by Chris Webb
Valdosta State (3-0) cruised to blowout victories in each game of Saturday’s double-header against Paine College (1-4).
Behind impressive hitting and dominant starting pitching VSU went on to win both games by a score of 15-0 and looked over-powering in all aspects of the game.
Starting pitcher Mitchell Cody and shortstop Mike Reed set the tone for the Blazers early and the team never looked back after that.
Cody (1-0) started the game retiring the first 7 batters he saw while striking out 4 of them on only 24 pitches.
The 6-foot-5-inch righty finished the day with 10 strikeouts, 1 walk, and only 1 hit allowed over 6.2 innings.
“I was dominant with my fastball and I like to pitch off that.” Cody Said, “They weren’t really catching up to it and when they were on fastball I was able to get a slider over for a strike. I was lucky to have success today after a lot of preparation this past week.”
“[It] was nice to see. Opening Day he looked a little nervous and I wanted to see him come back and throw like that today, that’s really more of who he is.” Head Coach Greg Guilliams said about his big righty.
Offensively Reed set the pace for the Blazer’s offense in the first inning with a 10-pitch at-bat leading off the game that ended with a double to deep center.
“I told him that may be as good an at-bat that we will see this year,” Guilliams said about his leadoff hitter. “By the end of the at-bat their pitcher was already looking frustrated out there.”
That double was the first of many hits as VSU’s 1-6 hitters finished the game 13-21 with 13 runs, and 12 RBIs.
Starting second baseman Hayden Jones’ hot start to the season continues as well.
Jones went 2-3 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBIs including his second homerun of the season on a second inning blast that made it a 9-0 game at the time.
Starter Kyle Andre picked up where game one starter Cody left off and looked unhittable all day.
Andre (2-0) went 6.0 innings allowing only 1 hit, and 5 strikeouts, while retiring his last 15 batters faced.
“Fastball was really working for me. I was able to come out and get ahead on the hitters and just let my defense behind me make the plays,” Andre said about Saturday’s performance.
“Kyle did such a good job of filling the strike zone up all day and I feel he got better as the game went on.” Guilliams said.
The bats didn’t disappoint in game two either as the Blazers crossed 15 runs on 14 hits.
The 2,3, and 4 hole hitters Michael Gouge, Bryant Hayman, and Hayden Jones combined to go 6-10 with 5 runs scored, and 4 RBIs.
VSU will look to make it four in a row to open the season when the series wraps up with game 3 Sunday.
First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.