PENSACOLA, Fla. - Jeremy Holcomb allowed just one hit through the first six innings, but it wasn't enough as Valdosta State fell 4-3 to No. 8 West Florida in Gulf South Conference baseball action at Jim Spooner Field Sunday afternoon.
Holcomb surrendered a walk in both the first and third innings before giving up a double in the fifth and three more walks in the sixth, before running into trouble in the seventh inning.
With VSU leading 2-0, Jeremy Bajdaun walked to open the bottom of the seventh before a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. Alex Greene provided a two-out double to score pinch-runner Andrew Rodriguez. Dustin Saulmon was intentionally walked and Drew Prichard singled home Greene to force Holcomb from the game. Benjamin Weil was greeted by a single from Kaleb Barlow that plated Saulmon before Josh Mann came on and hit a batter to load the bases while Michael Tomlinson drew a walk to score Prichard for the final West Florida run of the game.
Valdosta State (8-10, 0-5)) opened the scoring in the top of the first inning as Matthew Fears led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a ground out advanced Fears to third, Jake Fields singled him home to give VSU a 1-0 lead.
The Blazers added a second run in the second inning. Nick Rodda reached on an error to open the frame and successfully reached second on a fielder's choice on a sacrifice bunt. Another sacrifice bunt got Rodda to third, from which he scored on a Fears ground out.
After the Argonauts (15-3, 4-2) got their four runs in the seventh, Valdosta State got to within a run in the eighth inning. Bryant Hayman singled with one out and two batters later made it to third on a Michael Gouge single. A hit by pitch loaded the bases and Rodda drew a walk to force home Hayman to cut VSU's deficit to 4-3.
Gouge and Fears had two hits each to lead Valdosta State offensively. Holcomb surrendered three hits and four runs in 6.1 innings to fall to 3-2.
Valdosta State returns to action Tuesday, March 12 at 5:00 p.m. when it hosts Georgia Southwestern at Billy Grant Field. The game is a make-up for a contest postponed by rain earlier in the season.
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