Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 2, 2013

Vikings outlast Sharks, 4-1

VALDOSTA — A four-run sixth inning and a dominating pitching performance pushed the Lowndes Vikings past the Ponte Vedra Sharks 4-1 Friday night in the Georgia/Florida Challenge at Lowndes’ Noel George Field.

The win was Lowndes’ first over Ponte Vedra in over two years.

After five innings of minimal offensive production, the Vikings (2-2) exploded against the Sharks’ pitching staff in the sixth inning. They scored all four of their runs with two outs, using five hits and a walk in the process.

Dalton Register started the rally, connecting on a two-run double to score Josh Day and Cam Buscher to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead. Then, Blake Smith singled to score Register, followed by a single by Garrett Fuller that scored Smith to make the score 4-1.

“We had some poor at-bats earlier, as a team,” Lowndes head coach Danny Redshaw said. “But we started seeing the ball and getting some good swings.”

Register’s hit was the biggest in the inning and the game. Lowndes had runners in scoring position and was just one out away from leaving more runners stranded — the Vikings left six stranded through the first five innings — and would have been forced to rally in the seventh.

Instead, Register drilled a hit down the left field line to score Day and Buescher and spark the Viking offense.

“(Dalton) had a big game for us,” Redshaw said. “He said he was going to go up there and do it before he did it.”

Lowndes’ big sixth inning provided offensive support to junior pitcher Cory Pope, who pitched the best game of his career Friday night. After earning a loss last weekend against La Salle, Pope came back against Ponte Vedra on point.

“(Pope) pitched a gem last Saturday and took a loss allowing three unearned runs,” Redshaw said. “He doesn’t throw it very hard but he pitches and he competes. He is a bulldog out there. It is good to see. We have a lot of pitchers on the shelf right now and he was worked his way to being one of our guys.”

The left-hander allowed just one run on three hits and struck out seven batters in a complete game victory Friday night, a strong performance on a night when the Vikings needed it the most.

“I just try to do my job and let the defense work,” said Pope, who admitted it was his curveball and changeup that confused batters all night. “I have confidence in our offense. Sometimes we are slow to start but we are always on our game when it comes down to the wire.”

Pope was aided by a strong defensive effort, something the Vikings have lacked through the early part of the season. Each time he allowed runners on base, the Vikings made a key out, turned a double play, or he recorded an inning-ending strikeout to get out of the little bit of trouble he was in.

“We made 11 errors through our first three ball games,” Redshaw. “If we could play defense we could easily be 4-0. But if cows had wings they’d fly.”

Ponte Vedra’s only run of the game came in the second inning on a double steal from first to second and third to home.

After starting the inning with a single, the Sharks moved their leadoff batter to second on a steal, who then advanced to third base on a wild pitch from Pope (1-1).

Then, with runners at the corner, the Sharks executed the double steal to perfection, getting Lowndes catcher Josh Day to throw to second and allowed the runner from third to score.

“We gave the run away,” Redshaw said. “Pope didn’t field his position and then we didn’t cover the bag. That was a giveaway run. You aren’t going to win close games against good teams. We knew it was coming. It was stuff we had worked on. You just have to execute and we didn’t.”

Besides that run, Ponte Vedra’s offense was minimal, sparking their play-by-play broadcast team to compare their cold temperatures to the bats being used in the game.

NOTES: Friday’s start was delayed for over 20 minutes after Mill Creek (Ga.) beat Providence (Fla.) 14-1.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog