The Valdosta Daily Times
Lowndes and Lee County have played a lot of good baseball games over the years. But Tuesday’s game was a rout.
Lowndes hammered Lee 11-1 on Tuesday evening at Noel George Field. The Vikings pounded out eight hits and took advantage of 12 walks on their way to a 10-run victory. Lowndes pitchers Dalton Register and Henry Hoff limited the Trojans to just one run and four hits, in a game that ended in the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.
“It was a good win for us,” Lowndes head coach Danny Redshaw said. “We played a bunch of guys, and they swung it pretty good. I was more happy with our pitching. Dalton Register, our No. 3 guy, threw it well. Hoff came in and threw well for two innings. Overall, a very good game.”
Lowndes (14-7) took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the second. Cam Buescher and Ty Harwell started the inning with singles to left. Garrett Hill bunted to move the runners over, and was safe when the pitcher’s throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Logan Hutchinson’s infield single scored Buescher with the first run of the game. Garrett Fuller drew a bases loaded walk, scoring another run. Hill tried to score from third on a wild pitch, but the ball hit the brick backstop and went right back to the catcher, who threw to pitcher Matt Hatcher, who tagged out the sliding Hill. Mason Miller walked, reloading the bases, then Hatcher walked Blake Smith as well, bringing home another run. That was the end of Hatcher’s day. New pitcher Nick Bush got Josh Day to fly out to right, but Fuller tagged up and scored, giving Lowndes a 4-0 lead.
The Vikings added three more runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Harwell walked and Hill hit a line drive into left field. Harwell beat the throw to third and Hill made it to second with a double. Hutchinson grounded out to third, but Harwell scored. Fuller followed with a double to left, bringing home Hill to make it 6-0. Fuller moved up to third on a wild pitch, then ran home on another wild pitch to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
Lowndes loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, then pinch hitter Martin Tucker drew a bases loaded walk, which scored Buck Carter and make it 8-0.
Lee County scored its only run in the top of the fifth. Chris Mosley started the inning with a walk, moved up on a wild pitch and a ground out and scored on a single to center by Dalton Daniel, which made it 8-1.
But Lowndes scored three more times in the bottom of the fifth, and put the game away. Jake Richards started the inning with a single and pinch runner Parker Bonner moved up on Day’s ground out to third. One out later, Buescher lined a single to center, and Bonner scored from second. Tyler Thompson walked and Gage Eckwahl singled to left, loading the bases. Jud George hit a ground ball into the hole. Daniel, the shortstop, fielded the ball, but George beat his throw to first and Buescher scored. Then Tucker ripped a line drive to the fence in left center. Thompson scored, giving the Vikings an 11-1 lead. That ended the game, due to the mercy rule.
Buescher went 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs for Lowndes. Fuller and Hutchinson drove in two runs apiece.
Register was the winning pitcher. He pitched three shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out three. Hoff threw the final two innings, and gave up one run and two hits, and struck out four.
Lowndes will try to wrap up the Region 1-6A championship on Friday, when it travels to Camden County for a doubleheader. The Vikings only need to win one of the two games to become region champions.