Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 6, 2014

Chargers sweep aside Blazers

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State Blazer baseball lost a doubleheader against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers, losing the first game 13-3 in seven innings and also dropping the second, 12-7.

Scheduled for a noon first pitch, the game was halted during the bottom of the first inning due to rain showers. After a 20-minute delay, action resumed at Billy Grant Field, with the first inning ending with the Blazers leading 1-0.

“Well, the thing that got us the first game was bad pitching and we gave up a lot of walks. The second game, I thought we swung the bat very well and certainly scored a lot of runs, but we shot ourselves in the foot with all the walks,” said Blazers coach Greg Guilliams.

Starting at pitcher for the Blazers was Josh Mann, who threw 96 pitches with three strikeouts before being pulled for Mitch King. Mann gave up seven runs after only giving up 11 on the season.

In the bottom of the third, Jimmy Dowdell stepped to bat with the bases loaded and with two outs. Dowdell was walked, giving Clint Carr an easy run. Still having two outs, Kevin Cruz came to bat but was called out, stranding three Blazers on base.

The Chargers tied the game at 2 with a two-run home run from Ben Hall.

In the top of the fifth, the Blazers seemed to lose themselves. Giving up five runs in the inning, the Blazers fell behind 7-2.

Coming out in the bottom of the fifth, the Blazers could not produce anything, with three batters getting called out in a row.

The Chargers added one more run in the top of the sixth inning, before the Blazers scored their last run in the bottom of the sixth by Bryant Hayman, pushing the score to 8-3.

In the top of the seventh, the Blazers called on pitcher Colby Wisdom to help calm down the Chargers batters. However, UAH scored five runs in the inning, pushing its lead to 13-3.

Coming up to bat to close the seventh inning, the Blazers weren’t able to get on base, ending the game in seven.

The Blazers came out hot in the second game, with three Blazers scoring runs in the first inning. Mike Reed, Matthew Fears and Dowdell all crossed home plate before Dominique Smedley got called out after a pop fly to left field.

Showing how feisty of a team they were in the first game, the Chargers opened the second inning and fought right back. With Jarod Stanley on the mound for the Blazers, the Chargers produced four runs, two off home runs by Simbeck and Hall, to take a 4-3 lead.

But the Blazers bounced back.

In the bottom of the third, the Blazers added three runsfrom Cruz, Hunter Thompson and Michael Gouge, in an inning filled with stolen bases and big hits. The Blazers were forced to end the inning with Smedley stuck on third base. The Blazers took their 6-4 lead into the fourth inning.

Allowing the Chargers to score on error in the fourth, making the score 6-5, the Blazers were able to add yet another run, this time by Reed, to move the lead to 7-5.

Tying the game up at 7-7 with a run by Chandler Brock in the seventh, the Chargers added five more runs, taking the lead 12-7.

“We have to work on fielding bunts by our pitchers. All our guys have a job to do and it starts on the mound with the pitcher. They have to throw the ball in the strike zone. When they do that, then they give a chance to win, when they don't, they make it tough on us,” said Guilliams.

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