VSU Baseball Splits With No. 3 Delta State

| April 24, 2017

CLEVELAND, Miss. – The Valdosta State baseball team fell in game one, before bouncing back for a thrilling final-inning victory in the second game of the day to secure a Sunday split with the nation’s No. 3 ranked Delta State Statesmen in Gulf South Conference action at Harvey-Ferriss field in Cleveland, Miss.

A four-run seventh inning outburst by the Blazer offense, which included four singles and error, helped secure a much needed victory for Valdosta State and moved the team to 29-17 on the year, 16-13 in GSC play. The Statesmen, who saw a 13-game winning streak come to an end with the game two loss, slid to 35-9 overall and 23-6 against league opponents.

In the nightcap, Valdosta State opened up the game with five first inning runs, thanks to five singles and three walks. As a result, the Blazers chased DSU starter Tre Hobbs before the inning’s conclusion, and Brady Chambley’s two runs allowed in the top half of the second didn’t allow the Statesman lefty to reach the end of the second.

The effect of VSU’s seven early runs was softened by Delta State in the bottom of the first inning, when the Statesmen plated four runs of their own on three hits, the biggest of which was a two-run triple by Clay Casey.

Valdosta State’s 7-4 lead held until the bottom of the fourth, when Delta State used a leadoff single and three doubles in the half inning to score three runs and tie the contest up at 7-7.

The Blazers snapped a streak of four scoreless innings in the seventh with the aforementioned four-run outburst during an inning that saw VSU send eight batters to the plate. All of Valdosta State’s four hits in the inning were singles, which led to 12 hits overall in the game for the red and black.

Roman Donofro, who came on in the fifth inning for 1.2 innings of scoreless work, picked up the win to improve to 3-0 on the year. Meanwhile, closer Beau Blair secured his fifth save of the season after allowing just one Statesman run on two hits in the bottom of the final frame.

Delta State’s Corey Beard got plenty of help from the Statesman offense in game one, as DSU racked up seven runs on eight hits over the course of five innings against VSU’s Hunter Jones, who fell to 5-4 on the year with the loss. Beard’s win lifted his record to a perfect 6-0 on the season.

The fifth inning proved to be the ultimate dagger delivered by the Statesmen, as they racked up four runs in the frame. Three of the four runs came on extra base hits, as Brian Lane doubled home a run before Casey lifted a 1-1 pitch over the left center wall to put DSU up 7-1.

Freshman Tristan Cone came on in relief for the Blazers and held Delta State to just two additional runs in the final three innings, but it was little too late for the VSU offense, which was unable to produce another run after scoring an unearned run on a Delta State error in the top of the fourth.

Kendall Herron recorded a team-high three hits during the doubleheader, and his two successful stolen bases helped VSU secure their position among the nation’s top ten with 87 stolen bases. Herron currently accounts for 32 of those swipes, which places him second in the country among all DII players.

Valdosta State will aim to take the weekend road series in the finale, scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m.

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