Lakeside Vikings (21-9, 12-3) at Lambert Lions (25-6, 17-1) – 5/4/16

In the final game of the season, Lambert’s ace threw a no-hitter to defeat Lakeside 10-0. The Lambert offense got hot and the Vikings could not stop the onslaught. It was an emotional ending for the seniors who had a terrific season.

Lakeside had a season to remember, highlighted by two wins against tough teams in Alabama, a thrilling sweep of rival Tucker to end the regular season (including two come-from-behind wins), and back to back wins against Westlake to advance to the second round of the playoffs. We will miss our nine seniors — Khaalis King, Grant Gibbons, Garrett Boden, Jaret Barr, Parker Raymond, Cole Chisholm, Cole Howard, Chandler Fitts, and Drew Hinton — several have played with Lakeside since middle school. Congratulations to Drew Hinton and Khaalis King who will play ball next year at Grambling State University and to Jaret Barr who will play at Covenant College.


Lakeside Vikings (21-8, 12-3) at Lambert Lions (24-6, 17-1) – 5/4/16

The Vikings traveled to Forsyth County to meet the tough Lambert Longhorns in the second round of the state playoffs. Despite an outstanding pitching performance by senior Cole Chisholm, the Vikings could not muster enough offense to overcome an early Lambert lead and lost a heartbreaker, 2-1.

The game started well for the Vikings as senior Jaret Barr singled to center field to take first. When sophomore Charlie Ludwick hit a hard ground ball to short, the Lambert fielder made a good stop and doubled up Barr and Ludwick. In the bottom of the first, Lambert got a double. Then the first pitch the next batter saw flew over the right field fence for a two-run homer.

Lakeside went out quickly in the second, but Lambert did also when Chisholm retired three batters in a row. In the third inning, junior James Knight singled to right field and advanced to second on a ground out but got no farther. Lambert was scoreless in the third as well. Excellent pitching by both teams had the game moving at a quick pace.

The fourth saw no offense for the Vikings, and the defense handled the Longhorns. The first out came on a great throw and tag from senior Drew Hinton to Ludwick at second. The next out came thanks to a very nice running catch by junior Kiernan Acklin in left field, and the third out was a pop up to Knight at short.

Lakeside finally got on the board in the fifth but wished they had more. Lambert walked Acklin and junior Nolan Wilson, the designated hitter. When senior Khaalis King reached on a fielder’s choice, Wilson advanced to second. With Knight at the plate, Wilson stole third and King broke for second. As Lambert chased King in a rundown, Wilson headed for home and put the Vikings on the scoreboard. King was safe, and Knight walked. Barr hit a hard ball to the fence to advance the runners, and Junior Sean Mootrey was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Unfortunately, the top of the inning ended with just one run for the Vikings. The Longhorns were scoreless in the fifth.

The Vikings had another chance to score in the sixth. Hinton walked, and senior Parker Raymond came in to run for Hinton and stole second during the next at bat. When Acklin hit a ground ball single to left field, Raymond advanced to third. When the left fielder’s throw missed the cut off, Acklin headed for second, drawing a throw, and Raymond headed for home. Lambert turned the double play, throwing both runners out and ending the Vikings hopes in the sixth. Lambert was quickly shut down in the bottom of the inning by Chisholm with three fly outs to center caught by Barr.

Lakeside could not get anything going in the seventh and went three up, three down to end the game. The Vikings played a very solid game with great pitching and defense, but three hits could not overcome Lambert’s early homer.


Westlake Lions (15-12, 10-4) at Lakeside Vikings (21-7, 12-3) – 4/29/16

Lakeside began game two with high hopes of finishing the series, and a strong team effort gave the Vikings an 8-6 win.

Lakeside began the second game as the visiting team but saw no action in the first inning. Westlake faced senior Cole Howard in the bottom of the first. Junior Sam Sly threw down to sophomore Charlie Ludwick to throw out the first base runner for the Lions, but a solo home run got Westlake on the board early in the game.

Lakeside had no hits in the second, but Howard kept the pressure on and got the Lions out just as quickly with two grounders and a strike out.

In the top of the third, junior Sean Mootrey hit a double to left field, but he was left on base as the inning came once again to a uquick close. Westlake got a hit in the bottom of the third, but Lakeside closed out the inning with a great run and sliding catch by senior outfielder Jaret Barr.

Lakeside came alive in the top of the fourth, and it began with a walk by senior Drew Hinton. Junior Michael Malinovsky came in to run for Hinton, and senior Garrett Boden walked to put a second man on base. Senior Parker Raymond put a great bunt down the third base line to load the bases for the Vikings. With two outs, junior James Knight hit a line drive to right field to score Malinovsky and Boden and advance Raymond to third. Barr singled to second base to keep the inning going, and Raymond came home to make it 3-1 Vikings. Mootrey walked, and Ludwick put the ball in play and reached base on an error to score Knight and Barr. Hinton came back to the plate and was hit by a pitch, advancing Mootrey and Ludwick, and Mootrey scored on a passed ball. The top of the inning ended with the Vikings taking a commanding 6-1 lead. Westlake had no answer and went out three up, three down.

Raymond started the fifth with a line drive to center field, but the Vikings were swiftly shut down. Westlake got rolling in the fifth, and after the Lions scored one run, senior Grant Gibbons came in to pitch. A double to left field scored three more runs for Westlake, but the Vikings stopped the bleeding and headed for the sixth with a 6-5 lead.

Barr singled in the top of the sixth but then the Lakeside offense stalled. Westlake got two runners on base but was held scoreless when Ludwick made a great diving stop and jumped up to make the throw to Mootrey at first to get the third out.

Hinton walked to begin the seventh, and junior Calden Nolf came in to run for the catcher. Boden sacrificed to advance Nolf, and he made it to third on a wild pitch. Raymond walked, then junior Kiernan Acklin came in to bat. Raymond stole second during Acklin’s at bat, and Nolf scored on the throw to second. When Acklin hit a grounder to the pitcher, Raymond didn’t hesitate at third and slid home to give the Vikings an 8-5 cushion. Senior Khaalis King doubled to right field but the inning came to close before he could score.

Westlake gave the Vikings a bit of a scare in the seventh when two hits scored a run with just one out. Lakeside held fast.  The next Westlake batter struck out on a caught foul tip and Gibbons struck out the final batter looking. The Vikings had a well-fought game and came up victorious again, sweeping the series and advancing to the second round of the state playoffs. Congratulations, Vikings!


Westlake Lions (15-11, 10-4) at Lakeside Vikings (20-7, 12-3) – 4/29/16

The Vikings began the first round of state baseball playoffs at home against the Westlake Lions on a hot Friday afternoon.  Students packed the bleachers and roared their approval as Lakeside won the first game of the double header 7-6 on a walk-off single by junior Sean Mootrey.

With senior Cole Chisholm on the mound, the Vikings held the Lions scoreless in the first inning. Lakeside got started when leadoff batter Jaret Barr hit a ground rule double. Junior Kiernan Acklin put the ball in play and reached first on an error, advancing Barr to third. Senior Drew Hinton walked, and sophomore Charlie Ludwick reached on an error, bringing Barr in to score.

Westlake began the second with a hit but Chisholm got the next three batters with two fly outs and a strike out. In the bottom of the second, senior Khaalis King got a line drive single to center field but the Vikings could not bring him in.

Westlake was scoreless in the top of the third but Lakeside added two in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-0. Acklin doubled to center field, and Ludwick singled to right field to score Acklin. Senior Garrett Boden’s single advanced Ludwick, and senior Grant Gibbons’ single brought Ludwick home. King had his second hit of the game but the inning ended with a play at the plate.

The Lions got a run in the top of the fourth but the Vikings continued to hit and ran up the score. Junior James Knight began the inning with a single to right, then Barr reached on a fielder’s choice with a hard ground ball to short. Mootrey hit a single to right field to move Barr to second, then Acklin got on base with an error that brought Barr in to score the first run for the Vikings. Hinton doubled to left field with a hard ground ball that scored Mootrey and Acklin, and Lakeside was up 6-1.

In the top of the fifth, Westlake got two quick hits and then a double to left field scored both runners. Junior Michael Hannah game in to pitch for the Vikings and ended the inning with a ground out to third, thanks to a great diving stop and throw from King at third to Gibbons at first. Lakeside went three up, three down to end the inning.

A combination of hits and errors gave Westlake three runs in the sixth to tie the game. Lakeside tried to get going as Barr singled to get on base. Acklin put down a great bunt, reached first, and moved Barr to second. A walk by Hinton advanced both runners, and senior Parker Raymond came in to run for Hinton. Ludwick made it to first on a fielder’s choice but Barr, the lead runner, was thrown out at home. The Vikings got their third out with bases loaded and headed to the final inning 6-6.

Hannah had a solid outing the seventh with two ground outs and a strike out, making quick work of the Lions. Lakeside subbed in junior Myles Deuett to begin the seventh. Deuett hit the first ball he saw hard to second and reached on an error. King sacrificed to move Deuett to second. After a strike out, Westlake decided to intentionally walk big hitter Jaret Barr and face Mootrey with two outs and the game tied up.  Mootrey came through with a fly ball to center field that Westlake could not reach, and Deuett flew around the diamond to score the winning run.  Lakeside got the first crucial win of the series and prepared for game two.


Lakeside Vikings (19-7, 12-3) vs. Tucker Tigers (13-13, 8-7) – 4/21/2016

Lakeside returned home for the last game of the final regular season series. Fans were confident that the Vikings could get a sweep, and the game proved to be a thrilling 8-7 victory capped by senior Garrett Boden’s home run. Seniors Jaret Barr and Boden teamed up for five hits and four RBIs, and senior Grant Gibbons pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings to get the win.

The game started under dark clouds as sophomore Charlie Ludwick took the mound, and soon the rain began coming down. Lakeside struggled early in the downpour, giving Tucker a 3-0 lead in the top of the inning. Barr singled to second base to reach first before the game was delayed by rain for a short time.

When the weather cleared, the Vikings went to work. Junior Sean Mootrey was hit by a pitch that advanced Barr to second. Junior Kiernan Acklin put down a bunt to reach on a fielder’s choice, and Senior Drew Hinton hit a ground ball to center that scored Barr. Junior Michael Malinovsky came in to run for Hinton. Ludwick reached on a fielder’s choice, and Malinovsky advanced to second. Junior Calden Nolf came in to run for Ludwick. Boden walked to advance the runners, and Gibbon’s walk scored Malinovsky. Senior Khaalis King’s big fly ball single to center field scored Nolf and Boden, giving Lakeside a 4-3 lead as the inning closed.

Lakeside handled Tucker in the second with a strike out, ground out, and fly out. The Vikings also went down quickly with no change in the score.

In the third, Ludwick hit his stride and struck out two batters to make quick work of it for the Vikings. Lakeside’s first batter, Boden, drilled a double to the deepest part of center field but was tagged out at third. Lakeside went down with back to back ground outs.

Tucker tied the score 4-4 with a hit batter, error, and a fielder’s choice in the fourth. Hinton threw down to Acklin at second base to tag the runner attempting to steal to end the inning. Back to back singles to center by Barr and Mootrey got the Vikings started in the fourth, and Acklin walked the bases loaded. Hinton’s sacrifice fly scored Barr and gave Lakeside a 5-4 advantage.

The top of the fifth saw two Tigers reach base, and a home run to left field scored three for another lead change. Gibbons came in to pitch and struck out the final batter of the inning. Lakeside went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning.

Tucker, now up 7-5, came to bat in the sixth looking to extend their lead. Two runners reached base, but Lakeside stopped the Tigers when a runner failed to tag up on a fly ball for the third out. Lakeside had a chance to score in the sixth when junior James Knight reached first on an error and Barr walked. Acklin hit a hard ground ball to center field and Knight took off for home but was tagged out to end the inning.

The Vikings got three Tigers out in order in the top of the seventh and came up to bat with one more chance to win. Hinton got things started again when he was hit by a pitch, and Malinovsky came in to run for the catcher. Ludwick hit the first pitch he saw hard to center field, and Lakeside had two on base. On Garrett Boden’s bunt attempt, Malinovsky was picked off. The second pitch Boden saw was a ball. On the third pitch, he launched a home run to left field, tying the game as he and Ludwick rounded the bases to the cheers of their team. The home crowd erupted in disbelief that the Vikings could stage a late comeback in a second game in such dramatic fashion.

The game was still undecided in the seventh when Gibbons hit a hard ball to center to get on first and advanced to second on an error. Nolf came in to run for Gibbons. Knight came up to bat and got behind in the count with a strike and two foul balls. On the fourth pitch, he rocketed a ball to center, Nolf headed toward home, and the center fielder dove but could not come up with ball. The walk off hit scored Nolf, and the Vikings poured out of their dugout to celebrate three wins in three games against Tucker. What a way to end the week and the regular season. Now on to the state playoffs!


Lakeside Vikings (18-7, 11-3) at Tucker Tigers (13-12, 8-6) – 4/19/2016

When the Vikings took the field at Tucker High School, no one could have anticipated the ups and downs the team would experience on the way to a 7-5 win in extra innings. Thanks to clutch hitting by juniors Myles Deuett and Sean Mootrey, the Vikings came out on top with a huge win.

Senior Jaret Barr got things started with hard ground ball to second for a single. Junior Kiernan Acklin walked, and sophomore Charlie Ludwick got to base on an error with a grounder, advancing the runners and bringing Barr in to score the game’s first run. Tucker’s leadoff hitter reach on a single, but senior pitcher Cole Howard and the Viking defense got the next three batters out on a fly and two ground balls.

The second inning saw nothing but frustration for the Vikings. Despite a walk by Gibbons and a line drive single by senior Khaalis King, Lakeside was quickly out of the inning with two batters picked off running and a strike out. Fortunately, King made up for the dubious call against him on the first play of Tucker’s at bat, coming in on a high chopper to third to gun the runner out at first. Lakeside quickly disposed of Tucker in the bottom of the second.

Barr began the third with a walk, stole second, and advanced to third on an error. Senior Drew Hinton reached first on an error, scoring Barr. The Vikings got Tucker three up, three down in the bottom of the third to keep the lead at 2-0.

Gibbons walked to start the fourth, advanced on a wild pitch, and took third when junior James Knight reached base on an error. Barr reached on a fielder’s choice and brought Gibbons in to add another run to the Vikings’ tally. The bottom of the fourth started well with two quick outs by King at third including a great back-handed play. The inning took a turn when Tucker got a single and then Lakeside loaded the bases with two hit batters. A throwing error on a ground ball allowed two runners to score, and the inning ended with Lakeside clinging to a 3-2 lead.

The Vikings went down quickly in the fifth, but the Tigers scored three to go up 5-3. Junior Nolan Wilson came in to pitch for the first time this season during the fifth, and it was good to see him take the field.

In the sixth, Tucker got the Vikings out with a ground out and two fly outs. Lakeside struggled to keep Tucker from scoring and brought in junior Michael Hannah to get a strike out and a ground out to end the inning down by two.

The seventh began with two quick outs. The game was on the line when Hinton drew a walk to get on base. Senior Parker Raymond came in to run for Hinton. Then Ludwick hit a beautiful line drive double to center, scoring Raymond and bringing the Viking fans to their feet. Lakeside subbed in left-hander Myles Deuett to bat next. Down 1-2 in the count, Deuett ripped a double to center field, bringing Ludwick in to tie the game as the team cheered wildly for their teammate’s effort.

Lakeside had to hold Tucker scoreless and hope to extend the game for a chance to win, and they did that with minimal effort in the bottom of the inning. Hannah struck out the first batter, and Knight and Gibbons combined for a double play to reach the eighth.

In the top of the eighth, Barr once again came through for the Vikings and singled to center field on a ground ball. With one out, junior Sean Mootrey came to bat. Always a threat to score, Mootrey dug deep and hit a long fly ball to left field, hitting high on the net that surrounds the Tucker outfield for a two-run homer. The Vikings were back in the lead, 7-5, thanks to a bomb by Mootrey that soared through a clear April afternoon.

The Vikings needed three outs to put a win in the books. The first Tucker batter didn’t get the message and hit a single to second base, but Hannah continued his fine work and got three outs in order with a strike out, fly out and ground out. Hannah got the win with 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball. It was the comeback of the year, a team effort that began with a two-out walk in the seventh. Two wins against Tucker, and the Vikings were heading back to Wilson Field for the final game of the regular season.


Lakeside Vikings (17-7, 10-3) vs. Tucker Tigers (13-11, 8-5) – 4/18/2016

After a bruising week of play against Rockdale County, the Vikings prepared to take on arch rival Tucker. The series opened at home to a supportive crowd with the temperature a good 20 degrees warmer than the Friday before, and Vikings showed up to play. Thanks to senior Jaret Barr’s big night at the plate and senior Cole Chisholm’s five innings of solid pitching, Lakeside got a much-needed 7-3 win.

Chisholm took care of the Tigers in the first with help from a great grab and back toss by sophomore Charlie Ludwick to short. The Vikings got started with a single by leadoff hitter Barr, but Tucker quickly disposed of Lakeside for a short first inning.  The Viking defense got going in the second when Tucker hit back to back grounders to junior James Knight at short and a good stretch by senior first baseman Grant Gibbons gave the Vikings two quick outs. Chisholm struck out the third batter.

In the bottom of the second, the Viking bats came back to life. Sophomore Charlie Ludwick began the action with a hard ground ball to center to reach first. Senior Garrett Boden singled to left field, and Gibbons walked to load the bases. Ludwick scored on a wild pitch, then junior Sam Sly grounded out to short to bring in Boden. Knight singled to bring in Gibbons, but the action was not over yet. Barr came back up to bat and drove in two runs with a line drive homer to right field. Viking fans were thrilled to see 5-0 on the scoreboard at the end of the inning.

Tucker made no progress in the top of the third. Junior Kiernan Acklin singled in the third for Lakeside but no runners advanced.

In the fourth inning, the Vikings stopped Tucker from chipping away at the lead with a double play from Knight to Ludwick to Gibbons followed by a line out to Barr. Gibbons reached first on a line drive to center field, but no other Vikings got on base in the fourth.

Chisholm retired three batters in order to begin the fifth. Acklin hit a nice line drive double to left field when Lakeside came to bat, but Tucker struck out two Vikings to end the inning.

Tucker finally stuck back in the sixth. With three singles, a stolen base, and a walk, the Tigers brought two runs in. Junior Michael Hannah came in the game to pitch and stopped the Tiger momentum by getting a strike out and ground out to end the inning.

The Vikings roared back as Gibbons singled to third in the bottom of the sixth and advanced to second base on an error. Junior Michael Malinovsky came in to pinch run for Gibbons. Junior Sam Sly bunted to score Malinovsky. Senior Parker Raymond came in as a courtesy runner for catcher Sly, and Knight reached first on an error. When Barr attempted to bunt, Raymond took off for third and Knight followed to second. Barr put the ball in play and Raymond’s speed helped him beat the throw to score the final run.

Hannah struck out two in the seventh, but Tucker got a single and double to land players in scoring position. A hit batter loaded the bases and an error resulted in another Tucker run. The team and the fans were relieved to see the final batter line out to Barr in center field.

Improved hitting got the important first win over the Tigers at home. Now on to play at Tucker on senior night, a tough bill for any team.


Lakeside Vikings (16-7, 9-3) at Rockdale Bulldogs (14-6, 10-3) – 4/15/2016

Friday night saw the Vikings heading to Rockdale County one last time in search of a win. With Rockdale’s Sweat on the mound again, it didn’t happen. Sophomore Charlie Ludwick pitched 5 2/3 innings and struck out five, but the Vikings offense could not produce the runs to overcome Rockdale’s early lead and lost 3-2.

The Lakeside and Rockdale batters went down in order in the first. Rockdale retired the next three Vikings in the line up in the top of the second. In the bottom of the second, Rockdale scored two on a walk, a wild pitch, and three singles.

The third inning was scoreless for both teams, and the Vikings went three up, three down in the top of the fourth.  The offense could not get anything going despite putting the ball in play. Rockdale was well positioned in the field and seemed to get to anything Lakeside hit. Ludwick had a good fourth inning, striking out two and getting an out on a pop up.

In the top of the fifth, junior Kiernan Acklin put down a nice bunt toward third for a hit. Senior Khaalis King reached on a fielder’s choice, but the offense stalled out. Ludwick and the Viking defense got the Bulldogs out in the fifth with no scoring.

After two quick ground outs in the sixth, junior Sean Mootrey doubled to left field to get the Vikings going. Junior Michael Malinovksy came in to run for Mootrey. Senior Garrett Boden singled to right field to score Malinovsky, giving the Vikings their first run.

The Bulldogs got a single early in the seventh. The Vikings got a fly out and a strike out, but the runner stole second, advanced to third, and scored on an error. Junior Michael Hannah came in with two outs, threw one pitch, and got the final out on a fly out to center.

Lakeside came up to bat hoping to prevent a Bulldog sweep. Acklin started the rally with a walk. Junior Sam Sly reached first on a fielder’s choice. Senior Parker Raymond came in to run for Sly and stole second. Junior James Knight put a line drive into left field to bring Raymond in to score, and the Vikings were within one run of tying the game. The cold Lakeside crowd cheered on the sparking offense, but the rally ended short.

The Vikings lost a third game to Rockdale and created a three-way tie for first place in the region. Tucker, Lakeside, and Rockdale all have three losses. It’s back to the drawing board next week when the Vikings face Tucker, a tough neighborhood foe.


Rockdale Bulldogs (14-5, 10-2) at Lakeside Vikings (16-6, 9-2) – 4/13/2016

Returning home didn’t bring the desired results when Lakeside met Rockdale County for a second time. Although the game stayed close, the Vikings lost 4-3 despite another home run by junior Sean Mootrey.

Senior Cole Howard got the start and the Vikings caught trouble early. Hit batters, an error, and a hit by Rockdale combined for three runs. A nice offspeed pitch got Howard a strike out, and a ground ball closed out the top of inning. Lakeside had no answer in the bottom of the first, and the score remained 3-0.

The second was much improved for the Vikings. Two strike outs and a ground out made quick work of the Bulldogs. Both Senior Garrett Boden and senior Parker Raymond walked in the bottom of the second. At that point, Rockdale made a pitching change. Junior Sam Sly reached on a fielder’s choice, and junior Michael Malinovsky came in to run for the catcher. Senior Grant Gibbons sacrificed to advance the runners but Lakeside could not bring in a runner.

The Viking defense stayed tight in the third. After a big double to left field to start the inning, Howard fielded a ground ball and got an out at first. The second out came on a fielder’s choice to short when Junior James Knight chased down the runner going to third and tagged him. Sly threw down to senior Khaalis King at third to get the final out on a steal attempt. The offense was silent, however, and the Vikings went three up, three down.

Rockdale was held scoreless in the fourth, and the Vikings made some noise when senior Jaret Barr got to first on an error and advanced to second on another error. Sly hit a hard ground ball to reach on an error, bringing Barr in to score the Viking’s first run.

Neither team got a hit in the fifth. Junior Kiernan Acklin came in to pitch in the sixth and started strong with a strike out. The next two batters reached on singles, but Acklin got his second strike out on a nice curve ball.  When the next batter put the ball in play, a Viking error brought in a Rockdale runner to give the Bulldogs a 4-1 lead. King made a nice running catch to get the third out.

Sean Mootrey came led off the bottom of the sixth for the Vikings. After seeing two balls, Mootrey caught hold of a pitch and sent it soaring over the left field fence for a home run. No other batters reached base, but the Vikings chipped away at the lead to come within two.

Junior Michael Hannah took the mound to start the seventh and got two quick strike outs. A ground out to second finished the Bulldogs for the night. The Vikings came to bat with high hopes for a comeback. Senior Grant Gibbons did his part, hitting a hard ground ball and reaching base on an error. Junior Michael Malinovsky came in to run for Gibbons, and senior Drew Hinton was subbed in to hit for Knight. Hinton proved his worth with a great piece of hitting, a ground ball off the end of his bat with a 2-2 count to advance Malinovsky to third. Knight came in to run for Hinton and stole second during King’s at bat. King hit a sacrifice fly to score Malinovsky, closing the gap to one run. The Vikings’ luck ran out before a fourth run could score, and Lakeside lost a close game 4-3.


Lakeside Vikings (16-5, 9-1) at Rockdale Bulldogs (13-5, 9-2) – 4/11/2016

Coming off a win in the last game of the tournament, the Vikings hoped to get back to winning region games when they met Rockdale County. On Monday night in Conyers, Lakeside could not get their offense going and lost a humbling game 7-1.

Lakeside went three up, three down in the first inning facing Rockdale’s ace, Jeff Sweat. The Vikings had no such luck in the bottom of the first, giving up four runs early in the game.

The Vikings went down quickly in the second, but Rockdale added a run to their lead. Senior Cole Chisholm got a strike out to end the inning.

Junior James Knight hit a hard ground ball to get to first in the third inning but no other runners got on base. Rockdale also went out quickly in the third.

The fourth was much the same with no runners for Lakeside. The Vikings got out Rockdale with a pop fly, a fielder’s choice, and a tag on the runner when Junior Sam Sly threw down to Knight at second.

In the top of the fifth, senior Garrett Boden hit a hard single, and Sly sacrificed to move Boden to second. Again the Vikings offense stalled before bringing in a run. Rockdale got a base runner on but he was picked off at second when Sly threw down to Knight to end the inning.

The highlight of the night for the Vikings came in the sixth. With a 2-2 count, junior Sean Mootrey drilled a solo home run to left field to put Lakeside on the board. Senior Grant Gibbons hit a single to third base to reach, but the top of the inning ended 5-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, Rockdale capitalized on Lakeside errors and turned hits into runs. The Vikings closed the inning down with a strike out and a ground out but not before two more scored.

The Vikings had no answer in the seventh, and Rockdale won the game 7-1. Back to Lakeside with hopes for better play at home.


2016 Rawlings Select Classic, April 7-9, Perfect Game Park at LakePointe

Lakeside vs. Chattahoochee High School, April 9

The Vikings were victorious in their final tournament game, outlasting the Chattahoochee Cougars 7-6. Senior Jaret Barr’s three hits and three RBIs put Lakeside in position to cinch a win to end tournament play. Clutch pitching by Junior Michael Hannah and senior Grant Gibbons aided the Vikings effort.

Chattahoochee had three batters reach base in the first, but catcher Sam Sly caught a runner stealing to get the first out. After a ground out, Hannah got a strike out to end the inning with no score. The Vikings got started when sophomore Charlie Ludwick was hit by a pitch, senior Drew Hinton walked, and a balk advanced the runners. Barr’s timely triple to center field brought in both runners to give Lakeside a 2-0 lead.

Chattahoochee tied the game in the second with two runs. In the bottom of the second, junior Calden Nolf walked and junior Myles Deuett bunted Nolf to second, but the Vikings could not bring him in.

The top of the third saw two Chattahoochee batters ground out and the third strike out swinging. In the bottom of the third, the Lakeside bats got going to score four runs. Ludwick began the fun with a double to left. Barr hit a second triple, this time to right field, to bring Ludwick in. Barr scored on a throwing error, then Sly doubled to center field. Nolf hit a single to left field to bring in Sly for the third run. After Deuett walked, Nolf and Deuett executed a double steal to advance bases. Nolf scored on a throwing error to bring the tally to 6-2.

Just as quickly as the Vikings scored four, Chattahoochee answered. Three singles, two errors, and a balk brought the score to 6-6 in the fourth before Hannah ended the inning with a strike out. Lakeside went three up and three down to end the fourth.

Hannah looked strong in the fifth and got three strike outs from four batters. Barr singled in the bottom of the inning and junior Cooper Bryant reached on a fielder’s choice, but no runs came in.

In the sixth, senior Grant Gibbons came in to pitch and held the Cougars scoreless with two strike outs. Deuett walked to start the bottom of the sixth and junior James Knight bunted Deuett to second. With two outs, Ludwick singled to center, moving Deuett to third. Senior Drew Hinton’s single to left field scored Deuett and gave the lead back to Lakeside.

The game ended with a Chattahoochee pop up to first, a ground out, and a fly out caught by Nolf in left field.

Lakeside vs. IMG Academy, April 9

Saturday morning, Lakeside took on the IMG Academy Varsity Blue team from Bradenton, Florida. Lakeside got behind early and chalked up a disappointing 10-0 loss. Sophomore Charlie Ludwick pitched 4 2/3 innings and junior Sam Sly came in with two outs in the fifth. Lakeside had four hits, all singles, and could not get a run on the board.

As the visiting team, the Vikings batted first but saw no action. IMG racked up three runs in the inning to take an early lead.

Junior Kiernan Acklin and senior Parker Raymond both singled in the second to take first and second base, but the Vikings were not able to bring in any runs. Ludwick held IMG scoreless in the second and got the batters three up, three down, striking out the third.

In the top of the third, senior Drew Hinton singled but no runs scored. IMG threatened to extend their lead in the third with two base runners. With two outs, Ludwick picked off the runner at first to end the inning.

The fourth inning saw the Vikings go three up, three down as did IMG, thanks to two strike outs by Ludwick. After four, IMG led by a score of 3-0.

In the top of the fifth with two outs, junior James Knight reached base on a single, Ludwick reached on an error by the short stop, and Knight advanced to third. That was as close as the Vikings got to scoring in this game.

With two outs in the fifth, two errors prevented Lakeside from ending the game before IMG scored seven runs in the inning on four walks and four singles to end the game by run rule.

Lakeside vs. East Paulding, April 8

The Vikings’ second game was against the eventual tournament winner, the East Paulding Raiders, who took an early lead and held it to win 7-2. Junior Sean Mootrey, sophomore Charlie Ludwick, and senior Garrett Boden each had a double, and senior Khaalis King had a strong defensive outing at second.

Senior Cole Howard began the game on the mound. East Paulding loaded the bases on three consecutive hits to start the inning, and a sacrifice fly, ground out, two hits and an error resulted in five runs in the first. The Vikings made no progress in the bottom of the inning as East Paulding shut down the first three batters in the lineup.

In the second, the Lakeside defense went to work and held the Raiders scoreless. King had an impressive run and catch in short right field to get the second out of the inning, but the Vikings could not put anything on the board in the second despite Ludwick’s double with one out. The third inning was the same story as King made the toughest play of the inning on a slow ground ball and the Vikings allowed no runs yet could not score in the bottom of the inning.

The top of the fourth saw another run score for East Paulding, and the bottom of the fourth began with a solid double by Mootrey who had to scramble to second after pulling a muscle on the base path. Senior Jaret Barr’s sacrifice fly advanced junior Calden Nolf who was running for Mootrey, and Nolf came in on a wild pitch for the Viking’s first run.

Junior Kiernan Acklin started the fifth inning at pitcher. After giving up another run in the fifth, Lakeside got the run back when Boden doubled to left field, took third on a ground out by junior Michael Milanovksy, and scored on a wild pitch. Lakeside held the Raiders scoreless in the final two innings thanks to for four strike outs by Acklin and better defensive play.

Lakeside vs. Jordan (Utah), April 7

Lakeside began tournament play on Thursday afternoon against the Jordan High Beetdiggers who had traveled from Utah for the spring break tournament. Lakeside got off to a great start but was not able to hold the lead and lost the opener 3-5.

The first inning started slow, but senior Jaret Barr hung tough on a long at-bat to get a two-out walk. Senior Drew Hinton doubled to bring in Barr, and a single from sophomore Charlie Ludwick brought in Hinton. Senior Cole Chisholm took care of the Beetdiggers three up, three down to end the inning 2-0.

Junior Kiernan Acklin led off the second with a double. Junior Sam Sly singled but no runs came in. The Vikings again kept Jordan scoreless thanks to good defensive plays by senior outfielders Garrett Boden and Barr.

In the top of the third, Barr was hit by a pitch, then stole second. Another single from Ludwick brought in Barr. Jordan loaded the bases in the bottom of the third and scored one run to make it 3-1 Vikings.

Lakeside had no runs in the fourth, but Jordan’s offense made the most of opportunities and tied the game 3-3.

The Vikings were scoreless in the top of the fifth. Junior Michael Hannah came in to pitch in the bottom of the inning with two on base. A single brought in a runner, then a ground out to the pitcher ended the inning.

Lakeside put up no hits in the sixth, but Jordan loaded the bases and scored on a sacrifice fly to increase their lead to 5-3.

The seventh began with walks by Acklin and senior Khaalis King. With one out, junior James Knight hit a hard shot down the first base line that resulted in double play, ending the game.


Lakeside Vikings (15-1, 9-0) at Lovejoy Wildcats (0-12, 0-8) – 3/30/16

In the second game of the night, Junior Michael Hannah took the mound for three innings and threw seven strike outs. Senior Jaret Barr had a big game with a home run, a base hit, three stolen bases, and two walks, scoring four runs. Senior Parker Raymond also contributed two hits to the 12-2 winning effort.

The Vikings were the home team for the second game of the double header. Hannah got off to a strong start by striking out the side. The Vikings got on the board quickly in the bottom of the first. Junior Sean Mootrey hit a line drive home run that was immediately followed by a home run by senior Jaret Barr to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead.

The second inning saw little action. Lovejoy was again shut down by Hannah, and the Vikings had no hits or runs.

Lovejoy scored two runs on errors to tie the game 2-2 in the third.

When the Vikings came to bat, junior Sean Mootrey was hit by pitch, stole second, then advanced and scored on errors to give the Vikings a one-run lead. Barr walked, junior Calden Nolf walked, and Junior Cooper Bryant was hit by pitch for the third time of the night to load the bases. Junior Sam Sly reached second on an error scoring all three base runners to put the Vikings up 6-2.

Senior Grant Gibbons came in to pitch in the fourth. The first Lovejoy batter got a base hit, but a fly out to left and a strike out gave the Wildcats two quick outs. The inning ended when the base runner was caught stealing as Sly threw to Bryant at second.

Senior Parker Raymond started the fourth with a base hit. Raymond scooted around the bases during junior James Knight’s at bat to reach third. Knight’s sacrifice fly scored Raymond. Barr singled to left field and stole second, and senior Drew Hinton’s double scored the second run of the inning to extend the lead to 8-2.

Gibbons stuck out the first batter in the fifth. After two singles to center field, Gibbons took care of the next two batters to strike out the side.

The bottom of the fifth began with a walk by Nolf who stole a base, then advanced on wild pitch. Bryant’s ground out to the shortstop scored Nolf. Sly singled to center field, then Raymond hit a big triple to score another run. Knight doubled to center field to score Raymond, bringing the score to 11-2.

In the top of the sixth, Lovejoy batters popped up, struck out, and ground out to the pitcher.

When the Vikings came to bat, Barr walked, stole second, and got to third on a wild pitch. Acklin and Nolf walked and Bryant bunted and reached on an error, scoring Barr and ending the game. Grant Gibbons struck out five in his three innings of work, and the team headed out on spring break!


Lakeside Vikings (14-1, 8-0) at Lovejoy Wildcats (0-11, 0-7) – 3/30/16

The Vikings completed their big week with a trip to Lovejoy for a double header against the Wildcats. Game one was a 23-0 rout led by senior pitcher Cole Chisholm who allowed only three hits and struck out five with no walks.

Singles by junior Sean Mootrey and senior Garrett Boden, a series of walks, and a balk gave the Vikings an early 4-0 lead.

The Wildcats went three up, three down in the bottom of the first.

The second inning saw a combination of hits, walks, and hit batters result in 12 runs. The inning began with a triple by the first at bat, senior Grant Gibbons. Junior Myles Deuett reached first on an error with a hard hit ground ball that scored Gibbons. Deuett got to third on two balks. Senior Khaalis King walked, and a double by Mootrey scored another run. Sophomore Charlie Ludwick tripled to center field to score King and Mootrey. A double by senior Drew Hinton, two base hits by senior Garrett Boden, and a single by senior Khaalis King were the remaining hits in the long inning. By the time all the runners had come around the diamond, the Vikings were up 16-0.

The Wildcats were again stymied as Chisholm retired the next three batters.

Senior Chandler Fitts began the third with a walk. Junior Sam Sly was hit by a pitch, and runners advanced on a wild pitch. Deuett walked the bases loaded. Junior Cooper Bryant was hit by a pitch to score Fitts. Junior Calden Nolf singled to left field to score Deuett and Bryant. Hinton doubled to left, Boden singled to center, and Sly singled to left to score. More pitching woes for the Wildcats meant seven more runs for the Vikings.

Lovejoy got a double and two singles in the third, but Chisholm and the Viking defense shut down the Wildcats to end the first game.


Lakeside Vikings (13-1, 7-0) at Alcovy Tigers (4-11, 1-5) – 3/29/16

The Vikings completed their series with the Tigers by traveling back out I-20 to Alcovy, arriving late after a bus mix-up. The Vikings won 12-2 with nine hits, four of which were home runs. Junior Nolan Wilson got the offense going with three RBIs and two homers. Starting pitcher Charlie Ludwick went five innings and struck out five batters.

The Vikings got off to a slow start, going three up, three down in the first. When Alcovy came to bat, a double to left field followed by a single scored the first run. Sophomore pitcher Charlie Ludwick struck out the final batter to end the inning with Alcovy up 1-0.

Junior Kiernan Acklin started off the second inning by hitting the second pitch he saw over the center field fence, a big home run blast that tied the game. In the bottom of the second, two singles and a sacrifice fly scored a run for the Tigers to put Alcovy up 2-1.

In the third, junior Michael Malinovsky hit a double to right field on the first pitch he saw. Junior James Knight singled up the middle then stole second. Senior Jaret Barr walked, Malinovsky scored on wild pitch, and the runners advanced. Senior Drew Hinton was hit by a pitch and senior Garrett Boden reached on an error, scoring Knight and giving the Vikings the lead, 3-2.

Ludwick handled Alcovy in the fourth with four pitches, two ground outs and line out to left.

Junior Nolan Wilson got the fourth inning started by hitting his first home run of the season over the left field fence.  Senior Grant Gibbons singled to center field, Malinovsky reached base on an error, and Gibbons stole third. Malinovsky stole second during Knight’s at bat, then Knight hit a hard ground ball to center field for a single to drive in two runs. Senior Jaret Barr continued the fireworks by hitting the third home run of the night to right field to bring in two runs. Senior Drew Hinton hit a single down the third base line, and senior Parker Raymond came in to run for Hinton and made it to third with a steal and an error. Senior Garrett Boden grounded out to score Raymond, and Vikings ended the inning up 9-2.

Ludwick struck out two in the fifth, and a fly out to Boden ended the top of the inning quickly.

In the bottom of the fifth, Acklin reached base on an error. Nolan Wilson dug deep and hit a copycat home run to score two and the Viking led 11-2.

Alcovy started the fifth with an out when a nice running catch by Acklin in left field foiled a line drive. Ludwick finished the inning with a pop up to first and a fly out to center.

In the sixth inning, Barr and Boden walked and senior Khaalis King flew out to get Barr to third. As Boden was stealing second, Barr stole home to add a run to the Viking tally.

Junior Michael Hannah took the mound in the sixth. Hannah struck out the first batter, then a fly out to Barr and a ground out clinched the win. The Vikings exited Newton County with another region win.


Lovejoy (0-10, 0-6) at Lakeside Vikings (12-1, 6-0) – 3/28/16

Lakeside began the last week of baseball before spring break facing four games in three days. The week opened with the Lovejoy Wildcats at Lakeside playing to an enthusiastic crowd. The game was marked by solid pitching and two huge hits by the Vikings as they defeated Lovejoy 16-2.  Senior Cole Howard pitched three hitless innings and struck out four.

Howard began the game by retiring the first three Lovejoy batters. The Wildcats helped the Vikings go up by four with no hits in the first as their pitching and defense struggled.

In the second inning, Howard again shut down the Wildcats with three strikeouts and a walk. Junior Sean Mootrey doubled to left field, senior Jaret Barr walked, and senior Drew Hinton got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two runs walked in, then sacrifice flies by junior Nolan Wilson and senior Chandler Fitts scored two more. Junior Sam Sly brought home another run with a hustling triple to extend the lead to 9-0.

The leadoff batter for Alcovy reached on a walk to begin the third inning. The second batter lined out to left field thanks to a running catch by Fitts that was quickly followed by a ground out and pop out. The Vikings went down three in a row to end the third.

Junior Kiernan Acklin made his pitching debut in the fourth. After striking out the first batter, a base hit scored a run for the Wildcats on an error. Another strike out was following by a base hit that scored a second run. Acklin struck out a third batter to bring the top of the inning to a close.

The bottom of the fourth began with a walk for Garrett Boden followed by a single by junior Cooper Bryant. Junior Nolan Wilson walked to load the bases. Chandler Fitts hit a big double to center field to score three runs. After Sly reached base on an error, junior James Knight grounded into a fielder’s choice, forcing Fitts out at third. Senior Parker Raymond walked the bases loaded, then Hinton cleared the bases with a massive line drive grand slam to left field to the excitement of the crowd, bringing the score to 16-2.

Acklin closed out the game in the fifth by striking out the first batter. The second batter singled, then the third batter struck out looking. Catcher Sly threw down to Knight at second to get the runner for a game-ending double play.  Acklin threw for two innings and struck out five as the Vikings got another home victory.


Alcovy Tigers (4-10, 1-4) at Lakeside Vikings (11-1, 5-0) – 3/23/16

The Lakeside Vikings (11-1, 5-0) captured another series while defeating the Alcovy Tigers (4-10, 1-4) on Wednesday night at Lakeside by the score of 10-2.  The Vikings pounded seven extra base hits and never trailed in this contest.

The Vikings launched three home runs, two by senior Drew Hinton and one by junior Sean Mootrey, a triple by James Knight, and doubles via Khaalis King, Jaret Barr, and Drew Hinton. The big hitter of the day downplayed any competition for the ultimate personal glory associated with individual stats, as he explained, “I hope I elevate their game [with this kind of performance], because I know they elevate my game.  I look for all my teammates to do great, with all of us hitting home runs.”  The starting pitcher, senior Cole Chisholm, threw a complete game and only allowed one free pass.  The team played much better defense, limiting the mistakes to a single throwing error.

Chisholm retired the Tigers in order in the top of the first inning.  The Vikings were able to build an early lead after a hard hit single was followed by back-to-back doubles, and Lakeside led 2-0 while most fans were still finding their seats.

After the defense held Alcovy scoreless in the second inning, Lakeside went to work again.  After an out, Knight hustled around the bases after a line drive to center, ending up with a triple.  But it really didn’t matter where he ended up because, with two outs, the Vikings’ big man, Sean Mootrey, crushed a first pitch fastball deep into the woods behind left field. The Vikings led 4-0 after two innings.

The Vikings’ pitcher was too much for the Tigers in the third and fourth innings, continuing to shut them down.  Lakeside added two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but they gave those runs back to the Tigers in the fifth inning.

Holding to a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Vikings needed to do something to get the momentum back.  The guy who led off the fifth inning took care of that.  He blasted a solo home run to left field, which really worked to keep Lakeside in command.  But that was not enough for him.  Once Drew Hinton warmed up, he decided to duplicate the feat in the sixth inning, driving home three more runs with a line drive home run to left-center.  In total, he finished the game with five RBIs and a monster day.  Chisholm closed out the game, throwing 86 pitches and over 60% strikes, picking up his third win of the season.


Lakeside Vikings (10-1, 4-0) at Alcovy Tigers (4-9, 1-3) – 3/21/16

The Lakeside Vikings (10-1, 4-0) took over first place in Region 2-AAAAAA as they tamed the Alcovy Tigers (4-9, 1-3) on the road by the score of 15-7.  Twelve different Vikings had hits (six for extra bases) to keep Lakeside undefeated in early region play.

Coach Donnie Hayes certainly is not afraid to experiment with the lineup.  Last week he moved senior slugger Jaret Barr from the three spot to clean-up, and Barr responded by going o-for-the-week – probably by swinging for the fence, judging by his uncharacteristic fly balls.  Returning back to the familiar number 3 hole on Monday night, Barr rewarded his coach by hitting line drives again.  Barr was perfect on the night at the plate, and senior Garrett Boden and junior James Knight also contributed multiple hits for LHS.

Barr’s first inning line drive was a nice one, as it shot over the left-center fence, into the wind, for an opposite field home run that gave Lakeside the lead.  But that was not the best part.  Barr and fellow senior Garrett Boden have been playing baseball together for 10 years, and they’ve been friends much longer than that.  When Boden hit his own opposite field home run over the right field fence, it marked the first time (after hundreds of games) that Barr and Boden hit home runs in the same game.  The young men have no more than 15 games plus playoffs left as teammates, so it will be fun to see what other milestones they can accomplish together in this final season.

It was fortunate for the Vikings that the offense showed up strong, as the Lakeside defense completely took the night off.  The Viking leather was responsible for six official errors and a few other plays where generous scoring saved them.  They have not recorded an errorless game all season, so at least they know where the work needs to be done.  Cole Howard (5-0) patiently absorbed the blows on the mound, lasting over six innings and getting charged with all seven runs, although only two were earned by the Tigers.  Howard surrendered nine hits and two walks, while registering three key strikeouts.  Junior Michael Hannah recorded the final out of the game with a strikeout, in a non-save situation.

With two outs in the top of the first, Barr crushed a high and away 3-1 fastball over the fence in left center field.  Barr knew he squared up the barrel, but he didn’t think it would be high enough to clear the wall.  With the strong cross-wind blowing, the low line drive was probably exactly what he needed.  The Vikings never relinquished that 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Vikings were blessed that junior Nolan Wilson returned from the DL for his first start of the season.  Wilson returned to form as he got things going with a double to right.  After Wilson took third on a wild pitch, junior Kiernan Acklin brought him home with a grounder to shortstop.  Acklin reached on an error, for the team-leading fifth ROE recorded by Acklin this year.  He must be greasing his bat. After Acklin stole second, senior Grant Gibbons drew a walk.  Knight lined a single to right, but Acklin could not advance past third.  No problem, because sophomore Charlie Ludwick lined a single to left, driving home the third run, but Gibbons got caught in an aggressive attempt for the plate.  Mootrey then doubled to left, scoring Knight and bringing Ludwick to third.  Ludwick alertly stole home, and the Vikings were up 5-0.  The Tigers picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the inning, but LHS led 5-1 after two.

In the third inning, Boden led off with his opposite field home run over the right field fence.  The Tigers strung together some hits and scored two more in the bottom of the inning, but a double-play and an inning ending strikeout by Howard left Lakeside with a 6-3 lead after three.

Enough playing around.  Ludwick led off the fourth inning with a walk, and Mootrey followed by getting hit yet again.  Barr lined a single to right, directly at the right fielder, preventing the run from scoring.  Never fear, as senior Drew Hinton was here.  Or there.  Hinton drove in two runs with a single to center.  After Boden singled to right, Acklin drove in two runs with an uncontested double.  No errors this time.  Gibbons drove in another run with a single to center, and Knight drove home the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.  Alcovy picked up another unearned run in the bottom of the inning, but the Vikings were up 12-4 after four.

The next two innings were scoreless, but Knight got things going with a double in the seventh inning.  He advanced to third on an error, and Ludwick drove him home with a sacrifice fly.  Mootrey reached on another error, then single Parker Raymond singled to left – and both runners took an extra base when the left fielder booted it.  Junior Cooper Bryant pinch hit for Hinton, but the result was the same.  Bryant singled to left, driving in both runs, and giving Lakeside a 15-4 lead.  The Alcovy leadoff hitter reached on an error, and the Vikings made two more errors in the inning before Howard yielded the hill to Hannah.  Hannah used a strikeout to end the rally and the game, with a 15-7 Viking victory.

The Vikings get a rematch with Alcovy on Wednesday night at 5pm at LHS.  The forecast calls for a perfect spring day, and we look forward to seeing all Vikings there.


Lakeside Vikings (9-1) at Newton Rams (7-6) — 3/18/16

The Lakeside Vikings (9-1) completed the sweep of the Newton Rams (7-6) through a team effort in a convincing 14-3 run rule win on Friday night at Newton HS.

The most memorable play of the game had to be junior Sean Mootrey’s towering grand slam home run in the fourth inning.  Senior Garrett Boden and junior Calden Nolf also ripped doubles to support the Viking cause.  Although LHS only put up six hits, almost the whole roster contributed to the win.

Sophomore pitcher Charlie Ludwick (3-1) registered his third win by lasting five strong innings, yielding three runs (all unearned) on five hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.  Senior Grant Gibbons demonstrated his masterful control once again as he only needed seven pitches to complete the final inning.

The Rams held the Vikings scoreless in the first inning, but the Vikings put up runs in every inning after that.  Down 1-0 after some sloppy defense in the first inning, Lakeside went to work in the top of the second inning.  Mootrey got things going with a walk.  Boden hit a single to short, then junior Mike Malinowsky walked to load the bases.  Nolf took advantage of the opportunity and doubled to left, driving in two runs and providing the Vikings a lead they never relinquished.  After junior James Knight walked to load the bases, junior Kiernan Acklin accepted another free pass to put the Vikings up 3-1 after the second inning.

Senior Parker Raymond started off the third inning by drawing a walk after a full count.  After an out, Boden crushed a double to center that one-hopped the fence.  Malinowsky hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Raymond, and Lakeside increased its lead to 4-1.  Ludwick quickly retired the Rams in order, and the Vikings maintained their lead.

The fourth inning started a little strangely, but then it quickly improved.  Knight drew another walk to start the inning — nothing strange about that.  Then leadoff hitter Khaalis King attempted a sacrifice bunt to move him over, but he was called out for stepping on the plate.  Acklin reached on an error by the shortstop, then Hinton walked to load the bases.  Raymond drove in a run with another walk to give the Vikings a 5-1 lead, which brought Mootrey to the plate with bases loaded and one out.  Mootrey worked the count to 2-1, the kind of count where he could afford to jump on a good pitch.  Mootrey did exactly that, and he drove the ball well beyond the left field wall.  His grand slam gave the Vikings a very comfortable 9-1 lead.

The Rams picked up two unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning, then they made some errors and handed the runs back in the bottom of the frame.  LHS was up 11-3 after five.

Senior Chandler Fitts got things going in the sixth inning with a line single to left, then Malinowsky and Nolf drew walks to load the bases.  All three runners came around to score, and the game was called by run rule after Gibbons retired the Rams in order in the bottom of the sixth.  Lakeside had secured a 14-3 Viking victory.

The Vikings (9-1, 3-0) begin a new series Monday night at 6pm on the road at region opponent Alcovy HS (4-8, 1-2).  The next home game will be Wednesday at 5pm against the same opponent.


Newton Rams (7-5) at Lakeside Vikings (8-1) – 3/16/16

The Lakeside Vikings (8-1) captured the season series against the Newton Rams (7-5) with a tight 7-5 win on Wednesday night.  On an off night offensively, the Vikings figured out how to take advantage of Ram miscues and fought for a hard-earned victory.

With a cloud hanging over the Vikings this week, Lakeside senior and starting pitcher Cole Chisholm (2-0) delivered one of the guttiest performances in team history.  Staked to a 4-0 lead, the Rams came back to tie the game in fourth inning, but Chisholm maintained his composure and finished the drill.  Chisholm explained, “I just wanted to throw strikes.”  Mission accomplished, as Chisholm consistently stayed ahead in the count and threw over 62% of his pitches for strikes.  Chisholm was charged with three earned runs over his six innings of work, striking out three and allowing five hits.

Junior Michael Hannah certainly prefers his traditional starting role, but he is unselfishly helping his team in a big way with his dominance in the closer’s slot.  Hannah shut out the Rams with two strikeouts in the final inning, recording his third save in as many tries.

Offensively, senior Khaalis King had a huge day with three hits and three RBIs from the leadoff slot.  King explained, “I focused on keeping my hands back, seeing the ball deep, then throwing my hands to it.”  Sophomore Charlie Ludwick also enjoyed a perfect day at the plate, driving in a key run with a triple and coaxing walks in his other at-bats.

The game started off slowly for both offenses as the pitchers started strong.  Then a great defensive double play from shortstop James Knight to King to Grant Gibbons ended the second inning and got some momentum going for Lakeside.

Junior Sean Mootrey led off the bottom of the second inning by getting hit by a pitch.  After a strikeout, Mootrey stole second and Ludwick drove him home by lining a triple down the right field line.  Junior Kiernan Acklin got the RBI bringing home Ludwick on a very unusual play.  After snagging a hard ground ball, the Ram third baseman had an obvious play on Ludwick before a brain cramp set in.  He decided to hold the ball, then he half returned to our planet and opted to throw to first.  His ill-advised throw was wild, and Acklin took second.  Gibbons then lined a single to left so hard that Acklin could not score, but Gibbons alertly took second on the throw.  With two runners in scoring position, King drove them both home with a single to right, giving the Vikings a 4-0 lead after two innings.

The Rams tied the score in the top of the fourth inning on three hits, two errors, and some bad bunt defense.  With a new game in the bottom of the fourth, the Vikings went back to work.  Senior Garrett Boden started off the inning by lining a double to right.  Ludwick then drew another walk.  With two on and no outs, Acklin laid down an excellent sacrifice bunt.  Thankfully, the Ram pitcher refused the sacrifice, and Acklin reached base safely to load the bases.  Gibbons drove home the run with a grounder to second, which is where they eliminated Acklin on the force play.  Gibbons then stole second.  King delivered once again, lining a single that brought home Ludwick, but Gibbons was called out on an unusual offensive interference call.  After four innings, the Vikings led 6-4.

The Rams scored an unearned run in the fifth inning, and they gave the run back by committing three errors in the bottom of the inning.  The sixth inning was scoreless on both sides, but the last inning got very interesting.  After two hits and a hit batter, the Rams loaded the bases with one out and a two run deficit.  Hannah decided to leave nothing to chance, striking out the last two Rams and preserving the 7-5 Viking victory.

The Vikings clinched the series against the Rams, but they travel to Newton for the third game on Friday night at 5:30.  Lakeside’s next home game will be Wednesday, March 23 at 5:00pm against the Alcovy Tigers.


Lakeside Vikings (7-1) at Newton Rams (7-4) – March 14, 2016

The Lakeside Vikings (7-1) got off to a fantastic start in region play, slamming the Newton Rams (5-4) by the score of 15-4.

Senior Cole Howard (4-0) kept his record perfect on the mound as he collected the win, lasting five plus innings, allowing four runs, and scattering seven hits and one walk. Junior Sam Sly shut out the Rams over the last two innings, allowing two hits and one walk.

Offensively, the Vikings literally ran wild. LHS stole a total of 17 bases in this one game!  Senior Parker Raymond and sophomore Charlie Ludwick led the way with four steals each.

Senior Drew Hinton supplied the offensive power, leading the way with four hits, including two doubles.  Junior James Knight also contributed three hits, and senior Garret Boden added two more, including a double.

The Vikings got on the board in the first inning when Knight reached on an infield single, then hustled to third on a throwing error.  Junior Sean Mootrey drove him home with a sacrifice fly, and LHS went up 1-0.

Lakeside effectively put the game away in the second inning.  Hinton led off by tattooing a double to left. Raymond courtesy ran and scored on a single by Boden. Junior Kiernan Acklin reached on an error, stole second, and Ludwick drew a walk to load the bases. Senior Grant Gibbons drove home the third run with a sacrifice fly.  Then the Vikings were off to the races. As Ludwick stole second, Acklin stole home on a delayed steal. It worked so well, Ludwick stole third and, after King walked, they did it again. King stole second, and Ludwick came home on the bad throw. Knight roped another single to drive in King, and the Vikings were up 6-0 after two innings.

The Vikings added another run in the third inning when Ludwick stole second and allowed Raymond to steal home. At least they were smart enough to stick with what works. Howard walked a fast runner in the bottom of the third, thereby allowing the Rams to get on the board. The Vikings led 7-1 after three.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Rams took advantage of the wind blowing out and scored two runs on a blast to left. The Vikings went to work again, expanding their lead to 12-3 after the fifth inning.  The Rams added a run in the sixth, and the Vikings put up three more in the seventh, resulting in a 15-4 Viking victory.

The Vikings and Rams square off in game two of the series on Wednesday at Wilson Field.


Lakeside Vikings (6-1) at Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs (4-5) – March 9, 2016

The Vikings’ streak came to a crashing halt during the last non-region road game as the Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs (3-4) stampeded Lakeside (6-1) by the final score of 7-0.

After senior Khalis King led off the game with a brilliant bunt single, things went down hill fast for the Vikings. A promising first inning fizzled as Lakeside was unable to capitalize on some defensive lapses against crafty lefty Daniel Dolensky. During the rest of the game, seniors Garrett Boden and Jaret Barr were the only other Vikings who managed hits against the  Kennesaw Mountain lefthander.

On the mound, junior Michael Hannah delivered a tremendous performance in relief, lasting 3.3 innings and allowing only one run on 3 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. The first Mustang hitter left the yard against starter Charlie Ludwick, which was all Kennesaw Mountain needed.  Ludwick had a high fever and made a valiant effort under the circumstances, but it was clear after the second batter that it was just not his day to be on the mound. Ludwick allowed five free passes during his inning of work, and he was charged with five runs. Senior Grant Gibbons worked the final inning, shutting out the Mustangs while recording three strikeouts.

The Vikings look forward to washing the bad taste of this one from their mouths as they begin region play on the road at the Newton Rams on Monday, March 14.


Lakeside Vikings (6-0) at Stephenson Jaguars (4-2) – 3/5/16

The Lakeside Vikings (6-0) kept their undefeated streak alive on Saturday as they declawed the Stephenson Jaguars (4-2) by the score of 12-6 on the road at Tucker High School.  Senior Cole Chisholm limited the Jaguars to only two hits over six innings, while Senior Drew Hinton provided the power with three hits.

Hinton had a big day at the plate with two doubles and two RBIs for Lakeside, explaining that, “My team came through, worked together, and got the W.”  For Hinton, however, his on-field performance was not the highlight of the day.  Hinton decided he will continue his baseball career in college, as he announced, “I committed to play for Grambling State University.”  The Viking fans all congratulate Drew on his big decision.

Chisholm (1-0) cruised through six innings on the mound, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out five.  He gave up two earned runs, as Stephenson took advantage of every situation with runners in scoring position.  Although Chisholm had thrown 80 pitches, he still felt strong at the end, admitting, “I kind of begged to go back out there for the last one.”  With the outcome firmly in hand, however, the coaches wisely opted to give some other Viking pitchers some work.  After a few defensive lapses, junior reliever Sam Sly eventually gave way to junior Michael Hannah, and it only took Hannah one pitch to record the final out.  Neither reliever was eligible for the save, given Lakeside’s sizeable lead.

The first inning had a strange and ominous start for the men in purple.  The first two runners drew walks, but both runners were picked off first on balk moves that were obvious to everyone but the umpires.  With two outs, senior Jaret Barr lined a shot to left that should have got the Vikings on the board.  Instead, a hard grounder ended the inning for LHS.  Stephenson scored on a controversial two-out home run call in the bottom of the first, and the Jaguars had a surprising 1-0 lead after one.

The Vikings got back on track in the second inning.  Senior Garrett Boden led off the inning by drawing a walk.  Hinton then crushed a hanging curve ball to deep center that the ballpark just barely held.  After junior Kiernan Acklin drew another walk, senior Grant Gibbons tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right.  Acklin then stole second, despite the balk move.  Junior Myles Deuett gave the Vikings the lead with a hard grounder to second, and LHS was in business.  After senior Khaalis King got hit by a pitch, the inning ended with a very questionable call on an inning ending double play.  With about five close calls all going against the Vikings during this early game, it began to look like the curse of THS still lingered from last year, but Lakeside never trailed after the second inning ended with a 2-1 lead.

The Vikings went to work in the third inning when Barr led off with a walk, then Mootrey got hit by a pitch.  Hinton crushed his second double to center, and Barr scored to give the Vikings a 3-1 lead.  The rally ended there.  In the bottom of the inning, the Jaguars mounted a two-out threat with two hit batters on the bases.  The Jaguar batter hit a double to center, but Boden threw a strike to relay man King, who then gunned the runner out at the plate on a nice tag by Hinton.  The Vikings held a 3-2 lead after three.

With two outs in the fifth inning, Hinton drew a walk.  Senior Parker Raymond courtesy ran for him, and he promptly swiped second and third base to get in scoring position.  Acklin drew another walk.  Gibbons drove the first pitch to left for an RBI single, and Lakeside had a 4-2 lead after five.

Time for the Vikings to get some breathing room.  King started off the sixth with a nice triple down the right field line.  Sophomore Charlie Ludwick drew a walk, then Barr was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Mootrey took another one for the team, this time for an RBI.  Boden then lined a single to center, scoring Ludwick and Barr, and giving LHS a more comfortable 7-2 cushion.  In the bottom of the inning, Mootrey preserved the lead defensively with an unforgettable dive, stopping a hard grounder down the third base line, then he got up and threw a missile to first to record the final out of the inning.

Deuett and King walked to start the seventh inning, then Ludwick brought home a run with a hard ground ball to second.  After Barr walked, Mootrey ripped a double to left, driving in two runs.   After Boden walked, Hinton drove in another run with a single to short.  Raymond concluded the barrage by driving home a run with a single to right, and Lakeside had a 12-2 lead.  The Vikings relaxed a little and gave up four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Hannah needed one pitch to end the game and secure the 12-6 Viking victory.

The Vikings are on the road Wednesday night for the final non-region game, against AAAAAA power Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs.


Dunwoody Wildcats (1-4) at Lakeside Vikings (5-0) – 3/2/16

The LHS Vikings (5-0) remained undefeated for the early 2016 campaign as they skinned rival Dunwoody Wildcats (1-4) by the score of 6-1 at Wilson Field.  Three big swings by three big hitters provided all the offense needed, and pitchers Cole Howard and Michael Hannah dominated from the hill.

Junior Sean Mootrey quickly turned a deficit into a lead when he blasted a two-run homer way over the trees beyond the left field wall.  Mootrey stated, “it was an inside change-up, and I got the barrel on it.  When I hit it, I knew it was going to go.”  Understatement.  Senior Jaret Barr also provided some much-needed insurance runs with a two-run opposite field double in the fifth, explaining that he kept driving the ball to left because the opposing pitchers kept offering outside fastballs.  Senior Drew Hinton drove in the last two Viking runs with a well-timed single to center in the sixth inning.

Senior Cole Howard (3-0) overcame some early lapses by the Viking defense to shut down the Wildcats and earn the victory after the Viking bats finally came alive.  Howard lasted five masterful innings, allowing no earned runs on six strikeouts, four hits, and no walks.  After two outs in the first, two different errors gifted Dunwoody with an early 1-0 lead.  Howard confessed, “I was a little ticked off, but it’s just something that happens in baseball.  You need to adjust to adversity.”  That he did.  Junior Michael Hannah earned his second save in as many tries when he held Dunwoody hitless and scoreless over the final two innings.

The Viking defense turned two key double-plays, as shortstop James Knight and second baseman Khaalis King courageously withstood the opposing base runners to complete the twin killings.

The Vikings took a while to get warmed up on a cold evening, and some first inning errors gave Dunwoody a 1-0 lead.  Then the Vikings electrified the frozen fans in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Barr led off the fourth inning by driving an outside fastball to left field.  Barr promptly stole second base to get in scoring position for Mootrey.  As it turned out, he could have scored from anywhere.  Mootrey launched a 2-1 change-up into Orion’s Belt, and the Vikings had a 2-1 lead.

Clinging to the slim lead in the fifth inning, Lakeside junior Kiernan Acklin led off by lining a single to left.  After an out, King laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Acklin into scoring position.  Sophomore Charlie Ludwick drew a key walk.  Facing a 2-1 count, with two outs and a 2-1 lead, Barr got inside a fastball and ripped a double to left field, plating both runs and giving the Vikings a more comfortable 4-1 lead.

In keeping with the pattern, the Vikings picked up a few more insurance runs in the sixth inning.  Mootrey began the inning by drawing a walk.  Big surprise.  No way Dunwoody was going to pitch to him again.  Senior Garrett Boden advanced Mootrey to third with a single to right, then Boden stole second to get in scoring position.   Hinton then completed the scoring with a single to center, driving in the last two runs.  Hannah pitched a perfect seventh inning, and LHS came away with a 6-1 Viking victory.

The next game for Lakeside is this Saturday against the formidable Stephenson Jaguars (3-1).  The game is not at home, but we don’t have far to go.  The Vikings will play at the bandbox field at Tucker High School, beginning at 11am Saturday morning.


Lakeside Vikings (4-0) at Druid Hills Red Devils (3-1) – 2/27/16

The Lakeside Vikings improved their record to 4-0 by going to Hades and exorcising the Red Devils of Druid Hills in an 11-6 victory.  Druid Hills jumped to an early lead, but the Vikings handed the demons their only loss of the year with a relentless offensive attack.

Junior Sean Mootrey supplied the power for the Vikings with a pair of doubles and four RBIs.  Seniors Jaret Barr and Garrett Boden also contributed two hits apiece for Lakeside, and Boden added a pair of stolen bases.  Sophomore Charlie Ludwick made productive use of his at-bats by driving in three runs.

Ludwick (2-0) earned the win with five innings on the mound for the Vikings, but the defense did not have its strongest day, as three of the six runs that scored against Ludwick were unearned.  Ludwick raised his season strikeout total to 17 in only 11 innings of work, and he repeatedly came up with clutch K’s when he needed them most.  Senior Grant Gibbons was outstanding recording his first save after two innings of relief, recording four strikeouts while throwing over 75% of his pitches for strikes.

The game saw four lead changes before LHS took control for good in the fourth inning.  Down by a 2-1 score in the top of the third inning, Junior James Knight started off the rally with a walk.  Red Devils flame-throwing starter Austin Ledet began to lose the sharp control that helped him dominate the first two innings.  Senior Khaalis King took one for the team in painful fashion when his elbow connected with a fastball.   Ludwick then tied the game with a ground ball to short that was misplayed.  Barr also leaned into one and earned a souvenir bruise in the back of his thigh, courtesy of another Ledet fastball.  With one out, Boden drew a key bases loaded walk to give the Vikings the lead.  Gibbons followed by lining a single to right, and the Vikings were up 4-2.  Lakeside basically gave the runs back in the bottom of the inning, and Druid Hills held a 5-4 advantage.

The Vikings put the game away in the top of the fourth.  King started off the scoring by driving in sophomore Kiernan Acklin with a sacrifice fly.  Ludwick drove in Knight with a ground ball.  After Barr singled, Mootrey drove in two runs with his first double, and the Vikings were up 8-5.

In the sixth inning, King singled and stole second to start the inning.  Ludwick drove him in with a single to center.  Barr ripped a single to right, setting the stage for more Mootrey magic.  Mootrey doubled to left to plate Ludwick and Barr, and Lakeside had its 11-6 win.  Gibbons took care of everyone he faced except pesky Jack Bartlewski, and he earned an impressive save.

The next game is set for March 3 against former district nemesis Dunwoody Wildcats.

Fort Payne Bulldogs (0-2) v. Lakeside Vikings (3-0) at Mountain Brook, AL – 2/20/16

The Lakeside Vikings (3-0) also prevailed in the second game of the round robin double-header by the final score of 4-3.  It became a tight matchup against the Fort Payne Wildcats (0-2) in Mountain Brook, AL.

Senior Cole Chisholm got the starting nod for the Vikings and threw four excellent innings, allowing one run on a sacrifice fly in the third and recording four strikeouts with three walks.  After Chisholm got into some trouble in the fifth inning, however, another Cole came to the rescue.  Senior Cole Howard (2-0) got the win with three strong innings of scoreless relief, yielding one walk and scattering four hits.

Senior Khaalis King and Junior Michael Malinovsky led the offense with two hits (including doubles) and two RBIs each.  Senior Parker Raymond broke open a tie game with aggressive base running in the sixth inning.  Raymond stole third base and scored the winning run on the catcher’s overthrow.

The Vikings really flashed some leather in this game.  Middle infielders King and Junior James Knight turned two critical double plays to preserve the win.  Malinovsky and Knight worked a perfect relay to gun down a runner trying to stretch a triple, and Junior Sean Mootrey acted like a brick wall at third base. Mootrey made opposing base runners pay a price for attempting to reach his bag; much aspirin needed in the Wildcat dugout after two ill-advised showdowns with Mootrey.

Lakeside leadoff hitter King started off the first inning with a bang when he drove the first pitch down the right field line for a double.  Sophomore Charlie Ludwick advanced King to third with a groundout.  Senior Jaret Barr drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Vikings added to their lead in second inning when Senior Grant Gibbons reached on an error.  Malinovsky lined a single to center, then Knight sacrificed both runners into scoring position.  King took a 1-0 offering and ripped a single to right, driving home both runners.  Ludwick followed with a single to center, but the Vikings had to settle for a 3-0 lead after two innings.

The Wildcats got on the board in the third inning when a leadoff walk came back to haunt Chisholm, as the runner eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.  Lakeside’s 3-1 lead held up until the 5th inning, when Fort Payne got the first two runners on base and eventually brought them home to tie the game.

With a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning, Gibbons got the rally started by drawing a crucial one-out walk.  After Gibbons coaxed a balk and reached second base, LHS Coach Hayes inserted Parker Raymond as a pinch runner.  With a 1-2 count, Raymond wasted no time seizing his opportunity to swipe third base.  As the surprised catcher sailed his throw high over the third baseman, Raymond hustled home with the eventual game winning run.  The Wildcats got a runner on base in the seventh inning, but the Vikings erased him on a nice twin killing to end the game.

The wet weather in Atlanta will give the Vikings some time to rest, as the coaches have already decided to move Wednesday’s scheduled game to Saturday, February 27.  Lakeside will be on the road again, visiting undefeated Druid Hills HS (2-0) for a rivalry game now scheduled to begin at 1pm on Saturday.  Be there to witness this local clash of undefeated titans – something has gotta give.


Lakeside Vikings (2-0) at Mountain Brook Spartans (3-1) – 2/20/16

The Lakeside Vikings (2-0) invaded Alabama on Saturday and conquered two high caliber foes.   Lakeside garnered a historic win as pitchers Charlie Ludwick and Michael Hannah combined to no-hit the Mountain Brook (3-1) Spartan team that won 31 games last season, leading to a memorable 4-1 Viking victory.

Sophomore pitcher Charlie Ludwick (1-0) got the start on the mound, and he admitted that he was thinking about his first freshman start last year, which happened to be against this team and did not go so well.  He said he was not nervous, but the idea of gaining redemption for last year was squarely on his mind.  Once he took the mound, however, Ludwick said he threw “without effort, physically,” feeling “the best I’ve felt in a long time.”  Pitching Coach Andy Threat devised the game plan, and Ludwick dominated from the hill.  He lasted four strong innings against experienced Spartan batters, striking out five, allowing no earned runs on three walks.  Junior Michael Hannah fought to earn his first save with an equally effective three innings, striking out three, walking none, and hitting two batters without allowing any runs.  Completely shutting down a formidable team like Mountain Brook was a huge accomplishment for the Vikings, and for Ludwick and Hannah in particular.

Ludwick also led his team at the plate, almost by accident.  He said he is very confident with his hitting this season but, on Saturday, he was focused on pitching.  He “really didn’t get locked in at the plate until he had an 0-2 count.”  Fortunately, Ludwick gained his composure when it counted most.  He gave the Vikings the early lead with an 0-2 sacrifice fly, then he later drove in two more runs with a two strike single.  Ludwick had all three of the RBIs for Lakeside, and that was all the Vikings needed.

The Viking defense was very solid against Mountain Brook, but their lone error resulted in the only run for the Spartans.  Overall, it was encouraging to see such focused defense this early in the season.

The Vikings led off the game with leadoff hitter, Senior Khaalis King, doing what the best leadoff hitters do – he drew a walk, stole second, and took third on the bad throw.  With King at third, Ludwick drove an 0-2 pitch into left field for the sacrifice fly.  Senior Jaret Barr then ripped a deep line drive, but he was robbed of extra bases by a fine diving catch by the right fielder.  The top of the inning ended with the Vikings up 1-0.

Ludwick struck out the first two batters of the game, establishing his dominance early.  He also whiffed two batters in the second inning, and the Vikings maintained a 1-0 lead after two innings.

With one out in the third inning, Junior James Knight got the Vikings going with a single to center.  King then lined a single to center, and both runners advanced to scoring position on an error by the pitcher.  Ludwick ripped a two strike single to right, plating both runs and giving the Vikings a 3-0 advantage.

The Spartans picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk and a throwing error, but Lakeside still held their 3-1 lead.

Barr led off the top of the fifth inning with a line drive single to center.  After Barr stole second, Senior Garrett Boden hit a hard grounder to short.  The shortstop threw the ball away, and Barr scored from second.  Although Lakeside threatened again after a single by Sophomore Sean Mootrey, the inning ended with the score 4-1 Vikings.

Hannah then took over in relief and, like Ludwick, he struck out the first two Spartans he faced.  Hannah had to work out of trouble in the sixth inning after two batters leaned in to his pitches, but he retired the side in order in the seventh and the Vikings had a very impressive combined no-hit victory over Mountain Brook.

After this tense game and outstanding win, the Vikings didn’t have time to celebrate.  Game 2, against Fort Payne, AL, started after a 20 minute break.


Chamblee Bulldogs (0-1) at Lakeside Vikings (1-0) – 2/15/16

The Lakeside Vikings (1-0) started off the season with a convincing 13-2 whipping of the Chamblee Bulldogs (0-1) on a frigid afternoon in Asgard. The atmosphere seemed more like Buffalo, but the hearty fans enjoyed the pregame dedication of the new Coach Bill Newsome Dugout for the Vikings.

Lakeside jumped out to an 8-0 lead after the first two innings, so this one was never really in question. The run rule halted play in the fifth inning as the Vikings were still adding to their 13-2 lead.

Senior Cole Howard (1-0) got the opening day start on the mound and took control early with a perfect first inning. He threw four innings total, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and a walk, with two strikeouts. Junior Sam Sly closed out the game with a perfect fifth inning, recording one strikeout. The lead was way too big for him to record a save, but he sure looked good enough to get one.

The score alone proves that it was a big day for the bats and, despite the frigid temperature, the Viking clubs were red hot. Senior Drew Hinton topped the power stats with two doubles and five RBIs. Senior Jaret Barr led the way with a three-hit attack while scoring three runs. Sophomore Charlie Ludwick and Junior James Knight also had multiple hits for the Vikings. Barr and Ludwick scored three runs each, and Senior Garrett Boden, Junior Sean Mootrey, and Junior James Knight added extra-base hits.

The Vikings barrage began with one out in the bottom of the first inning. Ludwick hit a hard grounder that kicked off the lip of the infield, then Mootrey drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Barr put the Vikings in front by lining a 3-2 pitch to right field, driving home Ludwick. Barr took second on the throw to third. Hinton hit his first double of the game to deep center, plating both runners and giving Lakeside a 3-0 advantage.

After another perfect inning by Howard, the Vikings put the game out of reach in the bottom of the second. Knight led off the inning with a line drive to left, then Boden drew a walk. Ludwick drove in a run with a liner to left. After a fly out, Barr lined his second base hit off the Bulldog lefty. The runners had to hold up, so bases were jammed for Hinton. Just what Drew had been waiting for. Hinton missed a grand slam by 3 inches off the top of the left field fence, but he settled for 3 more RBIs as Barr scored from first. Senior Parker Raymond courtesy ran for Hinton, and he advanced to third on a ground ball by Howard. With two outs, Gibbons lined a single to left to put Lakeside up 8-0 after two.

Chamblee picked up two unearned runs in the third, but any faint Bulldog hopes were quickly dashed when Lakeside responded in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff hitter Boden started the inning with a double to center. Boden took third on a wild pitch, and Ludwick drew a walk on four pitches. As Ludwick stole second, Boden scored on the catcher’s overthrow on a bad pickoff attempt. Mootrey doubled in the run to wrap up the scoring in the third. After Knight dropped in a triple to right, pinch hitter Calden Nolf drove him in by lining a single to center in the fourth inning.

Going into the bottom of the fifth, the Vikings needed one run to go up by 10 to end the game. Barr led off with an opposite field single to left. Hinton accepted a walk, and Junior Myles Deuett courtesy ran for him. Sly ripped a single to center, and Deuett was able to score from first when the center fielder misplayed the hit. The game ended with the Vikings up 13-2.

It was an outstanding start to the 2016 season, but the Vikings have their work cut out for them with a tough double-header this weekend. If you have a chance to road trip to Mountain Brook HS in Birmingham this week, you will want to make the trip and support the Vikings. They will have two challenges against quality opponents that will give them a good gauge of where they stand.

Lakeside Vikings at Decatur Tigers – Scrimmage 2/12/16

The Lakeside Vikings varsity baseball team used a scrimmage against the Decatur Tigers to shake off some rust and have some good competition in a hostile environment. Now most of them are regretting that the stats were not official. The Vikings flashed some serious power both at the plate and on the mound, resulting in a 7-3 victory over the Tigers. Unofficially, of course.

Sophomore Charlie Ludwick is one player who certainly would’ve preferred to have this game count on the record. Ludwick pounded three doubles and scored two runs from the second slot in the lineup. He also added a stolen base for good measure. Oh yeah, he also entered the game to pitch the fifth inning, with the score tied, and he pitched two scoreless innings – while striking out 5 of the 6 outs he recorded! It is pretty safe to say that man is ready to start the season.

Senior Cole Howard started the game on the mound, tossing two scoreless innings on only two hits and no walks. Howard also asserted his presence with authority at the plate, continuing the power barrage with two doubles of his own.

On the whole, the Viking pitching staff threw nine innings without allowing a single earned run – and they recorded 11 strikeouts to just one walk. If they can keep up that ratio, this will be a memorable season. Senior Cole Chisholm threw two innings, Junior Michael Hannah only needed 9 pitches to strike out two in his inning, and Junior Sam Sly closed it out by striking out the side.

Cleanup hitter Senior Jaret Barr may have used this scrimmage to learn an early lesson in patience. It became abundantly clear that Decatur had a strategy for pitching to Barr, as they began the game by throwing him a dozen straight junk pitches. Realizing that he was not likely to see a fastball, Barr decided to supply the power himself. In the eighth inning, he kept his hands back and launched an offspeed pitch into the playground beyond right field for his first home run of the season. His two RBIs led the team and the blast gave the Vikings the final score of 7-3 over Decatur. Senior Khaalis King also added a double for the cause. Junior Sean Mootrey also added a clutch 6th inning single to break open a tie game.

Now let’s really play ball. Weather permitting.


2016 Lakeside Vikings Baseball Preview
by Ken Barr

The Lakeside Vikings varsity baseball team will have some key changes for the 2016 season, but it will also have some familiarity that could go a long way to achieving a special season.

The biggest change starts at the top.  After the retirement of Bill Newsome, the winningest coach in LHS history, former Assistant Coach Don Hayes is more than ready to take the helm of this Viking longship.  Coach Hayes is sure to bring a Tony La Russa-esque cerebral approach to the game.  Like Hall of Fame Coaches La Russa and Vince Lombardi, Coach Hayes earned a law degree (after his demanding electrical engineering degree from Auburn).  The former patent attorney decided to forego financial security and sought opportunities where he could influence youth.  He knows the strengths of his unique players well, and he will do all he can to maximize their production this season.

Coach Hayes also drew from the past to assist him this season.  Bobby Gonzalez, the former head coach of the rival Tucker Tigers, will assist Coach Hayes again this season.  The Vikings will also utilize the expertise of alum Andy Threatt, who graduated from Lakeside in 2010.  Coach Threatt’s collegiate experience will pay dividends as the Vikings’ new pitching coach.

The Vikings will again compete in the highest athletic division in Georgia, Class AAAAAA.  LHS burst into the league last year and finished with a 20-9 record (11-4 in Region 2), barely letting the Region 2 championship slip away with three consecutive one-run losses to end region play.  The Vikings are looking for redemption with plans to advance well past the first round of the state playoffs in this final year (before new regions and additional redistricting next season).

Enough about the history lesson and the brain trust outside the lines.  What about the men on the field?  The 2016 squad is loaded with experience and versatility.  Fourteen players return who took the varsity field last year, including the five home runs of catcher/1B Drew Hinton (.316 BA, .490 OBP, 5 HR, 23 RBI).  Hinton is also a force defensively, as he gunned down 12 would-be base stealers and picked four more runners off first.  Lakeside also returns the power of Nolan Wilson (.310 BA, .524 OBP, 2 HR) and transfer Sean Mootrey, who was only eligible for JV play last year — but lost plenty of tape measure shots beyond the wall.  Mootrey also looks forward to relieving Hinton behind the plate, where he certainly has the cannon arm to embarrass opposing base runners.

The Vikings will also utilize their speed and wit.  Outfielders and scholars Jaret Barr (.319 BA, .485 OBP, 3 3B, 28 R, 12 SB), Garrett Boden (.292 BA, .435 OBP, 20 RBI, 3 3B, 6 SB) and Parker Raymond (.368 OBP, 20 R, 6 SB) know how to round the bases.  The outfielders have played together for many years, know each other’s tendencies, stress active communication, and plan to continue enforcing their No Fly Zone.  They will be joined in stringent defense of the turf by Chandler Fitts, Michael Malinovsky, Kiernan Acklin, Myles Deuett, and Cooper Bryant.

So what about the most important part of the game – pitching?  LHS is loaded with varsity experience and well-traveled support.  Veteran starters Cole Howard (6-1, 1.99 ERA, 32 K), Charlie Ludwick (6-2, 24 K) and Cole Chisholm (5-2, 2.32 ERA, 34 K) all look forward to returning to the rotation.  Coach Hayes is blessed with multiple options that will ensure fresh arms are always on the bump as Grant Gibbons (1-1, 3.00 ERA), Wilson (2-1), Boden, Mootrey, Michael Hannah, Sam Sly and Kiernan Acklin also add experienced pitching depth.  The Vikings’ fortune will not depend on the production of one or two aces – they have the depth and flexibility to attack with many weapons.

The pitchers will not fare well without a rock solid defense behind them, and the infield will be led by shortstop James Knight, who looks ready to man the critical #6 slot.  Returning starters Charlie Ludwick (.436 OBP, 19 R), Cole Chisholm (.429 BA, .500 OBP), Grant Gibbons (.375 BA, .442 OBP), Nolan Wilson (.310 BA, .524 OBP), and transfer Khaalis King (.315 BA, .415 OBP, 27 R, 34 SB) should aggressively plug the gaps.  The Vikings will also have infield support from newcomers Calden Nolf and Mootrey.

Although the stats are nice, and last year’s 7-game and 12-game win streaks reflected the Vikings’ scoring power, the soul of this squad is not measured by numbers.  Coach Hayes is a believer who is emphasizing a different brand of leadership.  History is wrought with unsuccessful teams with great individuals who cared more about their personal numbers than their teammates.  But there is a better way.  As last year’s KC Royals demonstrated, team success can be achieved absent superstars.  Pitchers need to have the confidence to force the action (no free passes); the defense has to work together to make the plays; and the offense needs to score just enough runs (whether or not the ball goes over the fence).  Team results over personal glory.

The 2016 Vikings have the potential to make that happen.  Six of these players sacrificed their Thanksgiving breaks to serve widows and poor kids in Guatemala with Manos de Jesus.  They play travel ball together.  They vacation together.  They actually like to be with each other.  Even more importantly, they have a sense of the bigger picture.  The real picture.  Every player’s baseball career ends at some point, but the LHS Vikings have a chance this year to go at least one more round with their brothers.  They look forward to seizing that chance.  Coach Hayes will help them develop in ways that extend beyond the white lines, giving them that chance to be prosperous and successful.  Time to play ball.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s