Funds raised for tornado victims, Valley gives up big inning in 5-1 loss at Opelika

Published 11:28 pm Thursday, March 7, 2019

OPELIKA — The Valley baseball team (3-3) lost at Opelika 5-1 (2-8) on Thursday night after giving up five runs in the fifth inning.

“We start off the inning with an error,” Valley head baseball coach Patrick Shivers said. “[Senior] Cody Lumpkin pitched well for us all night. He cruised through the fourth inning. He came out in the fifth and the first batter hit a groundball to our third baseman, we misplayed it, it bobbled out of our glove and spiked it over there to first base. We started off with an error.”

Kory McCoy eventually broke the scoreless tie hitting an RBI single into left field to give Opelika a 1-0 advantage. A few batters later, the bases were loaded for the Bulldogs, Lumpkin was ahead of the count 0-2 with two outs before Trent Fields launched the ball into left-center field for a grand slam. 

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The pitching coach told Lumpkin to throw a curveball, but Lumpkin said he didn’t see the instruction so he threw a fastball down the middle instead, Shivers said.

Eli Culpepper had a hit for Valley, and Lumpkin threw three strikeouts in five innings on the mound. The Rams remain on the road on March 11 to face Russell County. 

At Thursday’s game, Opelika donated all of the ticket sales at the gate to the victims of the tornado last weekend in Lee County. The gate donations alone raised approximately $1,300, Shivers said.

“For schools and communities in need like. that, that’s huge,” Shivers said. “It was great to be a part of that.”

Valley will follow the ticket-donation model at its home games in the future as well, Shivers said.