Jackson County took advantage of a day without rain and started its season off with a win.
After their Monday season opener with Apalachee was washed out, the Panthers beat visiting Elbert County 5-4 Wednesday (Feb. 12) in their first action of the season.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Jackson County (1-0) struck for three runs to take a 5-3 lead en route to the victory over the Blue Devils, who won 20 games last season and advanced to the Class AA Sweet 16.
Bradley Pruiett went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Ayden Griswold went 2-for-3. Nick Streuer (1-for-2), Logan Holycross (1-for-2) and Jonathan Steeb drove in one run each. Jackson County finished with 10 hits.
Jack Thomas came on in relief of starting pitcher Kedric Zimmer and threw two innings for the win, allowing a hit, a run and a walk while striking out two. Ben Wiley pitched two innings for the save, allowing an earned run and striking out one batter.
Zimmer threw three innings in the opening-night start, allowing five hits and two unearned runs with no walks and two strikeouts.
Jackson County returns to action Friday (Feb. 14) at 8 p.m. against North Springs in the first game of a two-day tournament at the LakePoint baseball complex in Emerson. The Panthers will play Allatoona — an Elite Eight team last year Class AAAAAA — on Saturday (Feb. 15) at noon and then Lithonia Saturday at 5 p.m.