VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State scored three runs in the first, third and seventh innings as the Blazers defeated Thomas University 11-3 in non-conference baseball action at Billy Grant Field Wednesday evening.
Valdosta State (19-25) jumped out to an early lead as it scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Chaz Bagwell singled to open the Blazer half of the frame and stole second before a ground out moved him to third. Bagwell scored on a wild pitch and, later in the frame, Cameron Graves hit a single that plated Bobby Triglia and Christian Glisson to give the Blazers a 3-0 lead.
Thomas (18-27) got a run back in the top of the second when Sergio Delgado was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, but VSU responded with three unearned runs in the third to push its advantage to 6-1. Graves and Josh Vining tallied run scoring hits for the Blazers in the frame while Ryan Noelte stole home for the third run.
Daniel Blanton led off the fourth with his first home run of the season and the Night Hawks added a RBI single from Delgado in the frame to cut its deficit to 6-3.
Valdosta State added two more runs in the sixth inning when Bagwell laid down a suicide squeeze with Joel Cardinal on second and Vining on third. Vining easily scored on the play while Cardinal also came home when a collision at first base between Bagwell and Mike Lane knocked the Thomas first baseman to the ground.
A Graves sacrifice fly and a two-run home run by Vining, his first round tripper of the year, in the seventh pushed the Blazer advantage to 11-3
Cason Mobley upped his record to 1-0 on the season as he gave up just three hits and struck out six in six innings of work. The Blazers pounded out 14 hits in the game, led by three from Vining, who also drove in three runs. Graves added two hits and four RBI while Bagwell, Glisson, Cardinal and John Willner all had two hits each.
Kurtis Mancauskas fell to 3-4 after allowing three hits and three runs in two innings of work. The Night Hawks tallied six hits in the game, led by two from Blanton, who also scored two runs.
Valdosta State returns to action Saturday, April 30 when it plays its final regular season series of the year. The Blazers host West Georgia in a three-game Gulf South Conference set at Billy Grant Field. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday followed by a single game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The VSU seniors will be honored before the Sunday contest.