The Valdosta Daily Times
David Posas drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh, which brought home the winning run and gave the Valdosta baseball team a 5-4 win over Lake City (Fla.) Columbia on Monday at Bazemore Field.
It was the Wildcats’ second win over the Tigers this season. They beat Columbia 11-9 on March 7 in Lake City.
The score was tied 4-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh, with the top of the order coming up for Valdosta. Drew Morrison led off with a single to right. Bradley Felkel greeted new pitcher Harrison Shubert with a line drive single to right, then Shubert walked Corey Jaramillo, loading the bases with nobody out. That brought Posas to the plate.
Columbia went to its bullpen again, bringing in left-hander Jordan Culp to face the switch-hitting Posas. Culp’s first pitch was a called strike, but then he threw three straight balls. Then his 3-1 pitch was wide of home plate for ball four. Morrison jogged home to score the winning run.
“I was very pleased with our effort,” Valdosta head coach Bart Shuman said. “We’re playing so well right now. (We’re) glad to get a win.”
It was a back-and-forth game.
Columbia started the scoring, putting two runs on the board in the first inning. Culp singled and Brent Stalter doubled to start the game. Alex Milton followed with an RBI single, scoring Culp. Valdosta pitcher Brogen Berard retired the next two hitters, but Jake Thomas drove in Stalter with a two-out single, which gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Valdosta answered with two runs in the bottom of the first. Morrison started the inning with a double, and went to third on a passed ball. Two batters later, Daniel Tefft singled to left center, scoring Morrison. Posas followed with a double to left center, and Tefft raced around the bases to tie the score at 2-2.
Columbia briefly grabbed the lead back with a run in the top of the third. With two outs, Sam Bass walked and stole second. Then Kaleb Thomas’ ground ball went between the third baseman’s legs and into left field. Bass rounded third and ran home to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
But Valdosta came right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third. Felkel led off with a single to center, then went to second when Stalter overthrew the first baseman on a pickoff play. Felkel moved to third on a wild pitch, and after Tefft walked, Posas ripped a double to right center, scoring Felkel. Brennan Goodson hit a fly ball to right, and Tefft tagged up and came home to give Valdosta its first lead of the game, 4-3.
Leading off the top of the fifth, Milton drove a pitch over the fence in left center for a solo home run, which tied the score at 4-4. The score would remain tied until the bottom of the seventh, when Valdosta plated the winning run.
Jacob McMillan was the winning pitcher, throwing two scoreless innings in relief. The freshman right-hander faced six batters, and he retired all six of them.
“Jacob McMillan came in and slammed it,”
Shuman said. “He retired 7-8-9 (in the sixth) and 1-2-3 (in the seventh). That was a great performance out of Jacob.”
Berard pitched the first five innings, allowing four runs, three earned, and struck out four. He gave up five hits, but only one of them came after the first inning. He also went 2 for 2 at the plate.
“We got great pitching out of Brogen Berard, who went five good, strong innings,” Shuman said. “And Brogen hit it well for us.”
Valdosta got a lot of offensive production from the top four hitters in its lineup. Morrison, the leadoff hitter, went 2 for 4 and scored two runs. Felkel, the second hitter, was also 2 for 4 and scored one run. Tefft, batting third, scored two runs and drove in one. And Posas, the cleanup hitter, had two hits and three RBIs
“Posas is hitting the ball well now. He got two hits. Bradley Felkel got some big hits for us,” Shuman said. “Drew Morrison got the leadoff single in the seventh. Daniel Tefft got a big double. It seems to be somebody different every game right now.”
Milton swung Columbia’s biggest bat, going 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Valdosta will try to make it two wins in two days when it travels to Adel to face Cook today at 6 p.m.