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VSU to host No. 1 team in nation

The 12 ranked Valdosta State baseball team is set for arguably their toughest matchup of the season as the top ranked Florida Southern Mocs come to Billy Grant Field for a three game series starting Friday night.
“This will be the best team that we have faced all year,” VSU head coach Greg Guilliams said. “If we don’t have our A game out, we won’t win.”
VSU enters the game with an impressive 18-5 record as FSC enters the weekend with a 16-2 record.
Florida Southern is led by Wade Kirkland who leads the team with a .429 batting averaging while bringing home 26 runs this season, as the Blazers are led by All-American Brandon Decker, who stands with a .443 batting average and 35 RBI’s and a team best seven homeruns.
“He (Decker) is that type of player,” Guilliams said when asked about Decker’s performance. “He is a true game changer because of his power and that is something you don’t teach, that is something you recruit. That is why he is here.”
The Valdosta State projected pitchers are Brett Kennedy and Ross Gusky, with the third starter to be named later. On the year, Kennedy and Gusky have combined for an 8-2 record and a combined ERA in the low 3’s while striking out 71 batters.
Jordan Yost is the likely candidate to pitch in the late innings for VSU. Yost has recorded the only save for the Blazers this season, while playing outfield and the occasion infield for VSU.
“He is the guy we are counting on to do that,” Guilliams said. “He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities because he has had a pulled hamstring, which I think is feeling better now, but he has that ability, I think at the end of a ball game, to come in and be a closer type guy.”
Florida Southern will most likely send their two aces in Max Russell and Eddie Sipple to the mound. Russell leads the team with a 4-0 record as he has struck out a team best 41 batters in 31 innings pitched.
“I am ready to play them,” VSU slugger Brandon Decker said. “I like good competition. Everybody is ready and we are just excited to play such a good team and see what happens.”
Like all season, errors will be a key for the Blazers. VSU has committed 45 errors on the season while FSC has committed just 27.
“We are making too many errors right now,” Guilliams said. “Against Southern, if you do that you will lose because they have exceptional pitching and it is tough to score runs against them so you have to do a lot of things well, so that is one of the areas we are working a lot on this week.”
The games versus Florida Southern will begin at 6 on Friday night with a doubleheader on Saturday.
Read about the games, and all the VSU baseball games, online at VSUspectator.com.

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