Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 17, 2014

Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

Winners of two straight overall, the Blazers (23-16 and 13-12 in the GSC) conclude conference play when Lee visits Billy Grant Field for a three-game series that begins at 5 p.m. today. It concludes with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday. VSU broke a six-game skid, both overall and in the conference, when it beat West Georgia 5-4 on Sunday and has the chance against the 26-17 Flames, who are 12-12 in the conference, to build some momentum.

VSU has some rolling after Wednesday’s win at No. 23 Georgia College. The Blazers racked up a season-high 19 hits against the Bobcats, led by Mike Reed’s five hits. Reed, a junior, is hitting. 371 with a league-high 47 runs and 20 stolen bases, tied for top in the GSC. Matthew Fears leads the team with a .380 average — second in the league — as seven Blazers are hitting .300 or better. That includes Bryant Hayman, who leads the team and the league with nine home runs, 50 RBIs and a .650 slugging percentage along with a .343 average that ranks just outside the top 10.

VSU is led on the mound by Dom DeMasi, who has thrown 70 innings with a 2.57 ERA and a league-best 66 strikeouts, and Josh Mann, who has 42 strikeouts and a 3.57 ERA in 58 innings.

The Flames’ top two arms are Jeremy Stawychny and Dustin Lawson, who have ERAs of 2.99 and 3.00 respectively while making 22 starts combined. Jeremy Bales has thrown 33 innings in 18 appearances out of the Lee bullpen with a 0.27 ERA.

Lee’s offenseis led by Nathan Wierzgac’s .404 average in 57 at-bates, while Derrick Pitts (.349), Zacary Hawkins (.322) and Siosi Poti (.300) are all hitting .300 or better as well. Poti has stolen 28 bases.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Cooperstown Merchants: Weekend was a success

    Cooperstown merchants are elated about the exceptionally prosperous Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, several storekeepers said Sunday.

    During an afternoon lull in business, when the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was taking place, area shop and restaurant owners took a quick breath, reflected and expressed satisfaction with their sales for the weekend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall of Famers thank fathers for stepping up to the plate

    Great ballplayers thanking their dads at a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about as original as oil and vinegar are to an Italian restaurant.

    July 28, 2014

  • 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

Blazers Blog