Lowndes hammers Lee County in five innings, 14-3

Lee County's Mark Fowler hit a solo home run against Lowndes in the 14-3 loss on Wednesday.

Lee County's Mark Fowler hit a solo home run against Lowndes in the 14-3 loss on Wednesday.

LEESBURG — Some days you’re the bug, and some days you’re the windshield.

Lee County, winners in eight of their last nine games, got splattered by the proverbial windshield — Lowndes County — Wednesday in a non-region contest, 14-3 in five innings.

Almost nothing went right for the Trojans. Everything Lowndes hit found a hole to the tune of 14 hits, while Lee County’s hard hit balls found a Vikings’ glove somewhere. The Trojans were held to just five hits and committed four errors in the loss.

“We just took a good butt whipping, and that doesn’t happen often,” Lee County head coach Rob Williams said. “We got to see the other side of it.”

Lee County’s Mark Fowler belted a home run in the third inning, but the Trojans didn’t muster up much more offense than that.

“It was depressing,” said Fowler, who had two of the Trojans’ five hits.

The Vikings (10-9) put three on the board in the first with Ty Hartwell’s bases-clearing double for a 3-0 lead off Lee starter Brent Kyzar. Lowndes then knocked Kyzar out in the second, putting a crooked number up with seven runs to go ahead 10-0.

“It was just good, timely hitting, going up there with some confidence, which we needed,” Vikings head coach Danny Redshaw said.

Lowndes sent 11 batters to the plate in the second and got two-run singles from Nick Higginbotham and Parker Armstrong. Kyzar left after one-plus innings pitched with eight runs allowed. Matt Mears, who started at third for Lee County, came on in relief and couldn’t get out of the second inning, either, and ended up appearing at three different positions before his first at bat.

“That seven (run inning) killed us,” Williams said. “We just couldn’t get out of that inning.”

Lowndes led 12-0 in the third before Lee County got on the board with Fowler’s solo home run to left field.

Lowndes’ Dalton Register got the win in his first appearance of the season. Register, who was the Vikings’ No. 2 pitcher coming out of summer ball, had been out all season with a pulled hamstring. He allowed just one run on three hits with three strikeouts.

“That is the first inning he’s thrown all year,” Redshaw said. “He knows how to pitch. He’s not overpowering, (but) he’s got three pitches and he locates.”

Lee County (12-6) cut it to 12-3 in the fourth on Jay Howell’s RBI double and Pedro Cruz scored on a hard-hit liner to center by Fowler that was dropped. Lowndes went back up by 11 in the fifth on Cam Buescher’s run-scoring double, and he later scored on a throwing error.

The loss snaps Lee County’s recent hot streak before Friday’s Region 1-AAAA doubleheader clash with Thomas County Central in Leesburg beginning at 5 p.m. One win against the Yellow Jackets will give the Trojans the top seed from its subregion heading into the region playoffs. Jess Posey will start the opener and either T.J. Roberts, who is recouping from a back injury, Matt Hatcher or Chris Mosley will pitch Game 2, Williams said.

“If anything, I think (Wednesday’s loss) is going to help us out,” Fowler said. “The next one counts and we’ll be on our game Friday. I’m pretty sure we’ll be ready after this one.”

Catchers Jack Bell and Steve Edwards, along with Cruz, each had one hit for the Trojans. Every Lowndes starter scored Wednesday, and all but two had hits. Hartwell went 3-for-3 with four RBI and Seth Evans was 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. Mason Brooks (RBI, two runs) and Parker Armstrong (two RBI) each added two hits for the Vikings, who travel to Tift County in Region 1-AAAAA play Friday at 7 p.m.