Lowndes celebrated its Class 7A championship-clinching 5-2 Game 2 victory against Parkview on Wednesday nearly five hours after the 1 p.m. starting time.
A lengthy weather delay Tuesday split the double-header and pushed Game 2 to Wednesday. The Vikings closed out a dramatic 3-2 victory Tuesday to take a 1-0 series lead.
More rain put a pause on the Game 2 action at Truist Park after Lowndes jumped out to a 4-1 lead heading into the top of the second inning. The Vikings opened the game with a Qrey Lott single to left-center field, and Tate Sirmans, who scored the game-winning run in Game 1, reached on a fielder’s choice and an error allowed both runners to stay on base. A wild pitch advanced Lott to third and Sirmans to second and then Cooper Melvin drove a double down the left field line to give Lowndes a 2-0 lead. Jordan Hudson popped out and Coleman Lewis grounded out to advance Melvin to third. Noah Thigpen drove home Melvin on a double down the left-field line, and Carson Page added another clutch two-out double to right center to bring Thigpen home to increase the lead to 4-0.
Parkview’s Ali Banks got on base with a lead-off single, and after advancing on a hit by pitch and stolen base, Colin Houck drove home Banks on a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-1. Ashton Bohler was walked and Lott was hit by a pitch before the weather delayed the action until it resumed at 4:05 p.m. with two runners on and no outs. Lowndes tacked on its final run later in the inning on a Cooper Melvin single up the middle to make the score 5-1.
Parkview started the second inning with an Eric Rodriguez double and a perfectly executed base-hit bunt by Makhi Buckley. Grant Garrett drove home Rodriguez on a ground-out and two walked batters loaded the bases with two outs. Houck returned to the plate and hit a deep fly ball to center field that was caught at the warning track, ending the inning with Lowndes ahead 5-2.
Lowndes was unable to add insurance runs in the next five innings, but senior Caleb Thornton handled the pitching duties until the final inning and finished with just two earned runs in his six innings pitched. Thigpen retired all three batters he faced in the seventh.
It was Lowndes’ third all-time state championship and first since 2000. Additionally, Lowndes is the first non-metro Atlanta school to win a GHSA baseball state title in Georgia’s largest classification since Colquitt County’s 2003 title.
Game 1 Recap: Lowndes 3, Parkview 2
The Lowndes Vikings scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 3-2 Game 1 victory over Parkview. Tuesday’s Class 7A state championship double-header at Truist Park was hit with a two-hour and 15-minute rain delay that pushed Game 2 to Wednesday at 1 p.m. Following the delay, the two teams went scoreless until Lowndes’ junior All-American Tate Sirmans crushed a stand-up RBI triple to center field to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Cooper Melvin provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right field to drive home Sirmans as Lowndes closed out the frame with a 2-0 lead.
Lowndes’ Ashton Bohler worked out of a jam in the top of the fourth inning to leave two stranded Panthers on base. Parkview’s Ethan Finch led off the top of the fifth with a triple and was driven home later in the inning to cut the deficit to 2-1, but the Vikings were able to close out the inning with the lead with bases loaded. Parkview’s Colin Houck tied it up 2-2 in the top of the sixth with an RBI single before Noah Thigpen closed out the inning.
Parkview’s potential go-ahead run was negated after it was determined that Makhi Buckley did not touch first base on a triple and Lowndes’ Thigpen was able to close out the top of the seventh with the game still tied 7-7.
The Vikings’ capitalized on an error in the bottom of the seventh to put a runner on second base and Parkview’s pick-off attempt advanced the runner to third to set up Sirman’s game-winning run off the wild pitch.
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