VSU Baseball Senior Day Leads to 11-9 Win and Series Victory Over UAH

| April 11, 2016
source: VStateBlazers.com

source: VStateBlazers.com

VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State baseball team celebrated Senior Day with a series win after securing an 11-9 triumph over Alabama-Huntsville in the Gulf South Conference series finale on Sunday afternoon at Billy Grant Field.

The win marked the ninth in VSU’s last ten games and lifted the Blazers to 24-12 overall and 15-7 in GSC play. As a result, Valdosta State currently ranks third in the GSC, while UAH fell to sixth place and saw their record fall to 25-15 overall and 15-9 against league opponents.

The Blazers trailed early in the contest after Michael Fox reached with one out in the second inning on a fielder’s choice and moved into scoring position on a groundout to second base by Justin Cantrell. Parker Farley delivered a two out single to center, and Fox crossed one batter later as an unearned run after Ben Rhodes reached on a misplayed grounder at short.

Alabama-Huntsville’s lead was short lived, as the Blazers fired right back in the bottom half of the second with a clutch two-out double that drove home both Scott Mathews and Ryan Smith and gave VSU a 2-1 lead.

Although the contest turned into a bit of a slugfest from that point forward, the Blazers matched the Chargers along the way and did not relinquish their advantage. After scoring at least one run in three straight innings following the aforementioned two-run second, VSU gave themselves enough padding to survive two-run frames by the Chargers in both the fifth and the sixth innings.

Because the Chargers were held at bay throughout the remainder of the contest with solid pitching and some offensive help, senior Kyle Andre posted a memorable senior day and recorded his third win of the year to improve to 3-2. Meanwhile, UAH starter Heath McRae was handed the loss and dropped to 5-2. Andre finished the day with 5.2 innings of work and two strikeouts, while Troy Massaro, Colby Wisdom, Dustin Hersey, and Jaykob Graham teamed up to help seal the victory in relief. Graham earned the save after coming on in the ninth, which represented his first of the year.

The key frame for the Blazer bats came in the bottom of the eighth, when Dalton Duty doubled to right to spark a rally that included four runs on four hits and an error. The biggest blow of the frame was a two-run double off the bat of Ryan Slaughter, who finished the day 2-for-4 and drove in four of VSU’s 11 runs. His two-bagger crept into the right field corner, which followed an RBI bunt single by Scott Mathews just one batter prior and resulted in an 11-6 cushion for VSU.

The inning proved to be a critical one for Valdosta State, as UAH posted one final threat in the top of the ninth and scored three runs on four hits before Graham entered to slam the door.

Seniors Tyler York, Jaykob Graham, Colby Wisdom, Scott Mathews, Ryan Smith, Michael Gouge, Mitchell Cody, Kyle Andre, Kellan Bailey, and Sam McGovern were all recognized and honored as they were joined on the field by family members during a pregame ceremony.

Valdosta State now turns their attention to West Georgia for a three game conference showdown, scheduled to begin next weekend with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday in Carrollton, Ga.

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