Phonics 101 teaches that it takes three letters to spell the word “win.” Last night it took three runs surrendered, a few mistakes and one controversial call for the Blazers (3-8) to spell the word “loss.” The VSU baseball team gave up a nail-biter, 3-1, to No. 3 Georgia College and State (9-2), Wednesday night.
Right fielder, Antonio Clark, scored the lone run in the second inning. The senior was hit by a pitch; he then followed by stealing second and third bases, finally scoring on a sacrifice fly by center fielder John Willner.
The GCSU Bobcats scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth when VSU righty, Kyle Teague, gave up a bases-loaded walk to Bobcat’s third basemen, Travis Echols. In the GCSU ninth, the Bobcats scored a controversial insurance run. Righty, Brett Kennedy, came in for relief and walked leadoff batter Ikaika Anderson.
In an attempt to pick off Anderson, Kennedy was called for a balk, sending the opponents’ DH to second base. VSU head baseball coach, Greg Guilliams, argued the call, but to no avail. He remained in the game.
“The umpire missed the call and he knew he missed it,” Guillams said of the balk. “Because, if he had not known he missed it, he would have probably thrown me out of the ball game. Because, I was not going to leave the field and when I told him he missed it, he said ok.”
Anderson later advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and then scored the third run on a single by GCSU’s right fielder Shawn Ward. The controversial call and run had some VSU fans up in arms, but the arm that gave it up, said it was his unique and little known pick-off style that may have confused the umpires.
“I know it’s not a balk, but a lot of the umpires in our league don’t, they haven’t seen it much, it’s kind of a unique pick-off move,” Kennedy said. “I know I didn’t, but it really doesn’t matter what I know, it’s what he called.”
It was more than a debated balk that contributed to the Blazers’ doom. VSU designated hitter, Christian Glisson, said of the loss, “We didn’t get timely hits, we had a couple opportunities to break it open and things didn’t fall our way, we walked too many people, I mean they only had three hits and we still didn’t manage to win the game.”
Last night’s loss comes on the heels of last weekend’s series against Nova Southeastern. The Blazers dropped two of three against the Sharks, losing the first game 6-10, the second 2-3, but salvaging the third 14-1.
In game one, the Blazers’ offense was powered by the bats of second basemen, Joel Cardinal, third basemen, Bobby Triglia and right fielder, Antonio Clark. Cardinal, who homered, went 2-5 with 2 RBI’s and scored two of the Blazers’ runs. Clark went 1-5 with 1 RBI, his first home run of the season. Triglia batted 3 for 5, with one RBI and scored one run.
Game two, Cardinal and catcher Josh Vining both went 2-5 with 1 RBI each. Second basemen, Marc Overstreet and third basemen, Bobby Trigilia, scored those runs. Left-handed pitcher, Spencer Butler, took the loss.
The Blazers scored two touchdowns worth of runs in game three, crossing home plate 14 times. They were equally efficient on the mound and field as well, allowing NSU to score only one run.
Starting pitcher, Kyle Teague, got his first win of the year, lasting 5.2 innings and fooling NSU hitters with nine strike outs. He allowed one run on four hits and two walks. Sparking the Blazers’ stellar offensive effort was catcher Christian Glisson. The UGA transfer went 3-4, hitting his second home run of the season, scoring four runs and batting in four.
VSU hosts Tampa in a three game series this weekend. Game one is Friday at 5 p.m. The remaining two are a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.