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March 10, 2013

VSU baseball team swept by No. 8 West Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. — No. 8 West Florida got a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to win game 1, 8-7, and added another unearned run in a 3-1 game 2 victory to sweep Valdosta State in Gulf South Conference baseball action at Jim Spooner Field Saturday afternoon.

West Florida (14-3, 3-2) raced out to an early lead in the first game, as it scored five runs in the first two innings. The Argonauts got two runs in the first when Michael Tomlinson followed with a base hit.

After Bryant Hayman led off the second inning with his second home run of the year for VSU, UWF added three more runs in the bottom of the frame, as it took advantage of two walks and an error.

The scored remained 5-1 West Florida until the top of the eighth inning, when Valdosta State struck for four runs. With one out, Cooper Lemonds, Ryan McClellan and Jake Fields singled to load the bases. Hayman drove home Lemonds with a base hit, then Nick Rodda singled to score McClellan and Fields. Matthew Fears followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Hayman to even the game at 5-5.

VSU grabbed its first lead in the top of the ninth. Lemonds reached on a wild pitch on a strike three and was lifted for pinch runner Will Wilson. Wilson stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, before scoring on a wild pitch to give VSU a 6-5 lead.

A wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed UWF to even the game in the bottom of the frame, while VSU got a Michael Gouge single that scored Hayman in the 10th to retake the lead. However, West Florida got two of its first three batters of the bottom of the 10th on via hits before a walk loaded the bases. VSU got a ground ball from the next batter, but the throw home was wild to allow the tying run to score. An infield single by Alex Greene with two outs scored the game’s final run.

Valdosta State pitcher Josh Mann fell to 0-2, as he allowed four hits and two unearned runs in 1.2 innings of relief. VSU starter Pete Whittingslow pitched eight innings and allowed six runs, only three earned, on seven hits, while striking out eight.

West Florida jumped out to a lead again in the second game, as it scored one run in the first inning, when Saulmon doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice.

Valdosta State evened the game in the top of the fifth inning. Matthew Fears singled to open the inning and eventually scored on a suicide squeeze by Jamie McMillan. However, Saulmon reached on an error in the bottom of the frame and scored when Drew Prichard followed with a home run to close out the scoring.

VSU’s Nick Fogarty fell to 2-1. He gave up six hits and three runs, two earned, in a complete game.

Hayman led Valdosta State with four hits and three runs scored in six at-bats on the day. Meanwhile, Gouge added three hits in the two games.

The two teams conclude their three-game series with a single game today, beginning at 2 p.m.

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