VALDOSTA -- Lowndes' baseball seniors went 7-for-16 at the plate with eight RBIs on Senior Night at Noel George Field Thursday in a six inning 11-1 win over non-region foe Cook.
"[The seniors] have battled through a lot of adversity," Lowndes head coach Danny Redshaw said. "We're in the playoffs, so that means we've got a chance. With our pitchers and seniors stepping up, I feel good about it."
Leading 8-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Lowndes increased its lead when Jacob Jarvis doubled to left center, plating Kalen Grant and pinch runner Zack Dykes. Caleb Hutchinson later scored on Brandon Smith's single to end the game via the 10-run rule.
The Vikings set the tone in the first inning by jumping on Hornets' freshman pitcher Jonathan Fulghum for five runs. Three of those runs came from Blake Bonner's three-run homer to left field. Fulghum threw 41 pitches in the inning.
"I kind of felt bad for [Fulghum] after a while," Bonner said. "I anticipated he was going to throw away from me, but he came in with a curveball. I saw it and hit it."
Lowndes starting pitcher Clay Hamm breezed through five innings on the mound to get the win, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts.
Seniors Yancey Hartman (1-for-1, RBI), Blake Bonner (1-for-2, 3-run home run), Jim Letourneau (1-for-1, solo home run), Bowen Corbett (1-for-1, RBI) and Britt Jones (two RBIs) all added to Lowndes' offensive assault.
The Vikings (11-13) now set their sites on trying to grab third place in Region 1-AAAAA, but will need a little assistance from region leader Lee County. Lowndes must win today's 7 p.m. game against Colquitt County at home and hope Lee beats Coffee, who would drop to fourth in the region with a loss and a Vikings win. Lowndes can finish no worse than fourth, and has clinched a playoff berth.
"We've got a shot at third," Redshaw said. "It's still Colquitt. You hate to lose to them at anything."
The Vikings will start Corbett on the mound against Colquitt, with Will Thompson and Brandon Ponder available in relief, according to Redshaw.
If Lowndes finishes fourth in the region, it would play Region 2-AAAAA winner Henry County in the first round of the state playoffs. With a third place finish, the Vikings would most likely play either Eagles Landing or Northside.