March 18, 2009

Blazers Rally in 9th, Defeat Saints 12-11 in Tenth

Box Score

DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia had the Blazers down to their last strike, but Valdosta State rallied to tie the game in the ninth before using a home run in extra innings to pull out a 12-11 10-inning victory over the Saints Wednesday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium.

The Saints fall to 15-13 on the season, while Valdosta takes the series and improves to 22-9 overall.

After Valdosta took the first-inning lead on a single up the middle by Matt Costello, the Saints came right back and put a three spot on the board with a Jordan Erisman three-run blast to right field, his third long ball of the season, to make it 3-1.

Valdosta State added single runs in the second and fourth innings, while North Georgia pushed across single runs in the second, third, and fifth frames to take a 6-3 into the sixth.

The Blazers came back and tied the game in the sixth with three runs on four hits as Brandon Decker drove in the first run with single up the middle to pull Valdosta to within a run at 6-5. Costello then singled up the middle again, this time plating Robbie Kuzdale to knot the game at 6-6.

North Georgia would explode in the sixth inning however, putting a five spot on the board and scoring all the runs with two outs in the inning. Andre Airich singled home Craig Brisson for the first run, while Zach Bennett and Logan Sharrett each drove home two runs in the five-run sixth to make it 11-6.

Valdosta pulled to within three runs in the seventh inning as Austin Smith unloaded with a two-run blast to make it 11-9, and the Blazers never gave up in the ninth, rallying to tie the game on two-out RBI hits from Kuzdale and Decker to send it to extra innings. In the tenth, Smith connected on his second long ball of the game, sending Valosta to a 12-11 extra-innings victory.

Matt Costello (5-0) picked up the win in 2.0 innings of relief work, while Justin Yackee (4-3) suffered the loss for the Saints, going 2.0 innings and giving up three hits and three runs while striking out two.

The Saints return to action this weekend, traveling to North Carolina to take on UNC Pembroke in a three-game series with the Braves in Peach Belt Conference action.