The Valdosta Daily Times
The hot start continued Saturday for the Valdosta State baseball team.
One week after winning its first two games in dominating fashion, the Blazers easily dispatched of visiting Paine 11-3 and 16-1 at Billy Grant Field. The Blazers and Lions conclude the three-game set todaya t 1 p.m.
Bryant Hayman, a preseason third-team All-American selection, powered VSU (4-0) in Game 1 as he blasted a two-run home run down the left-field line as part of a four-run fifth inning that gave the Blazers a 5-0 lead. Three innings later, he added a three-run to answer Paine’s first runs of the day.
Mike Reed added three hits, three runs and two RBIs, while Matthew Fears scored twice and tripled. Fears also stole two bases as VSU swiped five as a team.
While the Blazers offense provided plenty of support, although five of the 11 runs were unearned, VSU starter Dom DeMasi didn’t need much. He threw six scoreless innings, striking out eight and allowing just five hits and one walk.
In Game 2, Paine scored in the first to take its first lead but the Blazers had an answer. VSU scored multiple runs in each of the first five innings as Josh Mann settled in and allowed only four hits over five innings. The left-hander struck out nine and walked none.
Reed had three RBIs, including two on a second-inning double, and scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the first as he was one of just two Blazers with multiple hits in Game 2. Michael Gouge also had two.
Fears scored three runs, Austin Loyd crossed home twice and Dominique Smedley scored four runs as he drew two of the Blazers’ 10 walks. Seven Blazers were also hit by a pitch as VSU had 30 baserunners.
In the Blazers’ seven-run fourth, eight of the first nine batters reached including three straight on HBPs.