Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Local Sports

February 21, 2013

Hayman’s walk-off double gives Blazers win

VALDOSTA — Bryant Hayman’s two-out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth gave Valdosta State’s baseball team a 4-3 win over Columbus State on Wednesday night at Billy Grant Field.

With two outs in the ninth and Dan Hoover on second, Columbus State pitcher Matthew Kuhlenberg (0-1) got two strikes on Hayman, the Blazers’ cleanup hitter. With an 0-2 count, he tried to throw a pitch on the outside part of the plate. But Hayman jumped on the pitch and drove it into right field.

The ball headed for the right field corner, and by the time the right fielder got to it, Hoover was crossing home plate to score the winning run.

Hoover had singled to left with one out in the ninth and stolen second. One out later, Hayman doubled him in.

The win improved Valdosta State’s record to 6-2.

“We haven’t played in 10 or 11 days, and to come out and get a win, I thought, was really good for our guys’ minds,” Valdosta State coach Greg Guilliams said.

Early on, it was a back-and-forth game. Columbus State and Valdosta State both scored one run in the first inning and two runs in the third. After that, the game became a scoreless duel between the teams’ bullpens.

Columbus State’s J.D. Pullen started the game with a single to left and went to third on Jimmy Obermark’s single to right. One out later, Cameron Scott grounded to second, and Pullen scored to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.

Valdosta State answered with a run in the bottom half of the first. Jake Montgomery led off with a double down the left field line, and scored when Hoover followed with another double to left.

Columbus State regained the lead in the top of the third. With one out, Obermark doubled down the left field line and went to third on Ryan Lewis’ infield single. Lewis was picked off by VSU pitcher Nick Fogarty, but two pitches later, Obermark stole home to give his team a 2-1 lead. Two walks and an error loaded the bases, then Jackson Oliver drew a bases loaded walk, and Scott jogged home to make it 3-1.

The Blazers responded again in their half of the third. Matthew Fears and Jamie McMillan singled, then advanced on a wild pitch. With one out, Nick Rodda grounded out to short, but Fears scored. Then Michael Gouge hit a ground ball to third, but the throw to first was off the mark, and McMillan scored to tie the game at 3-3.

“Every time they scored, we scored,” Guilliams said. “They scored in the first, we scored in the first. They scored two in the third, and we came right back and answered. So they were never able to get any momentum going.”

After the third inning, Guilliams and Columbus State head coach Greg Appleton took out their starting pitchers and went to their bullpens. And the bullpens responded. For the next five innings, they posted zeroes on the scoreboard, and kept the score tied 3-3 until the bottom of the ninth.

Valdosta State’s Josh Mann and Columbus State’s Jake Ezell took the mound in the fourth inning, and threw three scoreless innings each. Mann gave up three hits and struck out four, while Ezell limited VSU to one hit and struck out three. In the seventh inning, Dom Demasi took the mound for VSU, while Kuhlenberg came out of the bullpen for the Cougars. Demasi pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out four, before giving way to Benjamin Weil (1-0), who got the final two outs in the top of the ninth. Kuhlenberg allowed just two hits and struck out five in 2 2/3 innings, but ultimately gave up the winning run.

“(Our) bullpen obviously was pretty special,” Guilliams said. “Those guys really stepped up. Nick Fogarty isn’t going to have many games like that. Tonight happened to be one of them, and he needed some help. (Mann, Demasi and Weil) were ready. That was a big lift for us. ... (Columbus State’s pitchers also) pitched well.”

“Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Lemon said this, ‘The two best things in life are good friends and a good bullpen,’ and tonight proved that,” the Blazers’ coach added.

Hayman and Hoover both went 2 for 5 and drove in a run for the Blazers on Wednesday. Columbus State’s Aaron Jividen was 4 for 4, while both Pullen and Obermark had two hits and scored a run.

Fogarty made his first start for Valdosta State since pitching a perfect game on Feb. 9 against Paine College. He wasn’t as sharp this time, giving up three runs, two earned, and six hits in three innings.

“He just didn’t have his best stuff, and you could kind of see that. He could have gone longer, but with all the rest we’ve had, our bullpen was healthy,” Guilliams said.

Valdosta State will host a four-game series against Wayne State this weekend. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday, beginning at 3:30 p.m., then will play games at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS little cats camp 1.jpg Valdosta hosts fundamental camp for ‘Little ’Cats’

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS practice1.jpg Getting Back to Work

    Friday officially began the 2014 season for the Valdosta Wildcats and both the offense and defense came out and made statements.
    After holding spring and summer workouts, the Wildcats will practice four more times without pads before beginning full pad practice next week.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes_Brooks1.jpg Lowndes second-most dominant program in state since 2004

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons_Jones.jpg Falcons open camp with ‘sense of urgency’

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Padres_braves.jpg Padres, Hahn silence Braves

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Blazer Kugbila out for season

    Now, after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury, this signals another hardship for the promising guard.

    July 25, 2014

  • LHS baseball signing Two Lowndes grads sign scholarships

    Lowndes graduates Henry Hoff and Nick Higginbotham decided to take the next step in their respective baseball careers together on Thursday as both signed a letter-of-intent with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More