Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 20, 2014

Wildcats rally past Rebels at Invitational

VALDOSTA — In the third day of the Wildcat Invitational, the host team took care of business as Valdosta slipped by Berrien 10-8 on Wednesday.

In the second game the Wildcats have played in their season-opening tournament, Valdosta displayed resiliency by continuing to fight in a game that could have easily gotten away from them and earning a win that Valdosta coach Bart Shuman was overjoyed to have.

“It’s been so long since I’ve had that [come from behind] feeling, I don’t know if I can describe it,” said Shuman. “It feels good right now. It was a lot of resiliency, definitely.”

Berrien got off to a quick start against Valdosta pitcher Jacob McMillan as the right-hander loaded the bases with no outs by giving up a single sandwiched between two walks.

Valdosta exchanged a run for the first out of the game when a fielder’s choice brought a runner in from third. Joe McCranie scored a moment later to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead when a ball squirted past catcher Brennan Goodson, but luckily for McMillan, he was able to avoid any more damage in the opening frame by getting a nice strikeout and throwout double-play to get out of the inning.

The Wildcats would not wait long to respond as a Goodson double brought David Posas around from first base to give Valdosta its first run of the day. Logan Stephens came in as a courtesy runner for Goodson, but Stephens was stranded at third giving Berrien a 2-1 lead after the first inning.

Unfortunately for the ’Cats, needing a clean inning to build some momentum, McMillan’s struggles worsened in the second inning. Valdosta’s starter gave up a double to open the inning before a massive shot from McCranie cleared the left-field wall to give Berrien a 4-1 lead.

With McMillan looking out of sorts, Valdosta decided to bring in a new pitcher — John Eager took the mound and answered the call by getting out of the inning without further damage, thanks in part to a nifty play from Eager to snare a ground ball and throw the runner out at first.

Once the Wildcats got back to the plate they once again responded swiftly, tying the game at 4 with a walk, a hit batsmen, and three singles, the biggest of which came from Daniel Tefft to bring home two.

Valdosta had plenty of chances to fight adversity as the back-and-forth manner carried throughout.

Berrien scored two runs in the third — mostly due to bad play in the field — and two more runs in the fourth while Valdosta scored four runs of its own in the fourth to tie the game and another in the fifth to take a 9-8 lead.

“The biggest thing was our hitters’ patience,” said Shuman. “We waited on good pitches, got a couple of walks, and we just had a lot of really good plate discipline and that was the biggest thing.”

The Wildcats tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to heads up base running from Stephens.

Stephens took third base on a ground out before scoring on a short fly ball in the midst of defensive confusion, but nine runs would prove to be enough as the Rebels were held without a run over the final three innings after scoring two runs apiece in the previous four.

Howard and Cook meet at 6 p.m. today as the Wildcat Invitational continues at VHS.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Cooperstown Merchants: Weekend was a success

    Cooperstown merchants are elated about the exceptionally prosperous Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, several storekeepers said Sunday.

    During an afternoon lull in business, when the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was taking place, area shop and restaurant owners took a quick breath, reflected and expressed satisfaction with their sales for the weekend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall of Famers thank fathers for stepping up to the plate

    Great ballplayers thanking their dads at a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about as original as oil and vinegar are to an Italian restaurant.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS little cats camp 1.jpg Valdosta hosts fundamental camp for ‘Little ’Cats’

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS practice1.jpg Getting Back to Work

    Friday officially began the 2014 season for the Valdosta Wildcats and both the offense and defense came out and made statements.
    After holding spring and summer workouts, the Wildcats will practice four more times without pads before beginning full pad practice next week.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog