VSU Baseball Picked to Finish Sixth in GSC Preseason Poll

| January 19, 2017

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State was picked to finish sixth in the Gulf South Conference this season in a preseason poll conducted amongst the league coaches, as announced by the GSC Office Wednesday.

The Blazers received 78 points in the preseason poll as a result of one second place vote, one third place vote, two fourth place votes, two fifth place votes, four sixth place votes, and one seventh place vote.

West Florida topped the poll with six first place votes, four second place votes, and a lone vote for eighth place. UWF’s 110 points narrowly eclipsed the defending GSC Champion Delta State Statesmen, who earned 109 points with five first place votes, three second place votes, and one vote for third, fourth, and fifth place. West Georgia picked up one or more votes in each position from first through sixth place for 94 points and a third place projection, while West Alabama and Alabama-Huntsville claimed fourth and fifth place finishes in the poll with 87 and 86 points, respectively. In seventh place, behind Valdosta State, Lee garnered 63 points, followed by North Alabama with 57 points. Mississippi College, Union, Shorter and Christian Brothers rounded out the preseason picks in the bottom three positions with 37, 34, 22, and 15 points, respectively.

Senior slugger Dalton Duty scored Preseason All-GSC recognition in the poll on the heels an All-Region junior campaign in 2016. Duty’s incredible performance last season led to a .416 batting average, which placed him fifth overall in the Gulf South Conference. The Palatka, Fla. native consistently represented one of the league’s top hitters throughout the season, and he finished ranked among the GSC’s best in slugging percentage (.652, 6th), on base percentage (.500, 5th), hits (68, T-9th) triples (3, T-9th), walks (31, T-5th), and stolen bases (14, 8th).

The preseason release by the GSC also included mention of several of the league’s top newcomers, and Pitcher Quinton Forrester and outfielder BJ White served as representatives for Valdosta State. Forrester is an Iowa City native out of Cowley County Community College. Standing at 6′-9″, the junior is expected to bring a dominating presence to Head Coach Greg Guilliams‘ pitching staff. Meanwhile, White joins VSU as an exciting addition to the Blazers’ outfield contingent. The Wallace Dothan Community College transfer out of Opelika, Ala. will begin his Blazer career as a junior this season.

Valdosta State’s 2017 preseason schedule is currently underway, as the Blazers prepare for the fast-approaching start of the upcoming campaign. The Blazers will open up their season at home on February 1st at home against the Albany State Golden Rams at 4:00 p.m. In addition, the annual Blazer Blast with both the baseball and softball teams is scheduled for Sunday, January 29th at Billy Grant Field and Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park. The event will take place from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. for kids ages 5 through 8th grade, and registration will begin at 1:15 p.m. at the main gate of Billy Grant Field. For more information on the Blazer Blast, CLICK HERE.

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