Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 23, 2014

Lowndes, Valdosta win big at Wildcat Invitational

VALDOSTA — Throughout the week of the Wildcat Invitational Valdosta had made a living on its resiliency in responding to its opponents scores and Saturday was no different; on the final day of the season-opening tournament the Wildcats mojo came through again they rallied past Pope in nine innings 9-8.

"It's just a credit to the character of our kids, they just hung in there," said Valdosta coach Bart Shuman. "We made some mistakes that cost us early, in the seventh inning, we just battled back and found a way to win it,"

With Valdosta holding a 8-5 lead, Pope loaded the bases with a single and two walks sandwiched around the first out of the inning, An error brought in one run before Joshua Lowe laced a double down the third base line to knot the game at 8.

Both teams managed to hold their opponents scoreless until the bottom of the 9th inning.

Tied 8-8, Valdosta rallied one last time without even having to swing the bat. A walk, hit batter, and another walk loaded the bases before Daniel Tefft watched a fast ball miss away on a 3-1 count to bring Logan Stephens in for a walk-off walk.

With the win Valdosta finishes the Wildcat Invitational and begins its young season at 3-0, but each of the three wins also required a rally after falling behind early, but Shuman isn't discriminating against wins at this point in the season.

"With these young guys we've got, I'll take it any way they want to do it," said Shuman regarding the wins. "We're young, and we're just finding ways to win games. So I can't complain."

The game against perennial Georgia baseball powerhouse Pope followed a similar script as most as all of Valdosta's games this season. A back and forth affair all game coming down to the wire.

The Greyhounds scored two runs in the top of the 4th of a 2-2 game and another in the top of the 5th to take a three-run advantage, but whereas in the first couple of games this season Valdosta chipped away at the lead little by little, on Saturday the Wildcats caught Pope, took the lead, and provided themselves cushion all in one huge inning.

Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the 6th, Valdosta sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring six runs in conga-line manner as seven of eight batters reached based to begin the inning.

Shuman downplayed the Wildcats' bats when asked about the cause of the offensive outburst.

"Nothing, we just got some timely hits by some guys, and we got a couple key walks," said Shuman.

Craig Berry led off the inning by connecting solidly on a ball in the gap for a double. A single from Seth Shuman moved Berry to third before he scored on a sacrifice fly from Jacob McMillan to make the score 5-3 Pope.

A walk and an error loaded the bases with Wildcats and two consecutive bases-loaded walks by David Posas and Stephens, respectively, evened the score at 5 and an errant throw from the Greyhounds' catcher sailed into the outfield, bringing two more runners home for a 7-5 lead.

One batter later Tefft laced a double into right field for an 8-5 advantage with one inning to play, however, after losing to Lowndes in the first game on Saturday, Pope was not ready to go home winless without one last rally.

The Greyhounds knotted the score once again when Joshua Lowe hit a bases-loaded double, scoring two runs, and tying the game at 8 before the Wildcats' walk off.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Blazers Blog