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Perkins powers Panthers over FC Bulldogs in baseball play

BUDE — It may have not been Darius Perkins best game of hiscareer, but it sure ranks right up there. The Brookhavencenterfielder enjoyed the fruits of a beautiful spring day, toshowcase his ample power and speed with two home runs to lift hisupstart Brookhaven Panthers to a cool 11-1 victory over Class 3AFranklin County in Bude Saturday afternoon.

Perkins went 3-for-4 and collected seven RBI’s.

“I just saw the pitches, and I hit em,” said Perkins, a 6-3,250-pound Northwestern, La. football signee. “Am just glad we gotthe win.”

The unselfish Perkins was aided by a delightful pitchingperformance from freshmen Paxton King in the win. King, struck outeight Franklin County batters and walked only one in six inningspitched. He scattered only four hits. Perkins closed the game, bystriking out two Bulldog batters and grounding out the other.

“I was pretty pleased we how we played today,” said Brookhavenhead coach Randy Spring. “Paxton was really sharp today, and Dariushit the ball well. I was also pleased with how consistent we werethroughout each inning, with our hitting and run scoring.”

Spring watched his well disciplined Panthers (13-10) take a 2-0lead, off a towering left field shot from Perkins in the firstinning. An inning later the Panthers increased their lead to 3-0,off a Brandt Hinton RBI single that scored sophomore ElliotWarren.

Franklin County (11-8) finally broke the shutout up in the thirdinning off an RBI single from talented senior centerfielder JasperO’Quinn. The hit scored sophomore Ryan Ratcliff from third.

With the score standing 3-1, the Panthers entered the fourtharmed and ready to put the game out of reach. Five hits and threeruns later, Brookhaven had it that way, leading 6-1.

“Give credit to coach Spring and his staff, they have a verygood ball club,” said Franklin County coach Johnny Daves. “Theirpitcher (King) pitched an excellent game, and they (Brookhaven) hitthe ball well. Perkins had a great game.”

Perkins belted an RBI single across midfield in the fifth inningto increase the Panthers lead to 7-1. After a Bulldog pitchingchange of starter Baron Jones to reliever Dann Griffin, Franklinfinally got out of the inning with a Griffin strikeout, that lefttwo Panthers on base.

Brookhaven added an extra run in the sixth inning, beforePerkins big hit heroics resurfaced again in the top of the seventhwith a center field blast over the blue clad Franklin County15-foot wall. The Panthers ended the game in the bottom of theinning with Perkins closing it out.

Perkins’ solid day tied a career high of two home runs he hadlast year against Northeast Lauderdale and McComb as a junior. Hehad eight RBI’s in the NE Lauderdale contest with a pair of grandslams.

“I just thank God for the ability he gave me,” added Perkinsafterwards.

Besides Perkins’ blessed day, the Panthers got a single and adouble from Mitch Pappas and a pair of singles from Warren. ZachWatson added an RBI double.

For the Bulldogs, sophomore first baseman Dane Hodges plated twosingles.

On the mound, Jones (3-4) suffered the loss with two strikeoutsand three walks. He allowed nine hits and seven earned runs.Griffin collected two strikeouts in relief. He walked three andallowed three runs on two hits.