With the Greenbrier and Cross Creek high-school baseball teams getting most of the publicity in Region 3-AAAA this season, the Lakeside Panthers have been flying under the radar in 2004.
After a great start, though, Lakeside is flying high.
The Panthers opened their region schedule with a convincing win last week at Statesboro, and the 4-0 victory improved Lakeside's record to 11-2.
There are plenty of key region games to be played in the coming weeks, but the Panthers seem ready to challenge Greenbrier and Cross Creek for the 3-AAAA crown.
Lakeside hasn't been winning with smoke and mirrors. The Panthers have been playing great baseball.
Tuesday was a perfect example of the solid play. Lakeside shut out traditional region power Statesboro, with pitcher Jonathan Crawford limiting the Blue Devils to just one hit.
Crawford tossed a complete game, and he helped himself by collecting two hits and an RBI at the plate.
Also, talented junior Carl Burrow ripped a two-run homer, and continues to improve. He could eventually be good enough to be selected in the 2005 draft.
The hits keep coming for Lakeside's Chris Banker and Dustin Tyra as well. They are having monster seasons offensively and defensively, and their performances have put them in the running for Columbia County Player of the Year.
With the four Panthers previously mentioned, along with a deep pitching staff and consistent defense, Lakeside could be on its way to a special season on the diamond.
Tankersley sees limited action
Former Greenbrier High School athlete Ben Tankersley was a standout for the Pack in football and baseball, and despite checking in at 5-foot-6, 149 pounds, he earned a scholarship with Presbyterian College.
Tankersley is not your prototypical two-sport college athlete, but in his case size doesn't matter - he gets the most out of his ability, and does so by being a fierce competitor.
Last fall at PC, Tankersley was a red-shirt freshman, but he appears to have a great future as place kicker for the Blue Hose.
This spring with the Presbyterian baseball team, Tankersley is getting playing time as a reserve second baseman. He has played in 13 games this season, hitting only .212 (7-for-33), but his glove and mature approach have drawn rave reviews from the Blue Hose coaching staff.
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