Dalton Murray Walk-Off Double Gives VSU 7-6 Win Over Saint Leo

| April 13, 2017

VALDOSTA – A pitching duel transformed into a slugfest in an adventurous sixth inning, before extra-inning excitement led to a 10-inning 7-6 win for Valdosta State in South Region action on Wednesday on the turf of Billy Grant Field at Tommy Thomas Park in Valdosta, Ga.

Daniel Williams blanked the Lions for four consecutive innings to start the game, until a pair of hits and two costly errors led to a four-run half inning for Saint Leo. The Blazers didn’t allow SLU to hold the advantage for long, however, as the Blazer bats used three hits, one error, two walks, and a hit batsman to plate six and take a 6-4 lead.

After two consecutive walks by SLU’s starter Francis Ortiz, Chipper Andzel struck for Valdosta State’s first hit of the game in the eventful sixth inning, an RBI double down the left field line. The tally sparked the six-run surge, with Kendall Herron and Ryan Slaughter also chipping in with RBI singles during the frame.

Williams, who returned after the fifth inning to hold the Lions scoreless in the sixth, turned the game over to Roman Donofro, Dustin Hersey, and Beau Blair for the final three innings. Despite allowing the Lions to pull to within one at 6-5 in the eighth, the relief contingent preserved the lead into the ninth, before Alex Mata tied the game with a solo homer to dash Blair’s chance for a save.

Zach Whitaker blanked VSU in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings, before the Blazers held the Lions at bay with a joint effort by Cody Harwell and Quinton Forrester in the top of the tenth. The 6-6 tie set the stage for a dramatic finish, as Slaughter led off with an infield hit and moved into scoring position on a Tyler Homer sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Dalton Murray worked a full count with two outs, before he hammered a game-winning double into the right center field gap.

With the win, the Blazers improved to 25-14 overall, while the Lions dropped to 18-17 on the season. Forrester picked up the victory to lift his record to 3-0 on the year, and Whitaker took the loss to fall to 2-1.

The Blazers will return to action at home on Friday to open up a three game Gulf South Conference series against the West Georgia Wolves. First pitch for Friday’s twin bill is set for 3:00 p.m. at Billy Grant Field at Tommy Thomas Park.

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