ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A Valdosta State comeback fell just short as the Blazers fell 8-7 at No. 18 Flagler at Drysdale Field Wednesday evening.
The Saints (24-7) raced out to an early 3-0 lead as they scored two runs in the first inning thanks to a VSU error before adding another run in the second inning. Valdosta State (19-12) got a run back on Kevin Cruz sacrifice fly in the third inning, only to have Flagler add three more runs in the fourth, on a bases loaded walk and a double by Lorenzo Butler, to build its largest lead of the game at 6-1.
VSU stormed back in the fifth inning as it plated five runs in the frame. Mike Reed singled to open the fifth inning and stole second with one out in the frame. Bryant Hayman was hit by a pitch to reach base and executed a double steal along with Reed before Hayden Jones singled home the lead runner. Cruz followed with a single to plate Hayman before Jones scored on a Bobby Rice base hit. Jayk Graham singled to load the bases before Ryan Smith drew a walk to force home Cruz. Brandon Harmon followed with a sacrifice fly to score Rice and knot the game at 6-6.
Flalger regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as Andrew Brobeck was hit by a pitch to open the frame and moved to second when Andrew McMillen singled. A double steal moved both base runners up a base before Butler doubled both home with a hit to left-center.
The Blazers got a run back on a leadoff home run by Michael Gouge in the top of the eighth inning and got the tying run on when Cruz singled with two outs, but was unable to push the run across.
Jarod Stanley allowed three runs on four hits in 2.0 innings as he fell to 5-2 on the season. Jones finished the day 4-for-5 at the plate to lead VSU offensively while Cruz was 2-for-3 and Hayman 2-for-4.
Valdosta State returns to action Friday, April 3 when it travels to Huntsville, Ala. to open a three-game Gulf South Conference series at No. 7 Alabama-Huntsville.
*VSU Sports Information