Upsets Prevail In Gulf South Openers

No. 1 Delta State Lone Favorite To Advance

Thursday, May 2, 2013
    Top seeds were falling like trees in a tsunami Thursday night at AT&T Field in the opening round of the Gulf South Conference baseball tournament, being played in Chattanooga for the first time.

    Each upset seemed more dramatic than the one before it, as No. 6 seed West Alabama doubled No. 3 West Florida 6-3 in the first round game, followed by No. 7 West Georgia doubling No. 2 Alabama Huntsville, 2-1. A 12-inning marathon followed, with No. 5 Valdosta State eking out a 4-2 win in 12 innings.

    As the tournament rolled merrily past midnight, top-seeded Delta State avoided the upset trend, defeating No. 8 Christian Brothers 9-3.           

    Friday's schedule begins bright and early at 9 a.m. (Eastern) with one of the top three seeds to be the first to go home. No. 2 seed Alabama Huntsville takes on No. 3 West Florida in a losers bracket contest. Following that at noon Eastern is the winner bracket battle between Cinderella wannabes West Alabama and West Georgia, seeded 6th and 7th among the tournament's eight teams.

    At 3 p.m., No. 4 North Alabama tries to rebound from its Friday loss against Christian Brothers. The day will end at 6 with Delta State meeting Valdosta State.

No. 6 West Alabama 6, No. 3 West Florida 3

    Three unearned runs in the eighth inning broke a 3-all tie and began the tournament with a big upset. Mathew Magee had a 3-run triple for West Alabama in the second inning.

West Alabama    030    000    030    --    6    6    3
West Florida    000    020    100    --    3    7    3

    WP: Brett Ivey (W, 4-4), Jeremy White (Save, 6). LP:   Kevin Peters (3-1).
Highlights: Mathew Magee (WA) 1-4, 3 RBI; Adam Chamble 2-3, R; Drew Prichard (WF) 2-5, 2 RBI. Records: West Alabama (22-28), West Florida (34-11).

No. 7 West Georgia 2, No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville 1

    The only error of the day by UAH led to the decisive run scoring in the fifth as game two of the tournament was an even bigger upset. Second baseman Tyler Landom had three of West Georgia's 11 hits.

West Georgia         000    110    000    --    2    11    1
Alabama-Huntsville    000    000    010    --    1    7    1

    WP: Jamie Sexton (9-4).; Max Aeschlimann (Save, 8). LP: Andrew Busby (6-4). Highlights: Tyler Landom (WG) 3-4; T.J. Eifert 2-4, GWRBI; Chandler Brock (UAH) 1-3, R, SB. Records: West Georgia 25-22; Alabama-Huntsville 33-14-1.

No. 5 Valdosta State 4, No. 4 North Alabama 2 (12)

    Fifth-seeded Valdosta State made it 3-for-3 for lower seeds winning first-round games in dramatic fashion.  Valdosta tied the game in the ninth on leadoff man Nick Rodda's bases-loaded walk with two out. Rodda also began the 12th with a leadoff double, but the big hit was Jake Fields' two-run single. The hit snapped an 0-for-5 night for Fields.

Valdosta State    001    000    001    002    --    4    10    2
North Alabama    010    010    000    000    --    2    7    0

    WP: Benjamin Weil (5-2). Nick Fogarty (Save, 1). LP: Brantley Claunch (1-2). Highlights: Nick Rodda (VS) 1-4, R, RBI, HBP; Ben Weil 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Records: Valdosta State 30-15; North Alabama 27-20-1.

No. 1. Delta State 9, No. 8 Christian Bros. 3

 Delta shortstop Josh Crowdus was a perfect 3-fof-3 with two RBIs and the Christian Brothers defense committed four errors to ease Delta State past the round of upsets. Delta State starter and winner Josh Branstetter struck out 12 in only seven innings.

Christian Brothers  001 000 020 -- 3   8   4
Delta State               010 400 22x  -- 9  10  0

WP:   Josh Brranstetter (8-2). LP: Michael Lartigue (0-1).  Highlights: Josh Crowdus 3-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Kasey Hinton 2-4, 2 R, RBI; Caleb Goodwin (CB) 2-3 2 2B, R. Records:  Delta State 37-9-1; Christian Bros. 9-36.

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