Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 16, 2013

Berrien hammers Cook

Rebels score 11 runs in fourth inning, rout rivals

NASHVILLE — On Friday night, it was a great night to be a Berrien Rebel.

In one of South Georgia’s most-heated baseball rivalries, the Rebels (7-2, 2-0 in Region 1-AA) dominated the Cook Hornets (6-3, 1-1 in region play), flexing their muscle in all phases of the game, earning a 13-1 victory by a fifth-inning run-rule and making a statement to the rest of the region.

“We have a lot of good teams in this region,” Berrien head coach Doug Nix said, downplaying his team’s statement win Friday night. “Anybody can beat anybody in the region. You just have games like this, where everything they throw up there, you hit it. And then you have a game where you just can’t hit anything. That is baseball. We are just glad we won it.”

After a slow start, Berrien’s bats caught fire and the Rebels scored one run in the second and another in the third, before exploding for 11 runs on nine hits in a fourth inning that saw 15 batters come to the plate against four different Hornet pitchers.

“We just started hitting it the last couple of days,” Nix said. “I knew we could swing it; I thought it was something we were going to be good at. We struggled early on, but we have started hitting it, and we certainly hit it really well tonight. That is what you always play for — a big inning. …. If you have a big inning, you usually win.”

The Rebels scored their runs in a multitude of ways. They singled, they doubled, they walked, they were aggressive on the base paths and they took advantage of three wild pitches by the Hornets.

In the monstrous fourth inning, every Rebel batter that stepped to the plate scored a run, and two batters even scored multiple runs in the inning.

Everything went the Rebels’ way.

The Rebels were leading 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Shawn Witt led off with a single, followed by singles from Logan Balkcom and Ashton Sparks, which scored Witt. Then, after a Cook pitching change, Travis Branham grounded into a fielder’s choice, but every Rebel runner reached base safely, including Balkcom, who beat the throw to home plate.

The Rebels’ Devonte Bass walked, and the Hornets made another pitching change. Then Dalton Ingram singled to score Branham and Bass, Taylor Griner walked and Hunter Garrett doubled to score Ingram.

The Rebels led 9-1, and they weren’t done.

The Hornets made a fourth, and final, pitching change in the inning, but Berrien just continued on. Dalton McMillan, the Rebels’ only pitcher on the night, doubled, scoring Griner and Garrett, and the lead was 11-1 with no outs.

After Witt singled, McMillan scored on a wild pitch and Balkcom struck out, becoming the first out of the inning. Then Sparks capped off the Rebels’ scoring with a single, driving in Witt.

The Rebels finished the run-rule victory in style — McMillan struck out the side in the Hornets’ fifth inning.

McMillan’s dominating fifth inning was exactly how the night went for the Rebels. The senior allowed one unearned Hornet run — Parker Bennett reached base on an error and scored on a Dalton Rentz single in the third inning — and allowed just one hit. He struck out nine, including the final five batters of the game.

“He is a senior that has kind of been in the shadows of Drew Harrelson and Kal Simmons the last three years. He has been our No. 3 pitcher since he was a sophomore,” Nix said. “This is his year to shine and he is finally our No. 1. He has great command of all three pitchers, and when you have a high school pitcher that can throw all three pitches for strikes, that is special.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better pitching performance tonight.”

For Cook, Brock Rountree took the loss after allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits in three-plus innings. From there, three separate Hornet relievers faced 12 batters and allowed eight runs, with two failing to record a single out.

Berrien got a run in the bottom of the second inning. Balkcom reached base on a two-out walk and stole second base. Then Sparks singled past Cook’s shortstop to score Balkcom.

After Cook evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the third, the Rebels regained the lead on an Ingram RBI single that scored Garrett in the bottom of the third inning.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog