The University of West Alabama baseball team picked up its third Gulf South Conference series win, as the Tigers (26-10, 7-2 GSC) turned back Valdosta State 4-2 in the rubber game of the series at Tartt Field on Sunday afternoon.
UWA held off a ninth inning rally by the Blazers (19-19, 3-3 GSC) after jumping out 4-0 in the early going of the game.
The Tigers posted two runs in their first at bat to gain the early advantage. Daryl Brown, who led off with a walk, advanced to second on a Clark Humber ground out and later moved up to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Thomas Tripp. Rob Dahlberg would place runners at the corners with one out as he was hit by a Tripp pitch.
Jake DeRoy singled through the left side to score Brown and placed Dahlberg at second. Tres Avans then reached on an error by shortstop Justin Huff to load the bases. Clint Moody followed reaching on a fielder’s choice that scored Dahlberg for the final UWA run of the inning.
The Tigers added two more runs in the sixth inning. Brent Bumgarner hit into a fielder’s choice that eliminated Corey Coward, who reach by being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Dallas Rogers followed with a single to center field and a Brown single to right field scored Bumgarner. Humber grounded out to first base, but plated UWA’s final run of the game, scoring Rogers.
VSU avoided the shutout and closed the gap in the ninth inning as Drew Camp hit a bases loaded single up the middle to score Nick Copeland and Chris Harris.
Stephen Barnett (3-2) earned the win on the mound with 6 1/3 innings of action, allowing five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Charles Kelley picked up his second save of the season with a 1/3 of an inning of work with one strikeout.
Tripp received the loss with 2 1/3 innings of action, allowing two runs on three hits with one walk.
West Alabama returns to action on Wednesday, April 4, as the Tigers host Montevallo in a non-conference contest. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.