The Valdosta Daily Times
Cairo was in a giving mood Wednesday and Valdosta High accepted all the help it could get at Bazemore Field.
The visiting Syrupmakers made four errors that led to seven unearned runs, while also leaving 10 runners on base as Valdosta won 11-3.
“We put the ball in play and didn’t have any big explosive hitting going on,” Valdosta coach Bart Shuman said as his 9-2 Wildcats now prepare to visit rival Lowndes in a doubleheader Friday. “But we put the ball in play, ran the bases well, played defense and if we do that, we’ll be in most games.”
Added Cairo coach Ron Best: “Against a quality team like this, if you make errors it’s going to catch up to you most of the time.
“It certainly did tonight.”
It caught up to the Syrupmakers early. With Valdosta leading 1-0 after the first inning when Brennan Goodson singled with two outs and Craig Barry followed with a double that plated courtesy runner Jacob Jamarillo, the Wildcats took advantage of two Cairo miscues to push the lead to 5-0 an inning later.
With two on and two outs, including Jacob McMillan that reached on an error, VHS leadoff hitter David Posas then struck out but reached on a wild pitch as McMillan trotted home as well. Daniel Tefft followed with a two-run double and Goodson added an RBI single as he finished 3-for-3 and reached in all four plate appearances.
A dropped fly ball an inning later allowed Logan Stephens to score, and Valdosta added two more runs in the fifth coming on another booted grounder. That miscue came right after Cairo nailed Stephens at the plate on a one-out comebacker to the mound. Posas then followed with an RBI double.
“I thought we were competitive, hung in there good and throwing strikes,” Best added. “But the mistakes on defense against a good team will cost you.”
Stephens added an RBI double in the sixth and then scored on McMillan’s single to make it 11-3.
The Syrupmakers weren’t nearly as accepting of gifts. Valdosta starter John Eager walked six in five innings as Cairo drew nine bases on balls total. But the ’Makers couldn’t come up with the big hit, held to just four hits, all singles.
“John battled,” Shuman said.
Cairo clawed within 5-2 in the top of the third as Brick Kinni, Jesse Miller and Cage Cox all drew walks to open the frame. Tyler Dalton drove in one with a one-out single and a two-out walk to Emery Hancock plated the second before Eager worked out of the jam.
The Syrupmakers’ other run came in the sixth when McMillan walked three straight after Miller singled with Dalton getting the RBI.
“That’s a good and a bad thing,” Best added. “It’s a positive that we had that many runners out there, and we’re threatening to score. That’s a positive. But then you have to follow through on that as a team.
“Several times we had guys in there that I really felt comfortable with, and it just didn’t happen at that time.”
Added Shuman: “Jacob has great stuff and could really help us. He looked great for two hitters and then lost it for a few. But they’re trying.”