With the 2020 season up in the air due to school closing because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), one thing is for sure, the Banks County Leopards found their stride as the two-week hiatus was announced.
Banks County enters the break with a 12-4 record, winners of six straight including its second-straight Region 8-AA doubleheader sweep.
The Leopards dominated Oglethorpe County, getting a 6-0 win and a 13-2 win in Lexington on March 13.
After the games, though, is when head coach Peyton Hart told his players there would be no baseball for the next two weeks.
"I talked to the team after the game," Hart said. "The reality is we don’t know when we will return to the field as a team. But we’re hopeful that we can play again and practice again together this season ... The team took it well. They were encouraged about getting back out there, and they were excited they got to play Friday night."
Hart added he encouraged the team to stay in shape and try to work from home on some things, and to stay their best if and when the season resumes.
"More than anything, we are hopeful for these seniors," Hart said. "They’ve worked their butts off to compete and compete for a championship. Hopefully, it doesn't end this abruptly."
Banks Co. 13, Oglethorpe Co. 2 (Game 2): The Leopards opened the game with five runs in the first inning and didn't let up, scoring two runs in the second and two in the third, capping the game off with four runs in the sixth.
Braxton Simpson finished the game with two hits and three RBIs. Simpson connected for a two-run homer over the left-field wall in the top of the first.
Nolan Hill finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Justin Whitehead went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Ty Burchett added two hits, Caden Cotton had two hits and Parker Hobson had two hits. The Leopards recorded 14 hits.
On the hill, Cotton pitched five innings, allowing six hits, two runs and recording eight strikeouts. Burchett pitched one inning of relief, striking out the side to end the game.
Banks Co. 6, Oglethorpe Co. 0 (Game 1): Like Game 2, the bats were on fire in Game 1 as Banks County recorded 13 hits in the six-run win.
Burchett went 3-for-5, recording two singles, a double and three RBIs. Bowen Roberts added three hits of his own with one RBI. Tripp Williams went 2-for-4 at the plate with one RBI. Jonathan Moon added one hit and one RBI.
In the circle, Williams pitched four innings, allowing only three hits and recording four strikeouts. Dylan Greenway pitched three innings, allowing two hits and recording four strikeouts.
"Offense did an outstanding job of keeping pressure on them," Hart said. "Anytime you hope to breakthrough on offense and we did.
"First game, we had some timely hits. They had a great pitcher, he kept us off balance.
In the second game, we came out swinging. It is fun time when you haven’t played defense and you’re up five runs when you do go out into the field."