VALDOSTA -- Lowndes High's formula for victory against their crosstown rivals Friday: score some runs early, then ride the pitching of Brandon Waller to victory.

Lowndes defeated archrival Valdosta High 4-0 Friday at Bazemore Field.

The Vikings scored four times in the first two innings, then rode the four-hit pitching of Waller and Ryan Carpenter to victory.

"It was a good win," Lowndes head coach Danny Redshaw said. "It's always big (to beat Valdosta). This is a good, clean rivalry. These kids have all played together. They play hard against each other, and leave it all on the field."

"I've always liked starting against Valdosta. They're our crosstown rivals," Waller said. "It's an adrenaline rush, and I think that helps a lot. This one's stressed a little more."

The Vikings (12-9, 4-2 region) got on the board quickly. Bo Love, who went 3-for-4, led off the game with a single, then took second on a wild pitch. Kalen Grant followed with a bloop single over the second baseman's head, and Love raced home with the game's first run.

Lowndes was in position for a big inning, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Valdosta starter Will Flail got Shawn Riddle to ground out to third.

In the second, Lowndes scored three runs to take a 4-0 lead. Ryan Carpenter reached on an error to start the inning, then singles by Caleb Hutchinson and Ben Williams loaded the bases. Love followed with a single to center, scoring Carpenter. Flail got a double play, but after Jacob Jarvis walked, Williams scored on a wild pitch. Then Love and courtesy runner Jermel Demps executed a double steal, and Love raced home to make it 4-0.

"That (four-run lead) was huge," Redshaw said. "We had opportunities to score some more, but give (Flail) credit. He battled out of it. They kept it close, hanging around. It's a lot more comfortable with a four-run lead than a one-run lead or a tie ballgame."

That was all Waller would need. The junior right-hander limited the Wildcats to three hits over five innings, then gave way to Carpenter, the Vikings' closer, who yielded one infield single over the final two innings.

"You've got to step out there and do the best you can do," Waller said. "You've got to pitch with your heart. A lot of it comes down to your teammates. If they support you, you can do a lot better. They were behind me today."

Valdosta's biggest threat against Waller came in the fifth. A misplayed pickoff allowed runners to advance to second and third with one out. But Waller responded by striking out Will Welch and Austin Bennett, and got out of the inning.

After the first two innings, Flail, a sophomore, shut down the Vikings, allowing just four hits the rest of the way. Only one of the four runs was earned. Lowndes' only other big threat ended when Flail struck out Derek Newham with the bases loaded in the fourth.

"Will pitched great again," Valdosta head coach Bart Shuman said. "How many runs were earned, one? He's pitched well for us."

"We played about typical," Shuman added. "We gave up a couple of hits, kicked in an error or two. Then we had two opportunities we didn't take advantage of. I thought we played well after the second, though. Our guys played hard."

The win solidified Lowndes' hold on second place in Region 1-AAAAA at 4-2. Valdosta is now 2-4 in the region, tied for fourth.

"This makes us 4-2 in the region, second place," Redshaw said. "We're playing well, getting good pitching, swinging the bats well, playing good defense. We're a lot better than we were five weeks ago, I promise you."

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