VALDOSTA -- Somewhere Tommy Thomas listed this requirement to be a member of the Valdosta State baseball team.

Have a short memory.

When you have a Saturday night date with No. 1 Delta State, it's best to forget Sunday's 11-9 loss to North Alabama before 292 Sunday at Billy Grant Field.

The Blazers (37-18) blew 8-5 and 9-8 leads in the last three innings to let the Gulf South East Division champions win once this weekend. VSU won twice Saturday to clinch a berth in the Gulf South Tournament May 4-7 in Millington, Tenn.

The prize -- VSU, the No. 3 seed in the East, will play West champion Delta State (45-4) at 8:30 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. Delta State has won 31 of its last 32 games and will have a pro-Statesmen crowd behind them in Millington.

"It's just a very hard way to lose," Thomas said. "Tomorrow I'll think about the great job we did Saturday. This team earned its way to the conference tournament.

"Tuesday, we'll come back and talk about Saturday and forget Sunday."

Not totally, however.

"I write down things if we make certain type of mistakes, certain things we need to correct. Today, I have quite a few things written down," Thomas said.

North Alabama (37-14) scored three runs with two outs in the ninth off VSU closer Corey Wachman (1-2). Back-to-back grounders to shortstop Josh Veres (one a hit, another a throwing error) scored the tying and go-ahead runs. The last run scored on Eric Stiefel's passed ball.

VSU outhit UNA, 13-10, but made five errors to UNA's four.

But that wasn't the lone comeback. VSU took a 6-0 lead after three innings, but North Alabama scored four in the fourth and one more in the sixth to chase starter Josh Kitterman.

But with VSU leading 8-5 after six, North Alabama scored twice in the seventh, once in the eighth and three times in the ninth.

Sammy Watson led VSU with a 3-for-4, two-run day. John Martin (two RBI), Josh Grube and Stiefel each had two hits.

Douglas Hargett led UNA with a 3-for-5, two-run day, including a two-out single in the ninth. Bryan Swift (two RBI) and Jeff Cochran each had two hits. Nathan Bowden added three runs scored.

UNA's closer Jason Pischke threw five innings of relief after the first two Lions were ineffective. Matt Hancock (6-0) pitched the last 1 1/3 innings, including stranding two runners, to get the win.

North Alabama won the Gulf South East with a 14-5 record. Alabama-Huntsville, which swept West Alabama this weekend, is 13-6.

VSU, at 12-9, was two games ahead of West Florida, which was swept at West Georgia to finish 10-11.

West Georgia (9-11), Montevallo (8-12), West Alabama (8-13) and Lincoln Memorial (7-14) round out the league.



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