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Denny Bryant Era Begins with 12-1 Victory Over Westside for Baseball

MACON, Ga. – The Denny Bryant era began with a bang on Tuesday night, February 17, as the FPD baseball team (1-0) rolled to a 12-1 victory in five innings over the Westside Seminoles (0-1) in non-region action at Ben Harden Memorial Field.

“This was a great win for our baseball team,” Bryant said. “Our guys stuck together in some unfavorable conditions and we were able to come away with a win tonight.”

FPD jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Jacob Oates scored on a passed ball.

The Seminoles answered back, though, in the top half of the third, scoring on a bases loaded walk to even the game at 1-1.

“We got into a jam there in the third, but we were able to escape with minimal damage,” Bryant said.

The Viking bats came alive in the bottom half of the third inning, plating five runs on three hits, the biggest coming on a three-run home run by Gavin Bloodworth to straight-away center field.

“We strung together some good at-bats in that third inning I thought,” Bryant said. “Gavin saw some good pitches and settled on one he liked and squared it up nicely.”

The Vikings weren’t done offensively, though. After a scoreless fourth inning, FPD sent five runs to the dish to bring the run-rule into effect in the fifth frame.

After a Will McCormick double that brought in Kendall Friar and Alan Carlton, Bo Fricks stepped up and smashed a line-drive home run to left field to give the Vikings a 10-1 lead. Four batters later, Daniel Weaver singled home Tyler Stubbs and Austin Cox to send the Vikings home in walk-off fashion with a 12-1 win.

Bryant said the offensive showing is hopefully a sign of good things to come in 2015.

“We have a lot of guys who can contribute at the plate,” Bryant said. “It’s nice to start off the season this way and I hope we can keep putting together games like this one.”

Cox (1-0) picked up the win for the Vikings, tossing two innings of shutout ball and racking up five strikeouts.

“I’m really proud of the effort from our pitchers tonight,” Bryant said. “Austin, Gavin and Garrison Hotchkiss all contributed. Pitching in the cold weather like we have right now isn’t easy. They did a great job sticking to the task our coaches asked of them.”

The Vikings will look to make it two straight to begin the 2015 campaign on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 19, when hosting Southwest High School.

First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at FPD.

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.

BOX SCORE:

FPD 12, WESTSIDE 1 (5 innings)

WHS 010-00 — 1-1-3
FPD 015-06 — 12-11-0

WP: Austin Cox (1-0). LP: Nesbitt.

2B: Westside – Pate; FPD – Cox, Bo Fricks, Will McCormick, Daniel Weaver.

HR: FPD – Gavin Bloodworth (1), Fricks (1).

Game notes: Bloodworth, Fricks and Weaver finished with a combined 8 RBI for FPD … Cox had six strikeouts for FPD … FPD walked seven times … FPD head coach Denny Bryant picked up his first win as head coach for the Vikings … Bloodworth hit a 3-run home run in the third … Fricks hit a 2-run home run in the fifth.

Records: FPD 1-0, Westside 0-1.

Next: Southwest at FPD, 5 p.m., Thursday.