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
  • 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

  • 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

Blazers Blog