TAMPA, Fla. - Valdosta State pounded out 14 hits and limited No. 2 Tampa to just four hits as the Blazers upset the Spartans 10-3 in non-conference baseball action at UT Baseball Field Wednesday evening.
Valdosta State (17-10) opened the scoring in the top of the second inning as the first four batters of the inning reached via a hit. Bryant Hayman opened the frame with a double before Michael Gouge singled. An infield base hit by Bobby Rice loaded the bases before Jayk Graham singled home Hayman for a 1-0 VSU lead.
Tampa (21-7) struck for all three of its runs in the bottom of the third inning. Casey Scoggins walked to open the frame before Giovanny Alfonzo doubled. Nick Flair followed with his sixth home run of the season to plate both base runners to put the Spartans in front 3-1.
The Tampa lead stood up until the top of the sixth inning when VSU struck for three runs. Hayden Jones singled to open the frame before Kevin Cruz hit his seventh homer of the year to knot the score at 3-3. Hayman followed with a double, one of three he had in the game, before Gouge doubled him home to put VSU in front 4-3.
The Blazers added two more runs in the seventh as Zac Goodno singled and scored on Jones' sixth homer of the year before scoring four more in the top of the ninth when Haymand and Gouge each doubled home two base runners.
Jones, Hayman and Gouge each had three hits in the game, with Gouge driving in three runs and Jones, Hayman and Cruz two each. Jared Stanley allowed just a hit and a walk while pitching the fourth and fifth innings to improve to 5-1 on the season. Overall, six VSU hurlers struck out nine UT batters.
Valdosta State returns to action this Saturday, March 28 when it opens a three-game Gulf South Conference doubleheader against Union. The Blazers and Bulldogs will play a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. Saturday followed by a single game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
*VSU Sports Information