VALDOSTA, Ga. – Alabama-Huntsville came from behind in game one while limiting the potent Valdosta State offense to just five hits in the second game as the Chargers swept a Gulf South Conference doubleheader 9-3 and 5-3 from the 28th-ranked Blazers at Billy Grant Field Saturday.
With the sweep, UAH improved to 24-18 overall and 13-7 in league play while VSU fell to 20-14 and 10-7.
After the pitching dominated the first four innings of game one, VSU's defense faltered in the fifth inning to allow the Chargers to score a pair of runs. Ty Chancelor reached via an error to open the inning before moving to second when a throw on a fielder's choice pulled Steven Groves off the bag. Another fielder's choice put runners at the corners before a balk drove home Chancelor. A failed pick-off attempt moved Chandler Brock, who reached on the fielder's choice, to third, allowing him to score on a ground out to give UAH a 2-0 lead.
After Austin Lawrence reached one a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth, Marc Overstreet evened the game as he hit a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left for his fifth home run of the year and a 2-2 tie.
The Blazers took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as Cooper Lemonds singled with one out before being lifted for pinch-runner Chaz Bagwell. A sacrifice bunt moved Bagwell to second, allowing him to score when Groves executed on a hit-and-run for a 3-2 Valdosta State lead.
Alabama-Huntsville took advantage of a passed ball two score its third unearned run of the game in the top of the seventh before plating its fourth when the leadoff batter in the eighth reached via error and scored. The Chargers closed out the game one scoring with five runs in the ninth.
Kevin Rogers went 8.1 innings for VSU and allowed six hits and five runs, only one of which was earned, while striking out two to fall to 3-3 on the year. Meanwhile, Drew Eiland allowed six hits and three runs while striking out three in 7.0 innings to improve to 5-3.
Lawrence led VSU with two hits in the game as the Blazers tallied eight in the contest.
Chancelor gave UAH the lead in game two when he opened the third inning with his sixth home run only to have the Blazers score a pair of unearned runs in the fourth to go ahead 2-1. Overstreet reached on an error to open the inning and advanced to second as Chrisitan Glisson singled for the first hit of the game for Valdosta State. A fly out allowed both base runner to advance a base before Ryan Noelte grounded to score Overstreet. A wild pitch brought home Glisson for the second run of the game for the Blazers.
The Chargers regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning as Chandler Brock drew a lead-off walk and was sacrificed to second before Mike Love also drew a walk. Justin Riddle drove Brock home with a hit while Jon McKinney singled home Love for a 3-2 UAH lead.
UAH got its final run in the top of the seventh while VSU added an unearned run in bottom of the frame.
Johnny Shuttlesworth allowed just three hits and two unearned runs in 6.0 innings of work to improve to 3-1 on the season. Meanwhile, VSU starter Pete Whittingslow gave up seven hits and four runs in 5.2 innings to fall to 4-3.
Groves tallied two hits in the game to lead the Blazers offensively.
The two teams conclude the three-game series with a single game beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.