CARROLLTON, Ga. – The stretch run for a berth in the next month’s GSC Baseball Championship is front-and-center this weekend for the West Georgia Wolves. UWG welcomes archrival Valdosta State to Carrollton for a vital three-game series at Cole Field. Both Friday’s doubleheader and Saturday’s single game are set to begin at 1 p.m.
UWG brings a mark of 22-15 into the weekend, but is only 9-12 in Gulf South Conference play. The Wolves broke a three-game losing streak on Tuesday at home against North Georgia, winning 10-9 in the 10th inning on Price Peters' game-winning hit. Valdosta State is 13-22 on the season, and the Blazers are 7-13 in league play. VSU spilt a rain-shortened series last weekend against Montevallo.
West Georgia is presently tied with Shorter for the eighth and final spot in the GSC Championship. West Alabama is 8-12, and only a half game out of the eighth spot. Valdosta State is tenth, a game-and-a-half behind the Wolves and Hawks as play begins on Friday.
West Georgia is led by its offense that has a team batting average of .313, which is fifth best in the GSC, while the team’s 287 runs scored is second best total in the conference. Individually, Price Peters paces UWG’s attack. The senior catcher has an OPS of 1.106, and tops the Wolves in both homers with seven and RBI with 45. Cade Marlowe (.378) and Ben Utley (.374) are top the team in batting average. Statistically, Valdosta State’s strength lies in its pitching staff. The Blazers have a 4.24 earned run average (ERA), which ranks fifth best in the GSC. Cooper Cain, who boasts a 4.2 record and an ERA of 3.08, paces the VSU staff.
Even if there were no postseason implications, anytime West Georgia plays Valdosta State in any sport, it’s big. Baseball is no exception. And if recent history means anything, this weekend’s series will be competitive. Over the past six seasons UWG holds a 10-8 edge in games vs. the Blazers, and UWG is 7-2 at home vs. VSU over this span.
THE NUMBERS - Pt. 2
No matter which team wins on the field this weekend, Mother Nature has already captured another weekend victory. The series vs. VSU is West Georgia’s fourth home GSC weekend of the year, and marks the fourth time that the original Friday-Saturday format has been altered by the weather. All three previous series vs. Mississippi College, Delta State, and Montevallo were moved to Friday-Saturday due to forecasts calling for heavy Sunday rainfall.