VALDOSTA, Ga. – Saint Leo took advantage of eight Valdosta State errors to defeat the Blazers 9-3 in non-conference baseball play at the Comfort Suites Classic at Billy Grant Field Sunday afternoon.
Valdosta State (1-2) opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning as it plated a single run. Austin Lawrence opened the frame with a walk and moved to second on a balk. Cooper Lemonds followed with a single that advanced Lawrence to third, allowing him to score on a Bruce Jackson ground out.
Saint Leo (3-0) took advantage of a pair of walks and two Blazer errors in the third inning to take a 3-1 advantage. Dillion Vitale drew a walk to open the inning before a pair of singles loaded the bases. VSU just missed getting out of the inning as Ryan Brnovich lined into a double play that was just inches away from being a triple play. Chris Newcomb followed with a walk to once again load the bases while a wild pitch allowed Rawdow to score. The throw to the plate by Christian Glisson on the wild pitch hit Rawdow and bounced away, allowing Brendan Collins to score. Anthony Santa proceeded to hit a ground ball to shortstop, but the throw from Zachary Rios eluded Lemonds to allow Newcomb to come home.
Glisson hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the third to pull the Blazers to within a single run, only to have the Lions score three more runs in the fifth as the first four batters of the inning singled. Newcomb provided the big hit in the frame as his single plated both Torres and Brendan Collins while a Zach Miller ground out scored Brnovich for a 6-2 SLU lead.
A Marc Overstreet double in the sixth scored Chaz Bagwell to pull VSU within three runs, only to have Saint Leo respond with a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Glisson and Graves each tallied two hits to lead VSU offensively while Kevin Rogers took the loss while allowing seven hits and six runs, four earned, in five innings of work. Rogers also walked three batters while striking out seven.
Torres and Collins finished with three hits each to lead Saint Leo while Rawdow and Brnovich had two apiece. Shaun Gough picked up the victory as he surrendered three hits and one run while striking out five in four innings of relief.
Valdosta State returns to action Wednesday, February 8 at 5:00 p.m. when the Blazers host in-state rival Albany State in Billy Grant Field.