Valdosta Daily Times

May 6, 2013

VSU baseball, GSC tourney moving venues

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Gulf South Conference tournament is leaving Chattanooga, Tenn. and is heading to Carrollton, the home of the University of West Georgia.

After heavy rain soaked the Chattanooga area and AT&T Stadium the past two days, including Sunday, league officials started to explore options of where the remainder of the tournament could be played. GSC officials decided on West Georgia, one of the closest league-member schools that can host the remainder of the tournament.

Valdosta State, one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the tournament, is set to play West Alabama, the other remaining undefeated team, at 7 p.m. tonight.

North Alabama-West Georgia will play at 1 p.m. and West Florida-Delta State will meet at 4 p.m.

The venue change will not guarantee the games will be played, though. Weather.com is forecasting a 60 percent chance of rain in Carrollton for Monday, which could push the games back a third day to Tuesday.

Valdosta State opened the tournament Thursday with a 4-2 win over North Alabama in 12 innings. The Blazers followed it up with a 6-5 come-from-behind win over top-seed Delta State, winning in 10 innings, Friday night.

If the games are rained out Monday, tournament officials could restructure the format of the tournament, making it a single-elimination field rather than a double-elimination field, a source close to the Times said.

A such change would eliminate all teams, except for VSU and UWA. Those two teams would likely play a best two-out-of-three series at West Georgia, according to the source.

If the games are played Monday, the tournament schedule available on the GSC’s official webpage has the championship games being played Wednesday afternoon at UWG.

The NCAA South Region tournament begins May 16-17 at the top-seeded team’s home stadium.

Valdosta State entered the GSC tournament ranked seventh in the region, in jeopardy of being knocked out of the top eight.

With the two wins over UNA and Delta State, the Blazers could be in position, with another win or two, to qualify for the regional tournament, their first since 2010. VSU last won the GSC tournament in 2010, a year where weather forced the event to be delayed and eventually moved to Delta State.