MOULTRIE -- As it turned out, Lowndes High's 10-5 victory over Colquitt County on Friday at Ike Aultman Field was not necessary for the Vikings to claim second place in the final Region 1-AAAAA standings and play host to a first-round state tournament series next week.

Once Lee County defeated Coffee 3-1 in Leesburg, the Vikings clinched the second spot and will play host to East Coweta, the 2003 state runner-up, in the first round.

East Coweta finished third in Region 4-AAAAA.

Valdosta also won a playoff berth on Friday, knocking off Tift County 5-4 at Bazemore Field.

Valdosta, Coffee and Tift County finished tied for third with 4-6 records, but the Wildcats and Trojans had the tiebreakers and Tift County, which needed a victory on Friday to qualify, was eliminated.

Valdosta and Coffee will travel for first-round playoff series.

Lee County finished the regular season 23-2 and was 10-0 in the region.

The Trojans have won 18 straight region games and will play host to Fayette County in the first round of the playoffs.

Lowndes beat Colquitt for the second time this season, outscoring the defending state champion Packers by a combined 22-7 in the process.

But it was a long and ugly affair at Ike Aultman Field.

The Vikings were down 3-1 at the end of the first inning and trailed 5-4 when they scored four runs in the top of the fifth to take an 8-5 lead.

Lowndes added a pair of unearned runs in the top of the seventh and Shawn Riddle retired the Packers in order in the bottom of the seventh to close it out.

The Vikings will take 15-11 record into the series with East Coweta.

The Packers, who finished second in the region last year before rolling through the playoffs for their second state championship, finish last this year, winning just two of 10 region games.

Ironically, those wins came over team that qualified for the playoffs -- Coffee and Valdosta.

The Packers finish 11-15 overall.

Lowndes jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Bo Love walked to open the game against Packers starter Mike Mobley and later scored on a groundout by Jacob Jarvis.

But the Packers rocked Lowndes starter Brandon Waller for back-to-back triples by Cody Turpen and Tim Green to open the game.

Will Southwell singled Green home and later scored himself on an error to give the Packers a 3-1 first-inning lead.

Lowndes opened the second inning with four straight singles and scored two runs on hits by R.J. Harris and Riddle to tie the game.

But Riddle was caught stealing and Bo Love hit into a double play to keep Lowndes from an even bigger inning.

The Vikings scored in the top of the on a hit batsman, a throwing error and a single by Brandon Smith.

Colquitt got that one back in the bottom of the inning when Southwell was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Thomas Tripp.

The Packers went up 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth, when Ross Cox was hit by a pitch and later scored on a controversial passed ball.

But the Vikings broke the game open in the top of the fifth against Colquit County freshman left-hander Andrew Wallace, making his first varsity appearance.

Jarvis opened the inning with a double and scored on Smith's single to tie the game at 5-5.

Smith later scored on a sacrifice fly by Harris.

Riddle drove in the third run of the inning on a single and later scored on Ryan Carpenter's base hit to put the Vikings up 8-5.

The Packers last chance came in the bottom of the fifth when Southwell walked to open the inning and went to third on a double to left by Walker.

Riddle came on to relieve Waller and hit Tripp with a pitch, but got Abel Eubanks to hit into a 1-2-3 double play. He struck out Ross Cox to end the inning and retired the next six Packers in order.

Packers coach Jerry Croft started all eight of his seniors and five -- Turpen, Green, Southwell, Walker and Tripp responded with base hits. Marshall Faircloth, in his first varsity game, had the Packers other hit.

The Vikings out-hit the Packers 14-6. Carpenter, the Vikings' No. 9 hitter, went 4-for-4 and drove in a run. Riddle, who batted No. 8, was 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs.

Smith had two hits for the Vikings. Harris, Matt Harper and Bo Love had the others.

Waller got the win to raise his record to 2-2 on the season. He struck out fve and walked two.

After hitting the first batter he faced, Riddle retired the last eight Packers in a row to get the save. The right-hander struckout four Packers, including all three in the sixth inning.

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