written by: Alex Tostado
No.21 Valdosta State (8-0, 2-0) baseball kept its bats swinging on Saturday against Shorter University (1-8, 0-2) in a Gulf South Conference doubleheader.
VSU swept the Hawks Saturday, taking the first game 10-0 in seven innings (GSC mercy rule) and won Game 2 3-1.
“I thought we swung the bats very well (in Game 1),” VSU head coach Greg Guilliams said. “Colton Cross (SU’s starting pitcher in Game 1) is good and I thought our guys had a really good approach at the plate; they weren’t chasing pitches and when they got pitches in the strike zone, they put some really good swings on it.”
Guilliams is pleased with his team’s offense but defense has been the most consistent.
“Our defense overall this year has been very good,” Guilliams said. “Yeah, we have scored a lot of runs, but if I had to say the thing that is most consistent right now, it is our defense. Good teams play good defense.”
Junior Blazer pitcher Dom Demasi earned his second victory of the season when he pitched a complete game with five strike outs, three walks and only gave up four hits.
“Our job as pitchers is to go out and give our guys the best chance to win and you kill yourself if you put people on base,” DeMasi said. “I have just been trying to compete and throw strikes and see how far they can hit it and it’s been working out in my favor lately.”
DeMasi now has pitched 17 2/3 innings in his three starts and has not allowed a run on a mere 12 hits.
“I just try to stay in rhythm, stay back and keep everything with a good flow,” DeMasi said.
On the offensive side for the Blazers, sophomore third baseman Michael Gouge got things started with his first career home run in the second inning. Gouge went 2-3 in the first game with three runs batted in and two runs scored.
The second game of the doubleheader was much closer as VSU won 3-1.
The Blazers bats cooled down in the second game as they did not score after the second inning of the game.
“(SU) pitcher did a really good job of slowing pitches up; he threw a lot slower,” Guilliams said. “The best thing to do against good hitters is (throw the ball slower). He was giving our guys some trouble. I don’t think we adjusted very well.”
Senior Blazer pitcher Josh Mann went 5 1/3 innings while striking out six Hawks and walking five and allowed one run. Mann improved to 3-0 on the season.