Valdosta Daily Times

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December 5, 2013

A defensive battle decides the 7-8 Coach-Pitch Championship

VALDOSTA —  The Valdosta Mechanical Heat won a defensive battle against the Photo CR Braves to finish an undefeated season and clinch the post season championship for the 7-8 Coach-Pitch league at Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation.  

The game took place a few weeks ago, on Nov. 21, at Valloton Park.  

The Braves jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and added two more runs in the second inning.  

The score held at 3-0 until the bottom of the fourth inning when  the Heat's Hunter Griffin lead off with a double to center field, followed by singles from Cooper Scruggs, Coleman Lewis, and Hayden Hall to put up two runs and cut the lead to 3-2, Braves.

The Braves went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth inning, with the Heat making plays on three consecutive ground balls to the infield.

In the bottom of the fifth, Maddox Harrell led off with a triple to left field. Jack Lockhart and Emory Hogan both singled behind Harrell to add a run. Cayden Cook bunted and both runners advanced on a bad throw allowing Lockhart to score the go-ahead run.  

Sam Houston also bunted to score Hogan and add an insurance run.

With one inning left, the Braves didn't go down without a fight.

Scruggs made an error at second base, but he quickly made up for it on the next play by a good stab at a line drive.  

The pitcher, Ashton Cook, fielded the next ground ball and made a good throw to first base for the second out of the inning.

The next batter swung and hit a hard ball to Griffin at third base. Griffin was able to knock the ball down, but the runner was safe at first, putting the tying run on base and the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs.  

The final batter hit a high fly ball to Lockhart at shortstop who made the play to seal the victory for the Heat.

“It was intense until the last out. We are really proud of the way the kids played and fought back to win the game,” said head coach Jimbo Scruggs. “We shut them out for the last four innings, which is almost un-heard of at this age, especially as good as the Braves hit the ball. The kids finally came together on defense and couldn't have picked a better time to do it. We have played decent defense all year, but have won with our bats.” Tonight, our bats were cold, but the defense held strong. They didn't get down after not hitting the ball well and making a few mistakes in the first two innings. They never gave up and found a way to win. We have really worked at building their character as much as their fundamentals, and they took a big step towards becoming good men and leaders this fall. I hope they remember the battle as much as the win. These are great kids and have great families and have been a pleasure to coach.”

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