Written By: Chris Kessler
Valdosta State (21-14, 12-10) heads north on I-75 to take on bitter rival West Georgia (13-23, 7-13) in a crucial weekend series.
“West Georgia has got two real good arms that can beat anybody,” assistant coach Todd Guilliams said. “They’re playing at home, and it’s going to be tough for us.”
The Blazers are in the midst of a four-game slump.
“It always starts on the mound, and you have to play good infield defense,” Guilliams said. “I think the guys are aware of it. It’s just one of those things you have to execute.
“It gets in your head. We’re a little tentative and not confident, and we’re pressing on offense. We’re not in a good place, and we need to get out of it,” Guilliams said.
After being decisively swept by Gulf South Conference opponent Alabama-Huntsville last weekend, VSU is in serious need of some conference wins of their own.
Over the past couple of weeks, second basemen Matthew Fears has been on a tear and the one consistent for the Blazers; Fears is riding on an impressive 14-game hit streak. Fears has seen his batting average rise to .402, which is tops in the GSC.
Another consistent for the Blazers has been their ace pitcher, Dom DeMasi, who is projected to start one of the three games this weekend. DeMasi has truly been VSU’s workhorse this season, leading the team in innings pitched, ERA and strikeouts.
DeMasi has a 5-3 record to go along with his 2.40 ERA and 57 strikeouts.
VSU currently sits fifth in the GSC but could jump to third with a sweep and some help from others.
With just three weeks and six conference games remaining, the Blazers hope they can turn things around before the postseason and improve their conference standings.
“You don’t want to be seven or eight,” Guilliams said. “We won the tournament as fifth seed, but at the end of the day, we just have to play good baseball. At the end of the day, I just want to play good baseball−win or lose.”
This story was written by Chris Kessler.