VALDOSTA, Ga. - Albany State scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to defeat Valdosta State 10-6 in non-conference baseball action at Billy Grant Field Wednesday evening.
The first six ASU batters of the eighth inning reached base as Hector Carraquillo drew a walk to open the frame before Ryan Latner reached on an error. Reise McDaniel followed with a bunt single before Jacob Campbell was hit by a pitch to force in Carraquillo. Robert Latner followed with a two-run single while Allen Hardy also collected a run-scoring base hit for the fourth run of the inning.
Valdosta State (21-14) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as the first five batters of the inning reached base. Hunter Thompson reached on a fielding error to open the frame before Mike Reed drew a walk. Bryant Hayman hit a seeing-eye single through the right-side of the infield to bring Thompson home for the first run before Matthew Fears drew a walk to load the bases. Kevin Cruz also walked to force home Reed before a fielder's choice retired Hayman at home. Following the fielder's choice, Jimmy Dowdell walked to score Fears while Cooper Lemonds hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Cruz and give VSU a 4-0 lead.
Albany State (25-15) got three of runs back in the top of the second inning with the use of four singles. Robert Latner singled to open the frame before a sacrifice bunt moved him to second. Joseph Virgo followed with a single to drive him home and proceeded to steal second before moving to third on an error on the stolen base. Two batters later, Jeromy Arrington singled Virgo home and advanced to third on a pair of passed balls before scoring when Carraquillo hit an infield single that cut the ASU deficit to 4-3.
The Golden Rams took the lead in the fifth inning as they collected three more hits in the frame. Cambpell singled to open the frame before Latner reached on a bunt hit. After a ground out moved both runners up a base, Virgo singled home Campbell while Latner scored the go-ahead run on a Sable Gilliard sacrifice fly to give ASU a 5-4 lead.
The Blazers responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth as Hayman singled and stole second before scoring on a Fears base hit while the two teams traded unearned runs in the sixth inning.
Hayman was 4-for-5 with three stolen bases, a run scored and an RBI to lead Valdosta State offensively while Jared Stanley fell to 2-2 after allowing four runs, three earned, without recording an out in the eighth.
Theodore Tramontana improved to 1-0 on the season as he did not give up a hit in 1.2 innings pitched while Virgo and Robert Latner each had three hits for Albany State.
Valdosta State returns to action Saturday when it opens a three-game series against Gulf South Conference foe West Georgia. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m. followed by a single game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.