CARROLLTON, Ga. - The West Georgia Wolves moved a step closer to a better seeding at next week's Gulf South Conference tournament on Saturday with a 7-5 Game 1 victory over the Valdosta State Blazers in GSC action in Valdosta. In game two, the Blazers outraced the Wolves to the finish in a 10-7 victory.
The game lived up to the billing of a battle between two teams tied atop the Gulf South Conference this season in team batting average, as the Wolves and Blazers combined for 12 runs on 13 hits in the game.
UWG starter Taylor Boisclair and Valdosta State starter Tristan Cone kept the top two offenses in the Gulf South Conference off the board for the first two innings, with Boisclair picking up two strikeouts in that span. In the top of the third, however, the Wolves broke through for the first scoring of the day.
Cone walked the bases loaded for the Wolves, bringing UWG first baseball Logan Taylor to the plate with one out. The senior stayed hot, belting a single into left-center to score Brady Barnes and Brian Dansereau to give West Georgia a 2-0 lead. Dan Oberst then flew out to deep center field, bringing home Cade Marlowe to give the Wolves a 3-0 advantage. Boisclair took that lead and cruised until the fifth. In that inning, he gave up three runs to tie the game, and it stayed tied until the top of the 7th.
In that frame, Nick Poskey led off the inning with a double followed by Dansereau reaching when he was hit by a pitch. Marlowe then gave the Wolves a three-run lead with his fourth home run of the season, a mammoth shot over the left field wall. Valdosta State made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh, adding a pair of runs. In the eighth, the Blazers loaded the bases, but Wes Bucher induced a line drive double play to end the threat and send the game to the ninth.
The top of the ninth was productive for the Wolves, as Marlowe stole his 39th base of the season, taking third with Logan Taylor at the plate. Taylor grounded out to third base, but the throw went awry, allowing Marlowe to score and give the Wolves a 7-5 lead.
In the nightcap, Valdosta State opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first. Led by freshman Brody Wortham, the Wolves responded quickly in the top of the second. Wortham delivered a one-out double, then moved to third on a groundout from Tucker Breen. Lane Griffith belted a two-out double and the game was tied at 1-1. Valdosta kept the scoring going, adding two runs in the bottom of the second.
West Georgia bounced back in the top of the third as Marlowe blasted his second home run of the day to cut the VSU advantage to 3-2, but the Blazers came right back in the bottom of the inning with three runs to make it 6-2. Marlowe struck again in the top of the fifth with an RBI single after a Nick Poskey double to cut the lead to 6-3. After Valdosta added two more in the bottom of the fifth, the Wolves picked up the pace in the top of the sixth.
Joe Skinner led off the rally with a one-out single, then came home on a double from Wortham. After a walk from Breen, the Blazers changed pitchers, but that didn't last long, as back-to-back walks brought home Wortham and forced another pitching change. Two batters later, Marlowe singled home two runs with two outs, marking the seventh RBI of the day for the senior and making it 8-7 as the teams headed to the bottom of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Blazers added two more runs on a home run for the final score of 10-7.
The Wolves fall to 26-22 on the year and 15-13 against Gulf South Conference competition while the Blazers move to 26-19 overall and 13-12 in league play.