The Valdosta Wildcats won't be going to the state playoffs, but they made region rival Coffee very happy on Tuesday. Valdosta's 7-0 win at Bazemore Field clinched a playoff spot for the Trojans, who lost 9-2 to Houston County.

The Wildcats (13-11, 2-7 in Region 1-AAAAA) celebrated their seniors Tuesday, and one of those four shined brightly.

Left-handed ace Drew Ruttinger pitched a one-hit shutout on just 66 pitches. He improved to 7-3 on the year and struck out three.

A two-run home run by Scott Shuman, one of five VHS hits, sealed the victory. The blast was Shuman's seventh of the season and second in as many games. The 'Cats conclude their season on Friday at Bazemore Field at 7 p.m. against Houston, the region's No. 2 seed.



Hamilton in a rout

In Chiefland, Fla., Hamilton County defeated Bell 15-0 in the first round of the District 2-2B tournament Tuesday.

Pablo Garcia went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs for the Trojans, while Ignacio Zamora pitched a complete game, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits.

Hamilton (16-7) plays Branford in the second round at 4 p.m. Thursday.



Rebels have their sights on second

The Berrien Rebels closed in on second place in Region 1-AA on Tuesday. A day after routing Mitchell-Baker 10-0 in five innings, the Rebels (16-9) required just three innings to slam Albany 15-0. Berrien has just two losses in the region, both to champion Cook, and can clinch second with a win in Friday's 5:30 p.m. season finale at Thomasville. According to tiebreakers, even loss, provided its by eight runs or less, will do the trick.

Sonny Lewis connected with his fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot, and droved in six runs for the Rebels (9-2 in 1-AA). Brad Wells, who had a two-run homer with three RBI and two runs scored Monday, went 1-for-1 with a pair of walks, scoring three times and driving in a pair. Ryan Stone also had two RBI with a double, and Monday's winning pitcher John Temples went 2-for-2 with two RBI.



Trojans fall behind

Brooks County kept falling behind Thomasville on Tuesday, eventually losing 10-5. The Trojans (6-19, 2-9 in Region 1-AA) trailed 3-0 before batting in the bottom of the first and 5-2 midway through the second. A three-run third secured the Bulldogs' win.

Evan Snow went 2-for-4 with a RBI, and Chris McMillion scored one run and drove in another in his 2-for-4 game. Michael Squires also went 2-for-4, while Nick Jones and Mitch Ledford added doubles for Brooks, which ends its season Friday at Mitchell-Baker.



Cook keeps its perfection

By Tom Mark

Tifton Gazette

ADEL -- The Cook High Hornets baseball team remained perfect in Region 1-AA with a 2-1 win over the Thomasville High Bulldogs Monday.

Junior pitcher Blake Mainor got the win, striking out nine and allowing just three hits. The Hornets only had three hits also. Senior Kyle Hamilton got both of Cook's RBI.

Cook (10-0 in 1-AA) wraps up its regular season this week, taking on Mitchell-Baker today and Early County Friday.



Lanier looking at No. 2 seed

In Mainor, Lanier County rallied from an early 7-5 deficit to defeat Ware Magnet 16-7 Monday.

Ryan Allen and Greg Sealey were both 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. Derek White scored four times. Ethan McCrae earned the win with five shutout innings of relief, allowing just two hits.

With the win, Lanier (16-6, 9-2) guarantees itself no worse than third place in the region. Atkinson County won the Region 1-A baseball title Monday with a 12-2 victory at Echols County. Atkinson, which has been ranked No. 1 in the state for the last four weeks and is currently 20-3 overall and 12-0 in the region, will be the region's top seed and Seminole will be the fourth seed. Miller County and Lanier County play Thursday to decide the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. The Bulldogs travel to Seminole County today.

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