DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team ran into the bats of Valdosta State University on Wednesday evening, as the Blazers pounded out 15 hits and five home runs to take down the Saints 15-6 at Bob Stein Stadium in non-conference action.
The Saints lose their fourth straight game, falling to 17-10 on the season, while Valdosta State snaps a three game skid of their own, improving to 10-16 on the year.
The blazers jumped on the Saints early as North Georgia starter Hunter McGilvray walked the first two batters of the game and then surrendered a three-run blast to left field off the bat of John Willner to give Valdosta State a 3-0 lead. They would add one more run later in the frame taking a commanding 4-0 lead after half an inning of play.
The North Georgia bats answered came out firing in the first inning as two hits and a walk loaded the bases for Troy Snitker who fell down in the count 0-2, but the junior watched four straight pitches miss the zone to walk in a run.
After Brad Hall grounded out to plate Derek Hooper and make it 4-2, Chad Sage returned from injury after missing 17 games and singled through the right side, plating Hall and Bellavance to knot the score at 4-4.
It was all Blazers from there however, as VSU scored two runs in the second frame, two in the fourth, five more in the fifth, and single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
The five-run fifth inning featured two of the Blazers' five home runs on the day as Aaron Kicklighter connected on a two-run blast, and Christian Glisson followed with a three-run bomb to send Valdosta State racing out to a 13-4 lead.
The Saints added a single run in the sixth inning off a Dustin Carpenter solo home run down the left field line, and Hall tallied another RBI, this time a single to left field in the eighth inning to cap the scoring as the Blazers picked up the 15-6 victory.
Tyler Wooten (1-0) was the winner for Valdosta State, lasting 5.1 innings and giving up just one run on two hits, while striking out 10 North Georgia batters. Steven Groves tallied a three-inning save and added three more strikeouts to the mix.
Five North Georgia pitchers took the mound, but Michael Patton suffered the loss, allowing five runs on three hits in 3.0 innings of work.
The Saints return to action over the weekend in another Peach Belt Conference series on the road, traveling to Lander University for three games against the Bearcats. First pitch is set for Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.