Lee Baseball Splits With Valdosta State

  • Saturday, February 24, 2024
Lee University exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and went onto a 10-5 victory over Valdosta State University in the opening game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Larry Carpenter Stadium. The Blazers came back to claim the second game 8-1, but the Flames still captured the three-game series 2-1.

Lee improved to 4-2 in GSC play and 10-5 overall. Valdosta State stands at 2-4, 7-5. The Flames do not have a mid-week game scheduled but will return to conference action next weekend, traveling to Carrollton, Ga.
for a three-game series against the Univerdsity of West Georgia.

Lee 10, Valdosta State 5 The Flames sent 11 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the fifth inning to seal the victory in Saturday’s opener. Riley Black had two hits in the inning that included his first homerun of the year. JJ Williams also ripped his fourth homer in the frame while Dylan Standifer, Brandon Daniels and Luke Collier posted two-base hits. Daniels, Collier and Williams knocked in a pair of runs.

Matthew Batts and Josiah Miller joined in with singles. Miller also had two RBI while Standifer, Daniels, Batts, Miller, Collier and Black scored in the inning.

Lee’s two other runs came in the bottom of the second inning. Batts, who finished with a perfect 3-for-3 day and two runs scored, was hit by a pitch. Miller singled, Collier followed with a sac fly that plated Batts and Williams posted the final RBI of the inning when his hit scored Miller.

The Flames collected 13 hits. Batts’ double and two singles was followed by two hits each by Miller, Collier, Williams and Black. Keegan Gagliardo (1-0) was the starting and winning Lee pitcher. Over 6.2 innings, he allowed six hits, one earned run, fanned seven and walked one. Ty Cobb came on for 2.1 frames and gave up a hit and one run.

The Blazers were led by Dennis Pierce with a homerun and a RBI single. Pedro Moreno had a single and double and scored two runs. Jovanni Canegitta followed with a one-base hit and a homerun while David Crawford scored the other run for Valdosta State after reaching on an error in the third inning.

Anthony Martens was the starting and losing Blazers pitcher. Over 4.1 innings he surrendered nine hits and allowed seven earned runs. JJ Finn and Ryan Brown followed Martens to the mound while Brown worked three solid innings, allowing two hits and no runs.

Valdosta State 8, Lee 1 It was a different story in the second game as the Blazers took control by scoring four runs in the third inning, a single run in the fifth and then putting three big insurance runs on the board in the seventh.

No player had more than one hit for Valdosta State and only one of those went for extra bases. Moreno and Canegittaposted two RBI apiece in the victory while Crawford doubled in the sixth inning. Pierce scored two runs and also collected a RBI for the Blazers. Jacob Harper got credit for a RBI after he was walked with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. In that frame the Flames were guilty of four free passes.

Valdosta State called on five pitchers in limiting the Lee hitters to only four hits. Keaton Fuller (2-1) was the third pitcher of the day for the Blazers. In two innings, he did not allow a hit or a run and was credited with the win. Nick Ferrara pitched an inning and Trent Lewis hurled the final frame for the Blazers.

Standifer had a hit and scored Lee’s run in the loss. Batts doubled and drove in Standifer. Black singled in the second inning and the Flames did not have another hit until Williams had a one-base hit in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Flames used six pitchers in the loss. Nelson Smith (2-1) was the starter and loser. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing three hits, three earned runs, two walks and two strikeouts. Zachary Lawson followed Smith. In 2.1 innings he gave up an earned run and walked two. Colt McKibben was the final Lee pitcher of the afternoon. The lefty was strong again. He retired two hitters and allowed a hit and no walks. All totaled, Lee pitchers allowed seven walks and collected five strikeouts. Lee’s usual strong defense was guilty of two costly errors.

Coach Mark Brew’s thoughts:

”Anytime you take two of three against a great team like Valdosta it’s an accomplishment. We didn’t play a great game in game two, but we played tremendously in the first two games. Keegan gave us a great performance in game one and the offense did a great job getting the big inning. Our defense was uncharacteristically loose today, and we need to tighten that back up heading into next week. We will work on some things and get ready to go against a really good West Georgia team on the road.”
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