MEMPHIS, Tn. (WALB) - The Valdosta State Blazers outscored the Bucs 15-7 during Sunday’s doubleheader on the road, coming away with a 6-0 victory along with a 9-7 win.
The Blazers (23-12, 21-11 Gulf South Conference) were led by Nick Lewis who finished the doubleheader with five hits during eight at-bats, driving in two runners.
Jakob Sessa finished the day with the most RBI as he tacked on three during the high scoring 9-7 game two win. The Blazers got off to a quick lead in game one, scoring four total runs in the first three innings where it kept CBU at zero. VSU was able to add one more in the sixth to push the lead to five as the Blazers defense continued to thrive, blanking the Bucs through eight innings.
Ryan Delnegro added one more run in the ninth to put it up to 6-0 as VSU completed the shutout to secure the win. CBU was able to get the first run of the game in game two, but VSU answered with two of its own runs to take the lead after the third. The Blazers exploded in the fifth where it added six runs to give VSU a comfortable 8-1 lead, where it eventually added one more off a Lewis homerun in the sixth. No lead is safe though as the Bucs added two runs in the seventh along with four in the eighth to cut the lead down to two.
Jakob Barker came in to try and get his sixth save of the season where he was able to do so, not giving up a single hit in the ninth. The pitching core was able to fan 16 batters, led by Tristan Cone who recorded eight while picking up his sixth win. In total, VSU recorded 25 hits off 73 at-bats as CBU was able to record 21 off 70 at-bats. VSU saw 17 of its runners stranded while CBU left 22 runs stranded on the base pads.
The Blazers finish the regular season next week with a weekend matchup against Alabama Huntsville Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2. Fans can access links to live stats, audio/video streaming and ticket information for the games at vstateblazers.com on the baseball schedule page.
VALDOSTA STATE 6, CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 0
The Blazers didn’t stop there though as Chase Coker ripped a single followed by an advancement to second off a passed ball. A sacrifice bunt moved Coker to third, but VSU took advantage of a Bucs throwing error which brought Coker home. Back-to-back sacrifice bunts following gave Ryan Delnegro the go-ahead to cross the plate, putting VSU up 3-0 after two quick innings. Neal kept the ball rolling by himself as he hit a deep shot towards right center which went passed the fence for a homerun, piling on VSU runs.
Now with four runs, the Blazers looked to control the game for the remainder of it while trying to add some insurance runs. It wasn’t until the sixth where either team could get a run on the board but VSU kept up from a Lewis sacrifice fly to give the Blazers a handful of runs. The Blazers continued to blank the Bucs in the run column with help from Cone who saw 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts, three walks and eight hits allowed. The Blazers continued to play great defense where it stranded 12 runners through eight innings. Now in the ninth, the Blazers were cruising to get its eighth-straight win which was led off by a Doskow single.
Coker was walked and both runners advanced a base off a passed ball, putting two Blazers in scoring position. Delnegro sent a high fly ball to right field which was enough to get Doskow across the plate for the Blazers sixth run.
Zach Henderson came in to try and finish the game off and got off to a good start, fanning the first batter. Two Bucs were able to get on base, but the Blazers took care of business and left both runners stranded.
VALDOSTA STATE 9, CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 7
For the first time in the series, the Bucs were able to get on the board in the second off a sacrifice fly after stranding two Blazers in the top of the inning. The Blazers felt no pressure, however, as Ben Rowdon started things off the following inning with a walk. Lewis smacked a double perfectly down the right field line to put two runners in scoring position with one out.
The Bucs were able to get a second out, but Sessa sent a single into right field which was enough to bring in both Rowdon and Lewis, jumping ahead 2-1 early. Neither team had anything going for them in the fourth, bringing up a big fifth inning for the Blazers.
Ralph Morla Jr. got things started with a single, followed by a Rowdon walk and Lewis single to jack the bases with no one out. CBU was able to get its first out off a pop up, but Sessa added a few more RBI to his name with another single towards right field, driving in two Blazers.
Logan Stephens followed in Sessa’s footsteps well as he was able to knock one into right field, sending Lewis across the plate. Still with just one out, the Blazers continued to hammer on as Jisjar Clotida got in on the action with a RBI of his own. A throwing error sent Stephens home from third, followed by a groundout to the shortstop which sent Clotida home.
The Blazers finished the fifth inning with six runs off of five hits and only left one runner stranded. Now down big, the Bucs were looking to get something going sooner rather than later. The fifth inning did no good for CBU as it only recorded one hit, bringing up the Blazers hot offense once again. VSU kept adding it on as Lewis hit a deep bomb to left field to put the Blazers up by eight with just four innings left. Another one hit inning for the Bucs left the team searching for more time to try and start a comeback, something it showed a glimpse of in the seventh as CBU was able to tack on two runs.
After a hitless eighth for the Blazers, CBU came back strong as it was able to send four runners across the plate to bring the Blazers lead to just a pair of runs at 9-7, putting the pressure on. VSU couldn’t add more insurance runs in the ninth, turning to its defense to try and get the job done. Barker came in for the save situation and struck out the first batter he faced. After giving up a walk, Barker remained lights out where he froze the next batter for out number two, followed by a groundout to secure the win and sweep for the Blazers.