The Valdosta Daily Times
Valdosta State’s baseball team used a big fourth inning to defeat Flagler 6-3 on Wednesday evening at Billy Grant Field.
After the two teams battled to a scoreless tie through the first three innings, during which time Valdosta State (10-10) left three men on base and Flagler two, the Blazers broke through for the game’s first runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Jake Fields doubled to right to open the fourth and moved to third when Michael Gouge followed with a single down the right field line. Cooper Lemonds drove Fields home with a sacrifice fly to center. Gouge was thrown out trying to steal second for the second out of the inning, then Nick Rodda and Jake Montgomery drew walks. An error on a Hunter Thompson ground ball loaded the bases. Then Matthew Fears delivered a single to right that drove home both Rodda and Montgomery. Thompson moved to third on the single and scored when Fears was caught in a run-down on a stolen base attempt to give VSU a 4-0 lead.
Fears tripled with two outs and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to push the Valdosta State lead to five runs.
The two teams traded runs in the seventh.
Flagler (9-14) loaded the bases with no outs and scored on a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Then the Saints got a walk and a triple in the ninth to close out the scoring.
Fears had three hits and Gouge had two to lead Valdosta State at the plate. Lemonds drove in two runs.
Benjamin Weil (2-1) got the win. He struck out four batters in 1 2/3 innings of relief, while holding the Saints hitless and scoreless. VSU starter Jarod Carlton held Flagler to no runs and one hit in 4 1/3 innings/
Valdosta State returns to action on Saturday, when it opens a three-game Gulf South Conference series against West Alabama at Billy Grant Field. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a single game at 1 p.m. on Sunday.