The Valdosta Daily Times
Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.
The Blazers (23-16) got the hitting started immediately with four hits in the top of the first inning to score a pair of runs. Mike Reed doubled to open the game before Michael Gouge reached on a bunt single. Bryant Hayman hit an infield single to load the bases and Matthew Fears singled to drive home Reed and Gouge for a 2-0 VSU lead.
Georgia College (26-12) got a run back in the bottom of the first, only to have Valdosta State add two more hits and four runs in the second inning. Hayman provided the big hit of the inning as, with one out and the bases loaded, he hit a ball over the wall in left-center field for his second grand slam in five days for a 6-1 Blazer advantage.
The Bobcats added a second run in the third and two more in the fourth to get GCSU to within two runs, only to have VSU bat around in both the fifth and sixth innings to blow the game open. The Blazers had five hits and scored five runs in the fifth inning and added three more hits and four runs in the sixth inning.
Georgia College added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to close out the scoring.
Much of the damage at the plate by Valdosta State came from its first three batters which combined to go 11-of-13 while also drawing four walks. Reed led the group as he was a perfect 5-of-5 with a walk and four runs scored while Gouge was 3-for-4 with a walk drawn, three runs scored and two driven in. Hayman was also 3-for-4 with two walks and five RBI as all but one Blazer starter, second baseman Stewart Knight, had a hit in the game. Jimmy Dowdell, Kevin Cruz and Clint Carr also had multi-hit games as each finished with two in the game.
Zakk White surrendered just one hit and one runs in 2.2 innings to improve to 1-3 on the season while Georgia College's Josh Pape allowed four hits and two runs in the first inning to fall to 2-1.
Valdosta State returns to action Friday when it opens a three-game Gulf South Conference series against Lee at Billy Grant Field. The two teams will play a single game beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday followed by a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday.