Valdosta State’s weekend struggles followed the Blazers as they fell to Albany State 10-6.
“Unfortunately this has been a reoccurring theme for us; we haven’t played well in what seems a couple weeks,” assistant coach Todd Guilliams said. “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot; it’s the same formula−bad defense and walks.”
In the first inning, VSU put up four runs on just one hit, an RBI single from Bryant Hayman. Two runs came from back-to-back walks with the bases loaded.
Despite the four runs, the Blazers missed out on an opportunity to break things open early.
“We didn’t hit the ball well tonight, certainly not with guys in scoring position,” Guilliams said.
The Blazers quickly returned the favor to ASU with several defensive and pitching mistakes leading to three runs.
With just two hits going into the fifth inning and falling behind 5-4, VSU’s bats began to wake up.
With two outs, the Blazers’ hottest hitter Matthews Fears came to the plate and lined a single just past the glove of the shortstop to drive in Bryant Hayman, who had just singled before, and tie the game at five runs a piece.
With the hit, Fears extended his hit streak to 14 games.
VSU was quick to lose the lead as a hit batter and error by first baseman Cooper Lemonds led to another Ram’s run.
“They have a lot of team speed, and a lot of our mistakes were because of their speed,” Guilliams said about VSU’s miscues.
However, it seemed like both teams were in the giving mood as Albany State quickly responded with an errant throw that allowed Michael Gauge to hustle all the way to third.
Catcher Clint Carr capitalized with a single to drive home a run and tie up the game 6-6.
The miscues for VSU continued in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Jarod Stanley hit an Albany State batter before giving up two hits and a total of four runs.
“(Jarod) Stanley has been the guy that’s saved five games for us, but tonight he just didn’t have it,” Guilliams said.
In the end the mistakes proved to be too costly, and the Blazers couldn’t muster up another run.
With the loss, VSU falls to 21-14 on the year.
This story was written by Chris Kessler.