AMERICUS – Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Southland Academy Raiders (SAR) trailed Tiftarea Academy (TA) 7-2. The Raiders had struggled all day against the strong and dominant pitching of TA starter Hayden Murphy. In the sixth, the Panthers brought in reliver Ben Matt to close out the game, but the Raiders had other ideas. SAR was able to score three runs on two hits and two TA errors in the sixth to get back in the game. However, the Raiders’ comeback effort fell two runs short in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, a man on first and the tying run at the plate in the form of Will Godwin, Matt was able to strike out Godwin to end the game and hand the Raiders a 7-5 loss on Tuesday, April 6 at the Southland Academy baseball complex.

According to SAR Head Baseball Coach John Brady, Tuesday’s loss to the Panthers, as well as others this season, came down to the inability to get timely hitting with runners on base.

“In the games that we’ve lost this year, we’ve left some runners on base and have been one hit short, or either had one play that didn’t go our way. We didn’t quite make a play and that was kind of the case today,” said Brady. “We had a couple of opportunities. We just didn’t make a play or didn’t get a hit at the right time. That’s baseball and they (TA) have got good pitching, so it’s hard to get those hits when you need them, but we battled…two good baseball teams going at it. We’ll get after it again on Friday.”

The Raiders will travel down to Chula, GA on Friday, April 9 to take on TA at their place in a doubleheader. The first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled to be at 4 p.m.

The loss on Tuesday brings the Raiders’ overall record to 5-7 and they are now 0-4 in the GISA Region 3-AAA standings.

Southland Academy’s Chase Ledger was able to drive in two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to help bring the Raiders to within two runs of tying the game.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

SAR starting pitcher Buddy Brady had a solid day at the plate. Brady went 3 for 4 with three singles to lead the Raiders’ attack. Shortstop Owen Exley also had a good day at the plate, as he went 2 for 3 with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth that got the Raiders back in the game.

While Brady had a good day offensively for SAR, he had some difficulty on the mound, giving up three runs on five hits, while walking two batters and striking out two in a little over two innings of work. James Griffin came on in relief of Brady in the third inning. He gave up four runs on five hits, walked one batter and struck out five in three innings