Whittingslow

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Valdosta State pounded out 15 hits as the Blazers defeated top-ranked Delta State 8-5 in Gulf South Conference baseball action at Billy Grant Field on Friday.

Valdosta State (28-14, 13-9) opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning. With one out in the frame, Ryan McClellan and Bryant Hayman reached on back-to-back singles before Michael Gouge plated McClellan with a two-out double to give VSU a 1-0 lead.

The Blazers added two more runs in the second inning when McClellan and Hayman collected run-scoring hits before Delta State (37-6-1, 18-3-1) evened the game with three runs in the top of the third. A single and two hit batters loaded the bases with two outs in the Statesmen's half of the third before a walk scored the first DSU run of the game. Ben Kingsley followed with an infield single that scored Josh Crowdus and a wild pitch brought home the final Statesmen run of the frame to even the game at three.

The Blazers regained the lead in the bottom of the third as they plated two more runs. Jamie McMillan walked with one out in the frame before Cooper Lemonds singled. Two batters later, Daniel Hoover singled to score McMillan while Nick Rodda singled home Lemonds to put VSU in front 5-3.

DSU added a run in the fourth while Valdosta State scored once in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Statesmen scored their final run in the top of the ninth inning as they loaded the bases with one out before Jordan Chovanec singled home a run.

VSU starter Pete Whittingslow gave up six hits and five runs in 8.1 innings as he improved to 6-1 on the season. Benjamin Weil came on with the bases loaded in the ninth and induced a double play to end the game, picking up his fifth save.

Hayman and Lemonds had three hits each to lead Valdosta State offensively. Rodda and McClellan had two hits each in the win.