Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 1, 2014

Sharks shut out Vikings in Challenge

VALDOSTA — Lowndes High played hard enough Friday in the Georga-Florida Challenge.

But the Vikings didn’t play well enough, as they fell 4-0 to the Ponte Vedra (Fla.) Sharks.

“We didn’t play well tonight, the effort was there, but we didn’t play well,” said Lowndes coach Danny Redshaw.

Pitching for the Vikings was Cory Pope, who threw 66 pitches going into the top of the fifth inning without giving up a run. In the fifth inning, the Sharks scored the first run of the game due to double errors by the Vikings, allowing a free score for the Sharks.

Duke commit Jackson Johnson was on the mound for the Sharks, and threw just 61 pitches before being pulled in the bottom of the sixth inning. Johnson struck out six Vikings and was replaced by Justin Lenau, who kept the shutout.

After three Vikings struck out in a row to conclude the bottom of the fifth, Redshaw made significant changes to his lineup.

To begin the sixth inning, the Vikings moved C.J. Johnson to center field, Jud George to short stop, Tyler Thompson to left field and also made a pitching chance, putting Nick Higginbotham on the mound.

The changes seemed to work as the Vikings stopped the Sharks from scoring after allowing them to load the bases. However, the changes did not help in the long run.

“I don’t know if the changes affected us at all. We played bad for seven innings, so I don’t think the changes made any difference,” said Redshaw.

Going into the seventh, Ponte Vedra maintained their 1-0 lead before scoring three times on just two hits in the final frame.

With the loss behind them, the Vikings prepare for Florida Christian today at 4 p.m.

“We need to play better obviously. We’re 2-2 and have had good pitching through four games, but we have to make plays on defense and hit the ball better if we want to win,” said Redshaw.

As for the tournament as a whole, the opening day went along with expectations.

“The first day went well. We have some quality teams here and some of them played good baseball today,” said Redshaw.

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