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Feb. 20—MOULTRIE — For the third straight game to open the 2021 season, the Colquitt County baseball team gave up first-inning runs and were unable to overcome them, falling to Starr's Mill 11-6 on Friday in the home-opener on Ike Aultman Field at Jerry Croft Stadium.
Starr's Mill, ranked No. 4 in the Prep Baseball Report's Georgia Preseason Power 25, scored six runs in the top of first and went on to drop the Packers to 0-3.
The Panthers led 8-0 after their first two at-bats and took advantage of six Colquitt County errors in game played in temperatures in the mid-40s.
Starr's Mill remained at Packer Park to play Thomas County Central in Friday's second game.
The Packers tried to chip away at the Panthers early lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second on a two-out, two-run single by Pershaun Fann and added three more in the bottom of the fifth.
Trailing 9-2, the Packers had an opportunity to put some pressure on their visitor, when a none-out, base's loaded fly ball by Cole Whatley in the fifth bounced off the fence for a two-run double.
Whatley scored on a groundout by Gavin Steptoe, but the Packers were unable to do more damage against Starr's Mill reliever Bryson Daniel.
The Starr's Mill left-hander got the final nine outs, allowing no runs and just one hit, a Jackson Avera double in the sixth.
With a lineup that includes four Division I committed players, Starr's Mill had nine hits, including three doubles.
Colquitt County starter Cameron Summerlin walked the first two batters of the game, hit another batter and gave up four hits in the first inning.
The Packers made two errors behind him.
After giving up two runs on two hits and a walk in the second, Summerlin was replaced by Gary Hill, who got the final out in the second and retired the next five batters before giving up an unearned run in the fourth.
He gave up two more runs in the sixth, but one was unearned.
Whatley pitched the seventh and retired the Panthers in order.
Fann made Starr' Mill starter Daniel Courtney pay for allowing an infield hit to Chasyn Miley, a hit batsman and a walk when he ripped a single to right to score Miley and Jace Autrey for the Packers first two runs.
Hayes Lightsey led off the bottom of the fifth with a single off of reliever Chay Yeager, who proceeded to hit Fann with a pitch and issue a base on balls to Davis Dalton.
Whatley then drove a Yeager fast ball to left center that appeared to have enough to leave the premises.
But it banged off the fence, scoring Lightsey and Fann.
Daniel was summoned and he got two strikeouts and an infield grounder to douse any further Colquitt County damage.
Fann had two hits and reached base three times for the Packers, scoring once.
Whatley, Miley, Lightsey and Avera had the other Colquitt County hits.
The Packers will travel to Adel on Saturday to meet Central of Carrollton at 12:30 p.m. in the Hornet Invitational.
Colquitt will be back at Packer Park at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the Senior Night game against Lee County.