It’s safe to say the Athens Hornets are ready for the District 14-AAA race to begin.

Second-year AHS coach Tony Sikes’ squad ran its record to 10-3 Friday night with a 7-2 non-district baseball win over the Fairfield Eagles at Hornet Field.

The Hornets are scheduled to begin district play at home Tuesday against Bullard. Junior varsity action begins at 4:30 p.m. AHS is also at home Friday against Canton.

Senior Brant Radcliff went six strong innings on the mound for the Hornets, running his record to 3-1. Hugo Valdez threw the seventh in relief.

“Brant did a good job on the mound tonight, and he kept them off balance,” Sikes said. “Our defense had another solid outing doing what we preach and making the plays behind our pitcher.”

The Hornets took a 1-0 lead with a lead-off triple by C.J. Holloway in the second inning. Jirmyrion High, who was courtesy running for Holloway, scored on a single by Ryan Johnson.

With two outs in the third, the Hornets scored three more runs. Wesley Starkes walked and scored on a double by Valdez to the right-center field wall. Holloway singled to bring in Valdez and High would score on a passed ball.

After a run in the fifth, the Hornets would add two more in the sixth. Radcliff got aboard when outran a throw from the catcher on a dropped third strike. Starkes would follow with a single, and with runners at second and third, Valdez lined a single into left scoring both runners.

The Hornets were led at the plate by Valdez with two doubles and a single. Holloway had a triple and single and Starkes had two singles to round out Hornets with multiple hits.

Radcliff struck out four and gave up three hits in his six innings of work. Valdez struck out two and did not surrender a hit in the seventh.

Sikes said he likes where the Hornets are after non-district.

“I believe we're right where we need to be to make a run at this thing,” Sikes said.

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