The Valdosta Daily Times
Valdosta scored eight runs in the last four innings, and rallied to defeat Taylor County (Fla.) 8-4 on Tuesday night at Bazemore Field.
Casey Guilliams’ two-run double broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the fifth, and the Wildcats added two insurance runs in the sixth. It was the Valdosta baseball team’s third consecutive home win.
The Wildcats came to bat in the bottom of the fifth with the score tied 4-4. Corey Jaramillo walked and David Posas singled, putting two men on with no outs. Two batters later, Guilliams jumped on a pitch from Taylor reliever Daniel Wentworth and hit a line drive just inside the third base bag and into left field. Kenyan Martin, who was pinch running for Jaramillo, came around to score, and Posas ran home right behind him, putting Valdosta on top 6-4.
Valdosta put two more runs on the board in the sixth. After Drew Morrison walked to start the inning, Bradley Felkel singled to left, and when the ball went under the right fielder’s glove, Morrison went to third and Felkel took second. Brennan Goodson grounded out, but Morrison scored. Then Daniel Tefft ripped a long fly ball off of the fence in right center. Felkel scored, increasing the Wildcats’ lead to 8-4.
Taylor County threatened in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with one out. But Brogen Berard, the Wildcats’ third pitcher of the evening, got Dylan Harty, the Bulldogs’ cleanup hitter, to line out to Logan Stephens at second base. The runner at second was well off the base, so Stephens tossed the ball to Posas at second for the final out.
Taylor County grabbed the early lead with a run in the top of the first. La’Darian Smiley walked to lead off the game and stole second. Two batters later, Wentworth doubled, and Smiley came home to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs added to their lead in the third, scoring two runs. Jonathan Collins walked, Smiley doubled and Justin Folsom walked, loading the bases with no outs. Wentworth followed with a two-run single to left, bringing home Collins and Smiley to give Taylor a 3-0 lead.
Folsom held Valdosta hitless for the first three innings. But he ran into trouble in the fourth. He walked Goodson, the first batter of the inning, then Jaramillo’s pop fly was dropped by the shortstop. Posas followed with a line drive single to right, and Goodson ran home to score the Wildcats’ first run. Folsom walked Craig Barry to load the bases, then he walked both Guilliams and Stephens with the bases loaded, scoring Jaramillo and Posas and tying the score at 3-3. After a pitching change and a pair of outs, Felkel drew a bases-loaded walk, and courtesy runner Kaleb Whitfield ran home to give Valdosta its first lead of the day, 4-3.
Taylor answered with a run in the top of the fifth. Smiley drew a walk, then used his speed to make it around the bases. He took second on an error, stole third and came home on a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4. A few pitches later, Zach Newham uncorked another wild pitch, but Guilliams, the Wildcats’ catcher, retrieved the ball and made a perfect throw to Newham, who tagged out a sliding Folsom at home plate for the third out.
Then Valdosta scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning, and held the lead the rest of the game.
Posas went 2 for 3 with an RBI and scored two runs for the Wildcats. Guilliams drove in three runs. Newham was the winning pitcher, allowing one run and no hits in two innings of relief. Brogen Berard pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first save of the season.
Wentworth went 2 for 3 and drove in three of Taylor’s four runs on Tuesday. Smiley reached base all four times he came to bat, and scored three runs.
Valdosta (4-6) will host a doubleheader against crosstown rival Lowndes on Friday at 4:30 p.m.