VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State used a big fourth inning to defeat Flagler 6-3 in non-conference baseball action at Billy Grant Field Wednesday evening.
After the two teams battled to a scoreless tie through the first three innings, during which Valdosta State (10-10) left three men on base and Flagler two, the Blazers broke through for the game's first runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Jake Fields doubled to right to open the fourth and moved to third as Michael Gouge followed with a single down the right-field line. Cooper Lemonds drove Fields home with a sacrifice fly to center field. Gouge was thrown out attempting to steal second for the second out of the inning before Nick Rodda and Jake Montgomery drew walks. An error on a Hunter Thompson ground ball loaded the bases while Matthew Fears delivered a single to right that drove home both Rodda and Montgomery. Thompson moved to third on the hit and scored when Fears was caught in a run-down on a stolen base attempt to give VSU a 4-0 lead.
Fears tripled with two outs and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to push the Valdosta State lead to five runs while the two teams traded runs in the seventh.
Flagler (9-14) loaded the bases with no outs and scored on a sacrifice fly in the eighth and got a walk and a triple in the ninth to close out the scoring.
Fears had three hits and Gouge two to lead Valdosta State while Lemonds drove in two and had one hit.
Valdosta State returns to action Saturday, March 16 when it opens a three-game Gulf South Conference series against West Alabama at Billy Grant Field. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday followed by a single game at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.