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Vikings Drop Game 3 to George Walton in Heartbreaking Fashion 10-9

MONROE, Ga. – Three outs.

That’s all the FPD varsity baseball team needed to pull of an incredible upset in the first round of the GHSA Class-A Private State Tournament.

But it just wasn’t meant to be as the no. 3-seeded George Walton Bulldogs (24-5) came from two runs down in the top of seventh to defeat the no. 14-seeded FPD Vikings (15-10) 10-9 in a winner-take-all Game Three on Saturday afternoon.

Tied at 7-7 after a lightning delay and playing as the home team after winning the coin flip, the Vikings plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on a Bo Fricks single to bring home Kendall Friar, followed by a Gavin Bloodworth double that plated Friar. In the blink of an eye it was 9-7 FPD and the Vikings were three outs away from advancing.

But just as they did throughout the entire series, the Bulldogs rose to the occasion in their final at-bat in a major way and scored three runs, all on a three-run home run by JD Buice to put the Bulldogs in front 10-9.

George Walton would hold court in the bottom of the seventh with Viking runners on second and third by inducing a foul tip for the final out to clinch the series 2-1.

The Bulldogs advance to take on no. 11-seeded Hebron Christian, who defeated The Walker School in two games on Friday.

“This is one of those times where you just don’t know what to say because it still stings,” FPD head coach Denny Bryant said. “All I can say is there is a lot of heart and hustle on our baseball team and our coaching staff is extremely proud of our young men. They competed their guts out.”

“To take a very good George Walton team to the brink was exciting and I know we will be better for it in the future, but it certainly hurts right now.”

The Vikings led 4-0 after the first inning after RBI singles by Ryan Jones and Garrett West. Will McCormick brought in two on a fielder’s choice as well.

The Bulldogs bit back in the top of the second, though, scoring seven runs to take a 7-4 lead. Ty Buice doubled home three runs and Brooks Barrineau singled home Ty Buice to even the game at 4-4.

But the Bulldogs weren’t done in the inning.

After the Vikings recorded two outs, Brennan Carter doubled to center field to bring in Barrineau, Trey Johnson, and Omar Daniels to make it 7-4 in favor of the Bulldogs.

“Hats off to George Walton,” Bryant said. “They never give up in any inning throughout the series. When it looked like they were down, they would find a way to respond and they did today.”

The Vikings chipped away in the second and third innings to even the game at 7-7 before a lightning delay halted play for 45 minutes.

When returning to action, Bloodworth hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning to score Daniel Weaver, and Friar singled in Jack Sawyer and McCormick to tie the contest in the bottom of the third.

The game would remain 7-7 until the bottom of the sixth when FPD plated two runs followed by George Walton’s heroics in the top of the seventh.

“We competed so hard in this series and as a coach, you have to be proud of that,” Bryant said. “I want to definitely thank our seniors this season for their leadership and time to the FPD baseball program.”

Those seniors are Bo Fricks, Kendall Friar, Garrison Hotchkiss, Daniel Weaver, Will McCormick and Jack Sawyer.

“They are a great group of young men and kept our team together for much of this season,” Bryant said. “Their leadership abilities will serve them well later in life. I’m very proud of them and our team.”

The FPD Athletic Department sincerely thanks the Class of 2016 for their time and commitment to the FPD baseball program. We wish you God’s richest blessings in your lives.

Check www.fpdvikings.com and @FPDVikingSports on Twitter for updates on the varsity baseball team in the off-season.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fpdathletics.

BOX SCORE:

Game Three:

GEORGE WALTON 10, FPD 9
(George Walton wins the series 2-1)

GWA 070-000-3–10-10-4
FPD 412-002-0 — 9-12-2

WP: JD Buice. LP: Garrett West. S: Kale Ledford.

2B: GWA – Brennan Carter 2, Ty Buice; FPD – Gavin Bloodworth.

HR: GWA – JD Buice.

Game notes: George Walton came from behind twice to win the game and the series…JD Buice hit the game-winning thee-run home run in the top of the seventh…Ty Buice had three RBI for George Walton…Dalton Cox was 3-for-4 for FPD…Bo Fricks, Gavin Bloodworth, Ryan Jones, Garrett West Will McCormick and Kendall Friar each had one RBI for FPD…Friar had three hits for FPD.

Record: George Walton 24-5, FPD 15-10.

Next: End of season for FPD.