CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Valdosta State scored six unearned runs, including two in the bottom of the 10th inning, to defeat No. 2 Delta State 6-5 in the second day of play at the Taziki's Gulf South Conference Tournament Friday evening.
After Jordan Chovanec tripled and scored on a Sam Kidd double to give Delta State (39-8-1) the lead in the top of the 10th, the Statesmen committed three errors in the bottom of the frame to allow Valdosta State (31-15) the two winning runs. Hunter Thompson and Daniel Hoover each reached on errors to open the VSU half of the before Thompson beat a throw to third on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Nick Rodda followed with a bouncer up the middle that was misplayed by Kasey Hinton at second to allow both Thompson and Hoover to score.
Delta State got a pair of runs in the top of the first inning to grab the early lead. The Statesmen loaded the bases with no outs in the frame before the next two batters popped up and struck out. However, a bases loaded walked forced home Chovanec and Hinton was hit by a pitch to plate Kidd for the 2-0 DSU lead.
The Statesmen bumped their lead up to 3-0 in the top of the seventh. Tyler Aldridge singled to open the inning and moved to second as Ricky Velez drew a walk. With one out in the frame, Aldridge stole third and scored as the throw down on the play glanced off the glove of VSU third baseman Michael Gouge and into left field.
After DSU added a run in the top of the seventh, Valdosta State evened the game with four unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth. Cooper Lemonds reached on an error to open the VSU half of the innings before Thompson drew a walk. A strike out and a pop up followed, but Rodda singled to score Lemonds and Jamie McMillan drew a walk to chase DSU starter Michael Manley. With the bases loaded, Bryant Hayman collected his second double of the game with a shot down the right-field line to score all three base runners and knot the game at 4-4.
Manley struck out eight batters and walked two while allowing four unearned runs in 7.2 innings while VSU's Jeremy Holcomb gave up seven hits as well as four runs, three earned, and struck out four in 7.1 innings.
Garrett Pickens gave up two unearned runs on a hit in 1.1 innings to fall to 2-1 while Benjamin Weil threw just one pitch and recorded the final out of the top of the 10th to improve to 6-2.
Valdosta State advances to Saturday's winner's bracket game against West Alabama, which is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.