Patriots knock of No. 3 Macon East

Published 3:00 am Friday, April 21, 2017

The second-ranked Pike Patriot baseball team closed out their regular season schedule with a 6-1 win over third-ranked Macon East on Thursday afternoon.

The 23-7 Patriots earned a first round bye in this year’s state playoffs.

“I was proud with how well we competed tonight,” said Patriots head coach Allen Ponder. “I was proud of our hitting. We scored a run early, but overall we didn’t hit well the first time through the lineup. After that we started to find some barrels. Overall, as this was our last game, I was really proud of the effort.”

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Reece Burbage threw two innings, as did Reed Jinright and Jade Sikes. Hunter Jones came in and closed out the game in the seventh.

“I told the guys I wanted them to work on the things they needed to work on,” Ponder said. “Obviously we go into games wanting to win, but in a game like this we want to fine tune everything.

“Our guys did a good job throwing the fastball for strikes early and we did a good job throwing the breaking ball for strikes.”

At the plate, Reed Jinright connected on a homerun in the game. He was one of many Patriots to have a good night at the plate.

“We swung the bat well all the way through,” Ponder said. “We may have had one or two guys without a hit tonight. The rest of them got hits tonight. For me that is always a positive when I can’t think of any guys that didn’t get a hit.”

The Patriots will take on the winner of Lee Scott and Edgewood next Thursday in the second round of the playoffs and Ponder hopes his guys are heading in with the right momentum.

“For confidence purposes you want to win your last game before the playoffs,” Ponder said. “Macon East is a very quality opponent and they are really well coached. For us to beat them is good for us.”