VALDOSTA, Ga. – Marc Overstreet doubled home Alex Smith with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead Valdosta State to a 7-6 Gulf South Conference victory over Alabama-Huntsville in baseball action at Billy Grant Field Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, VSU improves to 21-14 on the year and 11-6 in league play while UAH falls to 24-19 and 13-8 in GSC action.
After Alabama-Huntsville scored a run in the top of the eighth inning to knot the game at 6-6, Smith opened the bottom of the frame with a double down the left field line. A sacrifice bunt moved the freshman to third before Overstreet doubled off the wall in left to drive him home for the winning margin.
Valdosta State got on the scoreboard first as it plated a run in the bottom of the second inning. Cameron Graves opened the frame with a single before a ground out moved him to second. Bryant Hayman followed with a single to put runners on the corners and executed a double steal with Graves that allowed the Blazer designated hitter to score for a 1-0 VSU advantage.
The Blazers added to their lead in the third inning without the benefit of a hit. Alex Smith was hit by a pitch to open the inning before Buster Jackson reached on a fielder's choice in which Smith beat the throw to second. Two batters later, Christian Glisson was intentionally walked to load the bases while a Graves ground out scored Smith to push the Valdosta State advantage to 2-0.
The Chargers claimed the lead in the top of the fifth inning as five of its first six batters in the inning tallied a hit. Justin Riddle singled to open the frame before Victor Kortbawi also tallied a base hit. Mike Love followed with a fielder's choice that retired Kortbawi, but allowed Riddle to score. A Jon McKinney single put two runners on base before Justin Pearson drove both home with a double. A Ty Chancelor single moved Pearson to third, allowing him to score on a double steal attempt. After a strike out, Eric Deese hit a fly ball into right-center field that saw VSU's Ryan Noelte and Buster Jackson run into each other to allow Chancelor to come home for a 5-2 UAH lead.
Valdosta State got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth. Graves and Noelte singled to open the frame before Austin Lawrence drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Steven Groves followed with a single up the middle that plated both Graves and Noelte to cut the Blazer deficit to 5-4.
VSU regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning as Overstreet hit his sixth home run of the year to open the frame before Glisson followed with his eighth roundtripper of the season to put VSU in front 6-5.
The Chargers pushed a run across in the top of the eighth inning to once again even the game up only to have Valdosta State turn a double play with Charger runners on first and third that kept the score knotted at 6-6.
Zach John came on in relief of VSU starter Spencer Butler and pitched 3.2 innings in relief while allowing six hits and two runs, one earned to improve to 3-1 on the season. Cody Barrett surrendered two hits and a run in the eighth to fall to 4-4 for Alabama-Huntsville.
After striking out in his first three at-bats, Overstreet ended up leading VSU offensively as he was 2-for-5 with two driven in. Graves and Hayman also tallied two hits each.
Valdosta State returns to action Tuesday, April 17 at 5:00 p.m. when it hosts Georgia College at Billy Grant Field.