Valdosta Daily Times

Blazers Blog

April 12, 2014

Baseball drops a pair at West Georgia

Carrollton — West Georgia got a walk-off 6-5 victory in the first game before using a late-inning rally to win game two 8-4 as the Wolves swept a Gulf South Conference baseball doubleheader from Valdosta State at Cole Field Saturday.

West Georgia (15-23, 9-13) raced out to an early lead in the first game as the Wolves scored the first five runs of the game. UWG opened the scoring in the third inning when Artemis Khadkhodaian opened the frame with a single and scored as Shaquille Jackson hit a one-out double. Jake Shirley also doubled to score Jackson and came around for the inning's third run when JoJo Underwood singled.

West Georgia pushed its lead to 4-0 on a Jackson RBI single in the fourth while Troy Brown singled home Bryan Dunson in the sixth to put the Wolves in front by five runs.

Valdosta State (21-16, 12-12) got all five of its runs in the top of the seventh inning. The first Blazer run came via an error as Jimmy Dowdell stole third and scored when the throw from UWG catcher Galen Smith got away from Underwood at third. After a fielder's choice put Michael Gouge on base, Hunter Thompson doubled and Mike Reed walked to load the bases before Bryant Hayman connected on his team-leading eighth home run of the year, a grand slam over the wall in left that evened the game at 5-5.

The Wolves  closed the game in the bottom of the ninth as Dunson singled to open the inning and was lifted for pinch runner Neal Gandee, who moved to second on a Brown ground out. Two batters later, Casey James singled to plate Gandee for the winning run.

Jared Stanley allowed the two hits in the ninth inning and struck out three batters in his 2.1 innings of work to fall to 2-3 on the season. Meanwhile, UWG's Taylor Craft surrendered a hit and struck out one in 2.0 innings to improve to 2-1.

West Georgia again scored first in the second game as Khadkhodaian reached on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly in the third inning before VSU struck for four runs in the top of the fourth. Matthew Fears walked to open the Blazer half of the fourth and moved to third as Cooper Lemonds doubled. Casey Kicklighter pinch-hit and also doubled to drive home both base runners before Kevin Cruz singled to put runners at the corners. Will Wilson proceeded to lay down a suicide squeeze bunt that brought home Kicklighter while Cruz scored when Gouge reached on an error on a Gouge bunt single that put the Blazers up 4-1.

The Wolves added two more unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth before scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The first four West Georgia batters of the sixth reached via hits, including a two-run triple by James, and, after a strikeout, the Wolves collected two more hits and a sacrifice fly. Underwood closed out the scoring with a single which represented the seventh UWG hit of the inning.

Josh Mann allowed nine hits and eight runs, five earned, in 5.2 innings as he fell to 6-2 on the season while West Georgia's Chris Burdette gave up just one hit in 4.0 innings out of the bullpen to improve to 1-2.

Cruz was 3-for-7 to lead Valdosta State offensively on the day while Thompson, Lemonds, Dowdell and Wilson all had two hits each. Meanwhile, Fears, who had hit safely in 33 of Valdosta State's 35 games entering the day, went 0-for-6 in the two games to see his 14 game hitting streak end.

The two teams conclude the three-game series with a single game beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday.

1
Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albritton in first place after opening round of Elite 89 voting

    July 14, 2014

  • Justin_Roper.JPG Roper to coach Blazers’ QBs

    Valdosta State has added an assistant coach to its staff, but it isn’t to fill Seth Wallace’s role.
    Former Oregon quarterback and University of Findlay running backs coach Justin Roper has been hired as the Blazers’ quarterbacks coach.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1966690_10201768896480524_387489323_n.jpg Dominique Wheeler showing confidence as NFL rookie

    Dominique Wheeler slowly made a name for himself during his four-year career as a Valdosta State Blazer. Playing at the cornerback position, Wheeler had to wait his turn to start at the position. However by the time he ended his senior year, he had played in 45 games, including nine starts his senior season.

    July 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawrence Virgil pic Lawrence Virgil working to make the Saints final roster

    With college and the Valdosta State football team behind him, Brooks County’s own Lawrence Virgil is working hard to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

    July 6, 2014 2 Photos

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: