Prep Baseball Report

No. 20 Valdosta (GA) Rallies Twice Over Chiles (FL)

Phil Kerber
PBR Florida/JUCO Wire

- Chiles (FL) made the short trip north to take on No. 20 Valdosta (GA). Te Wildcats  survived a scare from Chiles on Tuesday evening, coming back from two separate deficits to win 6-5.

The Timberwolves got on the board first in the second inning. Senior second baseman Cal McCallum led the inning off with a single to right field. McCallum took an aggressive approach on the basepaths, taking second and third during the following at-bat. Zach Holcomb got the job done, singling through the middle to give Chiles the lead, 1-0.

Valdosta starter RHP Jude Ard (Tallahassee CC recruit) looked sharp over the first two innings, only surrendering that one run. He was able to run his fastball up to 88 mph and mixing in an effect 12/6 curveball at 70-71 mph.

In the third inning though, Chiles really started to get some good swings on Ard. Freshman C Jaxson West led off with an infield single. Sam Rudd then pulled one into right field for back-to-back single. Two batters later, junior Garrett Greene drove one up the middle for an RBI single. Rudd would come around to score later in the inning, making it 3-0 Chiles.

The Valdosta bats started to make some rumblings in the third inning. Cory McCann would go the opposite way with one for a double. A fly out to left field got the Timberwolves within one out of getting out of the inning with no damage done. Ard had other plans. The senior took a low an away pitch down the right field line for a run scoring double

Avery Stephens (Gulf Coast State recruit) relieved Ard after three innings. Equally as physical a Ard, Stephens made quick work of Chiles in his first inning of work. The senior’s fastball sat a consistent 87 mph and 12/6 curveball came in at 74 mph.

The fourth inning served as the first turning point of the game. Valdosta was able to get the first three batters of the inning on with nobody out. 2B Briggs Bennett delivered the first run on a groundout to the second baseman. With men on second and third and two outs, McCann came up with the clutch hit, giving the Wildcats their first lead at 4-3.

Chiles responded immediately by getting the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the fifth. Senior 2B Cal McCallum squared one up to deep left field for a sacrifice fly, tying the game at 4-4. William Killduff then gave the Timberwolves the lead once more with a single to center field.

Valdosta chipped away at the lead. Ard hit his second double of the day in the fifth inning and then came around to score on Justin Rome’s infield single. Then, in the sixth inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, the Wildcats took advantage of a wild pitch to take the lead 6-5.

Chiles were unable to mount a comeback in the top of the seventh inning, falling by a final score of 6-5.


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