Junior pitcher Benjamin Weil recorded four strikeouts and gave up zero runs in relief for the Blazers in their 4-2 victory over Georgia College in a non-conference match-up Tuesday night at Billy Grant Field.
“He was phenomenal,” said VSU head coach Greg Guilliams. “That’s one of the best pitching outings if not the best pitching outing that anyone in a Blazer uniform had this year. He just filled the bottom of the strike zone, he was really special.”
VSU improves to 22-14 while Weil picked up his fifth win of the year.
The Bobcats entered the game at the top of the Peach Belt Conference looking for their 26th win.
The score stayed deadlocked at zero until the fourth inning when the Bobcats got ahead.
Blazer pitcher Nick Fogarty was pulled from the game in fourth inning so he’ll be well-rested for the long weekend of road games.
The Blazers will need his arm facing West Alabama and Columbus State away from home.
Before Coach Guilliams made the sudden replacement, his starting pitcher was having a good outing only giving up three hits and no earned runs.
Nevertheless, the skipper brought in transfer Jarod Carlton early in the top half of the inning.
Carlton, didn’t stay on the mound for long giving up back-to-back hits allowing Georgia College to tally their two and only runs of the game.
“Jarod has been a little sore, his arm has been a little sore. I could just tell he wasn’t 100% and he’s pitched really well so we wouldn’t want him to be hurt so we got him out,” said Coach Guilliams.
Showing signs of lingering injuries, Guilliams waited no time to bring in his most reliable relief pitcher, side-armer Weil.
It was the second substitution of the side and it came in the matter of minutes.
Weil immediately made an impact striking out his first batter and managed to get out of the side leaving three base runners stranded.
The Blazers continued to struggle batting while Kaplan kept controlling the strike zone.
Kaplan finished the game with three strikeouts and gave up three runs.
VSU finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning.
After senior Christian Glisson and Cameron Graves were hit by pitches, Bryant Hayman recorded a double that drove in two runs to tie up the score at 2-2.
Senior lefty Matt Kaplan’s superb outing had come to an end and he was immediately replaced by Chris George.
Following the pitching change, Copper Lemonds knocked in a single.
Hayman scored on a close play at home plate after appearing to be out, but Bobcats catcher Benton Yaun committed an error by dropping the ball as the freshman catcher slid into the plate.
The decisive play went in the Blazers favor and put them up 3-2 heading into the seventh inning.
The Blazers extended their small lead in the bottom half of the eighth when Glisson singled then his pinch runner Buster Jackson stole second and was brought home by Hayman who got his second hit of the night.
Hayman was two for four and drove in two runs.
“I love my teammates, wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world,” said Weil.