VALDOSTA — Brett Martin couldn’t have been much happier.

It was five minutes until 5 p.m., and he was about to go home. And his Valwood baseball team had just beaten Fredrica Academy 10-0 in five innings, for its fourth consecutive win.

“We played another good game,” Martin said. “We’ve won four in a row, and we’re now 9-6. We had four wins all of last year.

“It was a good day. Especially since we just got back from spring break. We hadn’t played in a week, so I wasn’t sure how we’d play. But we did a good job.”

Fredrica, who traveled to Valdosta from St. Simons Island to play the Valiants, held Valwood scoreless the first two innings. But in Valwood’s second time through the order, the bats came alive. Valwood scored four runs in the third inning, one in the fourth, and five in the fifth to earn the mercy-rule victory.

Valwood pitcher Kenny Green gave the Valiants one of their best outings on the mound, pitching a two-hit shutout.

“Kenny Green threw a good ballgame. He didn’t walk a lot of people, and only gave up a couple of hits. And we played good defense behind him,” Martin said. “I was pleased with all of that.”

The bottom of the third began with Zac Henry drawing a walk. Henry stole second, then two wild pitches allowed him to score the game’s first run.

With two outs in the third, and Green on first after a walk, Scott Baker ripped a fastball to deep center field, for a run-scoring double. Baker advanced on a wild pitch, then Blake Evans walked and stole second. Tyler Woods followed with a two-run single to center, bringing home Baker and Evans and giving Valwood a 4-0 lead.

Brandon Bradford walked to open the fourth inning, stole second, and came home on Tyler Glennon’s single up the middle, for a 5-0 lead.

Valwood exploded in the fifth, putting five runs across the board and ending the game on the mercy rule.

The fifth started with Baker reaching on an error and Evans walking.

Then Woods’ fly ball fell out of the reach of the right fielder, scoring Baker. T.C. Armes’ low line drive went through the shortstop’s legs, scoring Evans to make it 7-0. Bradford followed with an RBI single to left, scoring pinch runner Carter Karras with Valwood’s eighth run. Henry grounded to first, but the first baseman’s throw to second went into left field instead, and Armes crossed the plate to make it 9-0.

One out later, pinch hitter Sam Robison hit a chopper to first. Bradford took off, and stepped on home plate right before getting tagged by the catcher. That made the score 10-0, and the game was over.

For the Valiants, Woods was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Bradford scored two runs and drove in two more. Baker and Evans also scored a pair of runs.

This is a point in the season where Valwood needs to be playing its best baseball. The Valiants’ biggest game of the season comes Thursday, when Southwest Georgia Academy comes to town. A win over SGA would put Valwood in the playoff race, but a loss could make it difficult to get in.

“The region’s very tough this year,” Martin said. “We’ve got the defending state champions, Fullington, and the state runner-up, Tiftarea, in our region. We’ve also got Brookwood. To make the playoffs, we have to at least beat SGA. If we beat them, we’ll be tied with them for fourth place.

“We’ve got to keep the momentum going. We’ve got four region games left. We’ve got a big one at Fullington (today), and probably the biggest game of the season Thursday, with SGA. T.C. is pitching for us on Thursday, so we’ll have our No. 1 guy on the hill.”

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