The Valdosta Daily Times
It wasn’t easy, but Valdosta State held off West Georgia to salvage a game in the Gulf South Conference series and snap its six-game losing skid.
The Blazers threw out the potential game-tying run at the plate to end the seventh innings and then stranded a pair of West Georgia Wolves on base in the eighth and ninth as they held on for a 5-4 win Sunday at Cole Field in Carrollton.
VSU, which never trailed, led 5-3 when Sumner McWhorter greeted relief pitcher Zakk White with an RBI doublein the seventh. While Shaquille Jackson scored on the play to pull the Wolves within one for the third time in the game, Jake Shirley was nailed at the plate on Mike Reed’s relay throw from center fielder Jimmy Dowdell, who also had a team-best three hits, to catcher Clint Carr to end the frame.
White then left two runners on in the eighth and Jarrod Stanley took over one out into the ninth and did likewise for his fifth save of the year. Dominic DeMasi allowed four hits and five walks in 6 2-3 innings, striking out nine to start for the Blazers, who improved to 22-16 and 13-12 in the GSC.
Valdosta State pushed across two runs in the first, both unearned, and then retook the lead with two more in the fifth where Matthew Fears had an RBI single and Cooper Lemonds drew a bases-loaded walk. Clint Carr added an RBI single in top of the seventh.
Carr and Fears both had two hits as VSU finished with 13 against three West Georgia pitchers. Stewart Knight also went 2-for-4 and scored a run as eight of the Blazers’ nine starters got a hit.
VSU, which sits fifth in the conference one-half game ahead of Lee, will conclude conference play when the Flames visit Billy Grant Field next weekend. Game 1 of the three-game series is at 5 p.m. Friday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. The Blazers also visit Georgia College at 5 p.m. Wednesday.