April 18, 2003
The Valdosta State Blazers need a sweep of Lincoln Memorial this weekend for two reasons.
One is to keep the Blazers in the hunt for one of only three spots from the Eastern Division in next month's Gulf South Conference baseball tournament.
The second is a sweep will allow coach Tommy Thomas to become the winningest coach in NCAA Division II history with 1199 career victories.
Thomas got wins 1197 and 1198 thanks to some great pitching and clutch defense.
The Blazers won the first game of Friday's doubleheader 3-1 with starter Davey Covey striking out 11 Railsplitters in 8 2/3's innings.
In the second game, Adam Lingenfelter struck out eight more Lincoln batters in a five-hit shutout that Valdosta State won 5-0.
Former Darton College standout Scott Fletcher drove in three runs in both games on two hits and Sammy Watson had two hits and scored two runs in the second game.
Valdosta State (34-14, 11-6 GSC East) began the series in fourth place and one game behind West Georgia and West Florida and two games behind division leader Alabama-Hunstville.
The Blazers will try to complete the three game sweep at 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Billy Grant Field.
If they do, Coach Thomas will pass good friend John Scolinas in the NCAA record books.
Scolinas won 1198 games at Cal Poly Pomona.