Kirkland vs. Palestine

Athens pitcher Will Kirkland delivers to the plate during the Hornets’ win over Palestine Thursday.

The Athens Hornets improved to 2-0 on the season with a 10-2 drubbing of the Palestine Wildcats during first-day action at the H.E. Estes Tournament Thursday.

Will Kirkland got his first start of the season and made it count, picking up a complete game with eight strikeouts on the way to getting the win.

He got nice backing at the plate, including a bases-loaded triple from Morgan Sellers. Cobi Bishop was 2 for 3 and Ryan Hornsby also picked up a hit.

“The boys are playing relaxed but at the same time they’re playing the game hard,” Athens Head Coach Patrick Penry said. “Hustling and competing are the two things we are focused on right now, and the boys have definitely been doing that.”

The tournament’s evening games were canceled due to afternoon storms. Because of that, the Hornets will play two games Friday — at 10 a.m. against Frankston at Palestine Westwood High School, and then again at 2:30 at Palestine High School against Nacogdoches Central Heights.

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