Courtesy of VSU athletics:
VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State overcame three errors in the field to defeat West Alabama 11-5 in Gulf South Conference baseball action at Billy Grant Field Sunday afternoon.
West Alabama (16-13, 1-5) got on the board first without the benefit of a hit as it took advantage of two first inning errors by Valdosta State to score a run on a sacrifice fly by Deon Williams.
The Blazers (25-10, 5-1) evened the game in the bottom of the second as it jumped on an error by West Alabama. Jon Koenigsfeld singled with one out in the frame and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jordan Hollis proceeded to hit a single to center that was misplayed by Dallas Rodgers, allowing the ball to bounce to the wall. Koenigsfeld scored on the play and Hollis moved all the way to third, allowing him to score as Ryan Danbury followed with a single off the glove of Douglas Frazier at short to give VSU a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers evened the game in the third on another error by the Blazers. With one out, Brian Simone singled and moved to third on a two-out hit by Colin McKeen. Koenigsfeld followed with a fielding error on a Deon Williams ground ball, allowing Simone to tie the score at 2-2.
Jake Summers put Valdosta State back in front with his first home run of the year in the fourth inning. Three batters later Chris Jones reached on a fielding error and Danbury was hit by a pitch before both base runners scored on a double by Antonio Clark to give the Blazers a 5-2 advantage.
UWA cut its deficit to two runs in the sixth inning as Brian Simone drew a one out walk and stole second before scoring on a two-out single by Colin McKeen only to have VSU get the run back in the bottom of the frame when Koenigsfeld scored on a wild pitch. Clark followed with a single on a hit-and-run play that moved Danbury, who had walked on the wild pitch, to third. Decker proceeded to single to center and the ball was again misplayed by Rogers to allow both Danbury and Clark to score to give Valdosta State an 8-3 lead.
After a 50 minute delay for lightning, the Tigers took advantage of a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly to score their fourth run while VSU added two more runs, including the first home run of the year by Hollis, in the bottom of the seventh.
Decker added his 13th home run of the year in the eighth while Douglas Fraser hit an RBI single in the ninth for UWA to close out the scoring.
Luke Connell improved to 2-1 on the season as he allowed one hit and one run in two innings of relief. Kasey Nafzger fell to 3-4 after surrendering six hits and five runs, only two of which were earned, in three and two-thirds innings.
Decker finished with three hits and two RBI to lead VSU offensively while Clark and Hollis tallied two hits each.
Valdosta State returns to action Friday, April 2 when it travels to Carrollton, Ga. for a three-game Gulf South Conference series against West Georgia. The two teams play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 2:00 p.m. followed by a single game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.