No. 9 Valdosta State Baseball Hosts No. 25 Delta State Saturday, Sunday

| February 28, 2014

VSU-Baseball-2VALDOSTA, GA – Ninth-ranked Valdosta State looks to get back on the winning track as the Blazers hosts No. 25 Delta State this weekend in a three-game Gulf South Conference series.

Valdosta State enters the weekend with a 10-2 record, including a 3-2 mark in Gulf South Conference play, and will look to snap a two-game losing streak after dropping a pair of games at West Florida last season. Meanwhile, Delta State enters the weekend at 5-4 overall and 4-2 in GSC play, having gone 2-1 in each of its first two conference weekends.

Valdosta State has won 13 of the previous 22 meetings, including four of the six games played in Valdosta. Of the previous 22 meetings, seven of them came in a 23 day span last year, during which Valdosta State won four games and Delta State three. VSU won two of the three games played in Valdosta last year before also winning two games in the Gulf South Conference Tournament. The Statesmen closed the year by defeating the Blazers twice in the NCAA South Region Tournament.

Valdosta State currently leads the Gulf South Conference in batting average at .322 and has scored a league-high 109 runs. The Blazers have five players batting better than .300 on the season, led by the league’s top hitter, Mike Reed, who is currently batting .474. Matthew Fears, who has an 11 game hitting streak, is third in the GSC at .383 while Bryant Hayman, who bats .325, is leading the GSC in slugging percentage, RBI, total bases and home runs.

On the pitching front, Valdosta State is third in the GSC with a 2.34 team earned run average and leads the conference in opponents’ batting average at .217. Right-handed starter Dom DeMasi has gone 2-1 on the season and owns a 1.50 earned run average and has struck out 22 batters in 24.0 innings pitched. Fellow starter Josh Mann, a leftie, has gone 3-0 on the year and has a 1.31 ERA to go along with 21 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

Delta State bats .282 as a team, second only to Valdosta State in the GSC standings. The Statesmen have scored 43 runs on the year and have four players batting over .300. Dex Harrington, the reigning Gulf South Conference Player of the Week, is hitting .394 on the year, second in the conference to Reed, and is also second in the GSC in slugging percentage while ranking among the top 10 in runs scored, RBI, doubles, total bases and home runs

The Statesmen pitching staff is sixth in the Gulf South Conference in earned run average at 2.80 and fourth in the league in opponent batting average at .233. Senior right-hander Michael Manley leads the DSU pitching staff as he has gone 1-0 in two starts this year. He has a 0.64 earned run average and holds foes to a .176 batting average. Manley is also familiar with the Blazers as he started three of the seven games a year ago and tallied a 2-0 record, a 0.35 earned run average and held VSU to a .146 batting average. He allowed just 12 hits and struck out 18 batters in 25.2 innings.

Source: Valdosta State University Athletics

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