Parkview, Lowndes take to Truist Park for 7A title

The 2023 GHSA Baseball State Championships begin at Truist Park on Tuesday, May 16 with an epic showdown between the Parkview Panthers and Lowndes Vikings. Parkview celebrated the program’s ninth all-time state title in 2021 at the same venue before falling short to Woodstock at last year’s finals. The Panthers swept their way to the Area 4 title this season with a 15-0 record and have dropped just two in-state games this season without any series losses. Parkview scored a dramatic 8-7 Game 3 win over Dacula in the quarterfinals and responded with a swift 2-0 sweep over Mill Creek in the semifinals—earning a 10-0 Game 1 victory and 12-2 rout in Game 2.

Parkview was down 7-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning in the decisive Game 3 win over Dacula and rallied with a three-run effort before clinching the series in the top of the seventh. Juniors Ford Thompson and Kason Gleaton combined with sophomore Porter Berryman on the mound in the victory. Parkview’s game-winning run came with sophomore Mason Davis getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. In the semifinals, Parkview outhit Mill Creek 13-4 in Game 1 and opened up a 5-0 lead in the first inning of the 10-0 victory. Garrett Lambert (1) and Cade Brown (4) were both 2-of-2 at the plate with home runs and combined for five RBIs. In Game 2, Parkview opened up a 1-1 tie game with five runs in the bottom of the fifth and six in the sixth to walkoff with the series win. Senior Landon Stripling finished 2-of-4 at the plate with a home run and 5 RBIs and Brown went 2-of-3 at the plate with two home runs. Brown (14) and Stripling (13) have combined for 27 of the team’s 48 home runs this season.


Lowndes was also successful in locking down a No. 1 seed this season and swept a talented Region 1 with an 11-0 mark. The Vikings are 27-13 overall and have an opportunity to win the program’s first state title since 2000 and third all-time. A Lowndes victory would result in a team outside of the Metro Atlanta area winning a state title in Georgia’s highest classification for the first time since 2003 when Colquitt County captured the crown. Like Parkview, Lowndes has taken on a challenging slate this season and has not dropped a single series this year.

The Vikings bounced back from a 12-3 loss to North Gwinnett in Game 1 of the quarterfinals by scoring a 9-4 Game 2 victory and series-clinching 9-3 win. Lowndes carried that momentum into the semifinals and locked down an impressive 2-0 sweep over North Paulding. The Vikings earned a 3-0 win in Game 1 and a 4-3 victory in Game 2. Lowndes did not let a lightning delay that lasted nearly an hour and 15 minutes break their focus and head coach Ryan Page celebrated the finals berth and semifinal sweep late into Wednesday night.


“It means everything,” Lowndes head coach Ryan Page told the Valdosta Daily Times. “It means everything to these boys. Since they were little children, this is all they’ve dreamed about — going to Truist and having this opportunity to play in this place. I’m so happy for them.”

“Regardless of what happens, obviously we want to fight and come back with a state title but to go play in that place and just have that opportunity, I’m just so excited for them.”

Cooper Melvin led the way with a 2-of-4 performance at the plate in Game 2 and Noah Thigpen, Tate Sirmans, Jordan Hudson, Coleman Lewis and Carson Page each had a hit in the win.

“Give the credit to our pitchers — Ashton (Bohler) threw an unbelievable game (in Game 1),” Page told the Valdosta Daily Times. “We’ve been stressing all year — we don’t have the high velocity arms, we’ve got to pitch and that’s what he did tonight. He pitched. He mixed, he hit locations and kept those guys off balance.”


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