Sunday Sweep Caps off Perfect Weekend for VSU Baseball

| April 4, 2016

vsu baseball

CLINTON, Miss. – It took one extra inning than the Valdosta State baseball team anticipated, but the Blazers used the extra frame to score the one run they needed to cap off a weekend sweep over Mississippi College on Sunday, with a pair of wins (5-0, 7-6) over the Choctaws in Gulf South Conference baseball action in Clinton, Miss.

Clint Carr continued his outstanding week for the Blazers (22-11, 13-6 GSC) in game one and teamed up with Cliff Bryant for a pair of home runs that bookended a five-run stretch in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. The offensive output late in the contest provided all the help needed for Kellan Bailey, who tossed his third complete game and second shutout of the season to secure the win and improve to 6-3 on the year.

Bailey’s effort on the hill in game one included just one strikeout on the day, but the senior kept the Choctaws off balance throughout his nine innings of work and allowed just five hits.

Scott Mathews and Bryant were the only Blazers to connect for multiple hits in the first game, but eight different Blazers hit safely in the contest.

Game two belonged to Mississippi College (12-19, 5-15 GSC) throughout the first four innings, as starter Troy Massaro allowed seven hits and three earned runs in 3.2 innings of work.

The Blazer bats overcame the 3-0 deficit in the fifth, however, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring six runs on five hits and one error.

The critical surge in the fifth began with a Ryan Smith walk, before the Choctaws botched a double play attempt on a David Wortham grounder to second base. Wortham advanced to second on the errant throw by the MC shortstop and Matt Saliba followed with an RBI double to left center field. The two-out rally continued with Mathews, who drove home Saliba with a base hit to center field before Dalton Duty walked. Tyler York, who hit over .534 on the week with nine base hits in 17 at bats, singled through the left side for another RBI, and Marcus Sigmon singled home another run after a Bryant walk. Smith capped off the decisive frame in the ensuing at bat with an RBI double down the left field line to give VSU a 6-3 advantage.

Mississippi College narrowed the deficit in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs, and a leadoff walk by Dustin Hersey in the seventh proved costly, as the Choctaws sacrificed the runner to second base before he moved up on a passed ball and scored on a squeeze play two batters later to tie the game at 6-6.

Sigmon led off the top of the eighth inning with a single and Smith executed a sacrifice bunt to move Sigmon into scoring position. It appeared that the Blazers’ had squandered an opportunity when Sigmon was cut down at third on a grounder to short off the bat of Carr, but Carr reached on the play, and Chipper Andzel came through with his first hit of the day, an RBI double to left center.

Andzel’s extra base hit proved to be the game winner, as Beau Blair came on in the bottom half of the extra inning to retire the Choctaws in order. Blair’s eighth inning effort earned the junior his first save of the season and helped give Hersey the win, his first of 2016.

Valdosta State now turns their attention to a big home series next weekend against Alabama-Huntsville in Valdosta, Ga. The series is slated for an opening doubleheader on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and will feature a special recognition of Coach Tommy Thomas, who was announced as an inductee into the 2016 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Class and will throw out the first pitch prior to Saturday’s series opener.

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