The Valdosta Daily Times
David Wortham has struggled at times this season for the Lowndes Vikings.
On Wednesday night, the Valdosta State commitment found his groove and helped lead the Vikings to a 12-2 victory over the Cook Hornets at Noel George Field.
Wortham drove in three runs and scored three more as the Vikings used a six-run fifth inning to run-rule the Hornets.
“He has been struggling a little bit, so it was good to see him swing the bat,” Lowndes head coach Danny Redshaw said of Wortham. “We need him like that — to swing the baseball bat. He is one of our leaders. He had a good night.”
Along with Wortham, several other Vikings played key roles in the victory, including several young Vikings that caught the eye of Redshaw.
Mason Miller, a regular member of the junior varsity team, was the leadoff batter Wednesday night for the Vikings, and he took advantage of the opportunity. Miller was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Garrett Hill, a regular reserve, was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
“We gave some kids some opportunities,” Redshaw said. “We are still competing for some starting jobs and we had a couple kids step up. Garrett Hill and Mason Miller, they said, ‘Coach, I want to play.’ The best coach out here is competition.”
Lowndes scored one run in the first, two in the second and added three more runs in the fourth inning to build a 6-0 lead. Cook came back with two runs in the fifth inning. The Vikings then added six more runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
Wortham, who finished 2-for-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, scored Lowndes’ run in the first inning, on a sacrifice fly by Cam Buescher. In the second inning, Hill scored on a wild pitch by Cook pitcher Parker Bennett. Then, a few at-bats later, Miller scored on an RBI single from Wortham.
In the fourth inning, the Vikings scored three runs on three hits. Two of those runs scored off a triple by Wortham, with the other run scoring on a grounder by senior Josh Day.
Cook got a pair of runs in the fifth inning, taking advantage of three straight walks to start the inning issued by Lowndes pitcher C.J. Johnson. The Hornets’ first run scored off an error by new Viking pitcher Blake Smith. Blake Daughtrey scored the run from third base. Then Ross Pickle flew out to center field, and Parker Bennett tagged up and scored from third base.
Miller scored another run in the fifth inning, after reaching base on a fielder’s choice. He scored on an error by Pickle, who was attempting to throw Miller out at third base as he stole the base. Then Wortham was hit by a pitch, Day was walked and Buck Carter singled to score Wortham and Garrett Fuller (who was a courtesy runner for Day).
Carter eventually scored on a wild pitch to make the score 10-2.
Then, Hill ended the game with a two-run double, scoring Zach Richards and Tyler Thompson.
Henry Hoff earned the win on the hill for the Vikings, allowing two hits in three innings pitched.
Lowndes hosts Brunswick on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in a Region 1-AAAAAA doubleheader. If the Vikings can sweep the dismal Pirates, they will move even closer to securing the Region 1 championship.
“We control our own destiny as far as region title,” Redshaw said. “I think our guys are mature enough to understand that. We came into tonight’s game preparing for Brunswick on Friday night. They know what is on the line.”
Cook hosts Early County Friday night in Adel.