Valdosta Daily Times

Blazers Blog

April 10, 2014

Poor play continues for Blazers, who fall to visiting Rams

VALDOSTA — Poor defense and sloppy base running doomed lackadaisical Valdosta State on Wednesday as the Blazers fell to the Albany State Golden Rams 10-6.

“Unfortunately, this has kind of been a reoccurring theme for us,” said VSU assistant coach Todd Guilliams. “We haven’t played well, gosh, seems like the last couple of weeks. We’re not getting outs when the other team bunts, we’re walking guys, so we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot.

“We’ve been working in practice thinking, ‘hey, when is this going to turn,’ but it just hasn’t. It was the same formula tonight, bad defense and walks.”

The Blazers (21-14) suffered death by paper cut against the Rams as they used 13 hits, a majority of them singles, to score at least one run in four different innings. Albany State never got the one big hit to break the game open, opting instead to play small ball and take what Valdosta State gave them en route to scoring 10 runs.

Looking up at the Billy Grant Field scoreboard after one inning it would have been natural to think the Blazers were going to put on some fireworks after a four-run first inning, but even when VSU was scoring runs Albany State decided the terms.

“I think that they gave us four runs, because they walked us,” said Guilliams. “We didn’t hit the ball well tonight, certainly not with guys in scoring position.

“We had a chance to really race out to a big lead.”

Jonatan Galan started for the Golden Rams, but he was pulled after recording just one out, allowing a hit and walking four as the Blazers took a 4-0 lead, but VSU’s problems began soon after.

Albany State took back three runs in the top of the second by getting to Ethan Bornstein and making him work in each at-bat and getting a little help from some unforced errors by VSU.

The Rams reached base countless times throughout the game on bunts and other infield hits.

“I think the best thing about their ballclub is they have a lot of team speed,” said Guilliams. “If you look at some of our mistakes, it was because of their speed. They dropped down some bunts, they chopped a ball to right and our pitcher doesn’t cover, and it’s all related to their team speed which is to their credit.

“That presented some challenges for us at their place, and it was kind of the same thing tonight. A lot of balls don’t leave the infield, but we aren't getting outs.”

If it was just the misplayed bunts, the Blazers may have been able to muster through, but VSU struggled in nearly every aspect of fundamental baseball.

The Blazers walked five batters, hit three more, recorded three errors, allowed two passed balls, threw a wild pitch and were called for a balk as they assisted in almost each run for the Rams.

Despite VSU's effort in tying the game on a sac fly in the sixth, the outcome never really seemed in doubt for an Albany State team that looked more focused.

The Rams scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning on a leadoff walk followed by three hits, two of which were bunts, to put the game out of reach and move to 25-15 on the season.

For the Blazers, they have now dropped four straight,allowing double-digit runs in each of the four games.

“Well, I think it always starts on the mound,” said Guilliams. “Pitchers have to throw strikes and then I think you have to play good infield defense. We have not done that.

“I think the guys are aware of it, you just have to execute.”

The Blazers will look to accomplish those goals on the road when they travel to West Georgia on Saturday.

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: