Valdosta State Falls to Florida Tech, 9-5

| February 15, 2016


MELBOURNE, Fla. The Florida Tech bats came alive on Sunday, connecting for 15 hits en route to a 9-5 non-conference regional win over the Valdosta State baseball team in the second of two games on the weekend for the Blazers in Melbourne, Fla.

Valdosta State took an early lead in the contest after leading off the game with a Scott Mathews homer in the first at bat of the afternoon. Michael Gouge delivered the second half of Valdosta State’s one-two punch in the first after following suit with another long ball to left center to put the Blazers on top 2-0 just two batters into the contest.

Two innings later, Mathews and Gouge teamed up again with a double and single, respectively, which set the table for Dalton Duty, who lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Mathews for Valdosta State’s third run.

Facing a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the third, the Panthers turned the tables with a four-run inning that put FIT up by one. The frame began with a leadoff bunt single before Blazer starter Kellan Bailey retired the next two batters. Florida Tech strung together three straight two-out hits to bring each of the fourth inning runs across, however, including a two run homer off the bat of first baseman Grant McKown.

Two additional runs in the fourth, followed by an insurance run in the sixth and two more in the eighth, negated Valdosta State’s two runs in the top half of eighth and put a damper on a day in which Mathews and Gouge collectively teamed up for five hits in nine at bats with two RBI’s, two homers, and four runs scored.

The loss, suffered by Bailey (1-1) for his first of the year, evened up VSU’s season series against the Panthers at 1-1 and dropped the Blazers to 6-2 overall. Meanwhile, Brett Porter (1-1) picked up the win for FIT and improved his team’s record to 4-5 overall on the 2016 season.

The Blazers return home this week for a midweek showdown against Georgia College and State, scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. start on Wednesday at Billy Grant Field in Valdosta, Ga.

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