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Portal stays undefeated in region play
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    PORTAL — A moment of silence before the first pitch in remembrance of fallen Bryan County classmates who died in a car accident on Wednesday outside of Pembroke brought the Redskins (4-6, 1-2) onto the diamond with heavy hearts, and the Portal Panthers (7-5, 4-0) were able to increase their perfect region 3-A record to 4-0.
    Brandon Mock was 3-for-3 with a home run and five RBI and Brett Rivers pitched a complete game four-hitter striking out three. Rivers also crossed the plate three times and drove in three to help himself out as the Panthers got the 17-2 win over BCHS. Rivers did not give up any base hits and walked only three batters.
    An Andrew Cook RBI single started the Redskin scoring in the top of the first, but Portal answered in the bottom of the inning with a Tagg Lanier two-run home run and an RBI single by David Dampier. The Panthers really broke things open in the next inning. Bryan County starter Bryce Mingledorff was pulled after back-to-back walks started the bottom of the second, and the Panthers were able to add five more runs against reliever Ricky Myrick in the bottom of the second.
    A seven-run fourth inning sealed the deal for the Panthers as Mock took a pitch to the opposite field and his three-run home run ended the game.
    “Everyone hit the ball well up and down the lineup,” said PHS coach Tendai Haggins. “We worked on hitting to opposite field for three hours on Wednesday, and we had a few opposite field hits today that came up big.”
    The offense was definetly spread throughout the lineup, with two Panthers — Rivers and Mickey Williams — scoring three times, and four — Dustin Jones, Lanier, Mock, and Vinnie Lynn — scoring twice each. Nine different Panthers crossed the plate at least once.
    The complete game out of Rivers was another sign that things are going well for Haggins and the Panthers.
    “Whoever we put on the mound that starts,” said Haggins, “We’ve got to get a complete game out of them. That helps us because we’re not that deep. We have a lot of young pitchers, so to see a sophomore step up and be able to go four innings while we get the bats going… Rivers did a great job. If we need him on Tuesday (against Calvary), we’re going to be able to go back to him… (He) did a good job of getting ahead of the count… Overall he threw strikes, got ground balls and struck a few kids out.”
    The Panthers return to the diamond at 5 p.m. on Tuesday to welcome the Calvary Day Cavaliers for their fifth region game of the season.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.