Liberty Hill baseball splits with Leander
By MIKE SCHOEFFEL
The East Travis County Invitational, in which the Liberty Hill baseball team was scheduled to compete, was canceled due to some particularly adverse weather last weekend. That didn’t stop the Panthers from getting in a pair of games against Leander on Saturday afternoon, however.
Liberty Hill split the doubleheader with the Lions, dropping the first game, 6-4, before rebounding with a 6-3 victory later in the afternoon.
The highlight of the weekend was perhaps starting pitcher Nathan Flake’s performance in the latter game. Flake threw five solid innings, giving up four hits and allowing one earned run.
In the latter game, the score was tied at three in the bottom of the sixth. Liberty Hill staged a two-out rally, however, as back-to-back singles by Cooper Phelan and Connor Thompson put runners on first and second.
Garrett Wright then roped an RBI double, followed by RBI singles from Slater Foust and Ryan Ragle. That scoring surge secured the Panthers’ three-run victory.
Standouts included Thompson, who went 3-for-3, Wright, who drove in three runs, and Ragle, who drove in two runs.
In the first game of the afternoon, the Panthers fell into a 5-1 hole they were never able to dig out of.
Leander put up three runs in the first and two runs in the second off starter Slater Foust, who bowed out after two innings of work. The Panthers’ relief trio of Jarret Huddleston, Chandler Freeman and Wyatt Cheney — the latter two of whom are freshmen — did a commendable job of holding the Lions where they stood, allowing just three hits and one run over the final five innings of work.
Yet the Panthers couldn’t come up with big hits when they needed them, leaving 11 runners on base and falling, 6-4, despite out-hitting the Lions 8 to 6.