nervous, but he did a great job at just coming in and throwing strikes,” Ponder said. “That was exactly what we needed him to do. They put the ball in play, but we played good defense and he did his job.”

With the win the Patriots advance to the winners bracket of the tournament where they will play the winner of Fort Dale and Autauga at 1 p.m. this afternoon.

“You always want to start in the winners bracket,” Ponder said. “It always keeps you playing less games. For us it was really big to get that first win.