Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 28, 2013

VSU dominates Rams

Blazers pound out 15 hits, hold Albany State to one hit in 13-0 rout

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State baseball team used seven different pitchers to limit Albany State to just one hit, while managing to provide more than enough offensive support Wednesday night at Billy Grant Field.

After being held scoreless through the first three innings, the Blazers (14-11) pounded out 15 hits and got a pair of runs in the fourth inning, three in the fifth, another one in the sixth, four in the seventh and three more in the eighth to rout the Golden Rams 13-0.

“We swung the bats well after the third inning,” Valdosta State coach Greg Guilliams said. “A lot of guys got a chance to pitch. Those guys needed the work, and they did a good job.”

More importantly, the Blazers gained some much-needed momentum heading into this weekend’s critical three-game conference series against in-state rival West Georgia.

“I hope so,” Guilliams said, when asked about the momentum. “For us, we are in a situation where we have to keep getting better because our one opportunity, I think, is (we are) probably going to have to win the conference tournament to advance.”

With just a 3-6 record in Gulf South Conference play this season, and after having two of their three games against Shorter cancelled because of rain last weekend, Guilliams and the Blazers are eyeing a big weekend against the Wolves, who entered Wednesday’s game at Georgia Southwestern with an 18-11 record, including a 7-4 mark in GSC play.

“At this point, realistically, unless we are going to rattle off 14 of the next 15 conference games, for us, it is just about positioning ourselves in good seeding for the conference tournament,” Guilliams said. “It is all about getting better. I just hope we come out and play well.”

The Blazers and Wolves will play a doubleheader Friday night at Billy Grant Field, starting at 3 p.m., with a final game Saturday at 1 p.m.

As for Wednesday night’s game, the Blazers allowed just one hit — a routine single in the second inning — and limited the Golden Rams (10-20) to practically no offensive production. It was easily one of the best overall team pitching performances of the season for the Blazers, who combined to strike out 10 Golden Ram batters on the night.

“Those guys are important, because in the postseason, those guys are going to have to pitch,” Guilliams said. “It will have to be more than our weekend starters.”

Senior Jarod Carlton earned his first victory of the season, only because he was the pitcher during the Blazers’ three-run fifth inning. Carlton issued a walk — one of five the Blazers issued on the night — but used a double play and a grounder to get out of the inning.

At the plate, seven different Blazers drove in runs, including Nick Rodda, who drove in four.

“Nick has struggled a little bit, but the last week he has swung the bat a little better,” Guilliams said. “I think he is capable of doing that. That was big; he was hitting in the seventh hole and a lot of guys were on (base).”

With two outs in the fourth inning, Cooper Lemonds reached base on a two-out Albany State error, extending the Blazers’ inning. Following a Michael Gouge walk, Rodda singled in Lemonds, Ryan McClellan singled in Gouge and VSU took a 2-0 lead.

The Blazers used a pair of singles, a pair of hit-by-pitches and an error to score three runs in the fifth inning.

Hunter Thompson singled, Matthew Fears and Bryant Hayman both reached base after being hit by pitches, then Jake Fields walked to score Thompson. Lemonds grounded into a fielder’s choice, but an errant throw allowed Fears to score. Gouge singled to score Hayman and the Blazers led 5-0.

Daniel Hoover tripled to start the sixth inning, and scored on a grounder by Fears, pushing the Blazers’ lead to 6-0.

The Blazers piled it on in the seventh inning, scoring four runs off five hits to take a 10-0 lead. Fields and Lemonds each reached base, on a single and a walk, and scored on a Rodda double to left-center. Rodda scored on a single by McClellan, then Thompson delivered a single to drive in McClellan.

In the eighth inning, Rodda flew out to shallow right field, but Fields tagged up and scored from third. Then McClellan tripled into the right field corner, scoring Lemonds and Gouge.

NOTES: Following Wednesday night’s game, the VSU Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosted the Second Annual Sermon on the Mound, featuring guest speaker Greg McMichael, a former Atlanta Braves pitcher.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

Blazers Blog
More