VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State Blazers scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to claim a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Eagles of Embry-Riddle on Thursday afternoon at Billy Grant Field in Valdosta, Ga.
The Blazers immediately jumped out to a convincing 3-0 advantage over the Eagles and maintained the lead for the first six innings. However, Embry-Riddle eventually found their rhythm and used four VSU errors to rattled off three runs and take a 5-3 lead after six.
In the bottom of the seventh with runners on second and third, Tyler Homer came up with a huge single down the right field line to send both runners home and knot the game up at 5-5. The addition of four Eagle errors, combined with five Blazer hits, helped cap off VSU’s five-run inning and put VSU on top, 8-5.
Christopher Medina fired back for the Eagles with a leadoff triple in the eighth inning, and he came in to scor after Justin Franklin singled through the right side for an RBI. The Eagles kept their bats alive and cut the deficit to one, as Kyle Guttveg singled to center field to drive in Franklin.
Kendall Herron single-handedly gave the Blazers insurance in the bottom of the eighth, when he led off the inning with a walk and proceeded to swipe both second and third base. A wild pitch moments later allowed Herron to cross without the benefit of a hit, and the run proved to be critical after ER threatened with one final run of their own in the top of the ninth. Troy Massaro managed to limit the damage in the inning, however, by striking out the final batter to strand the tying run at first.
For VSU, Luke Suchon tallied two hits in three at-bats with one RBI. Homer and Elias Macias each added two RBI’s on the night. Massaro captured the save on the hill, while Quinton Forrester picked up the win on the mound.
With the victory, the Blazers advanced to 7-2 on the overall season. Meanwhile, Embry-Riddle dropped to their overall record to 3-4.
Valdosta State will begin conference play as they face off the Bucs of Christian Brothers in a Gulf South Conference contest on Saturday. The double-header is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. EST in Memphis, Tenn.
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