VALDOSTA, Ga. – Sophomore left handed pitcher Taylor Keinat pitched six solid innings and struck out six batters Sunday afternoon, but Valdosta State University was able to end its own Comfort Suites Classic with a 6-2 win over the University of North Georgia at Billy Grant Field.
The Saints (0-3) return home for a three-game series with King College (TN) still searching for the first win of the season while Valdosta State ends the three-day tournament with a 2-1 record. The series with King will be contested from Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 10.
Both Brett Wright and Tremayne Toorie recorded two hits with Toorie having the most productive afternoon for North Georgia, which registered eight hits on the afternoon. Toorie went 2-3 at the plate and scored one of the Saints' two runs while Cameron Crawford scored the other run.
Four Blazers finished the afternoon with two hits including Nick Rodda going 2-3 with an RBI and Michael Gouge going 2-4 with two runs batted in and another run scored.
The Blazers got things started early in the bottom of the first inning with two runs to go up 2-0, but North Georgia battled hard in the top of the next frame and threatened to score with bases loaded off three straight singles by Wright, Toorie and John LaMay. But Valdosta State's defense remained solid to avoid giving up a run.
After Valdosta State scored another run in the sixth inning, Edwin Arias knocked Toorie in from third with an RBI groundout to first base.
The Saints then pulled within one run in the very next inning when Wright sacrificed himself in a pickle while Crawford streaked home, but Valdosta State replenished its lead with three more runs in the bottom of the inning, giving the Blazers breathing room heading into the final half inning.
Keinat suffered his first loss of the season in six innings of work while Jeremy Holcomb was awarded the win. Dom Demasi came in to pitch 2.2 innings to earn his first save of the year with two strikeouts compared to giving up two hits and just one run.