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VSU to host Paine College this weekend

The Blazers aim to iron out early season wrinkles this weekend after losing 6-4 to Flagler College Wednesday night now falling to a record of 2-2.

Valdosta State will take on Paine College in a doubleheader on Saturday and a day game on Sunday.

PC is 2-2 this season coming off big losses and big wins against Tuskegee University and Voorhees College, respectively.

The Blazers are .500 and struggled a bit over the weekend in their season debut.

“We have enough issues right now as far as things that we are trying to get better at,” Greg Guilliams, head coach, said. “Who the opponent is does not really matter. We are focused on our guys executing our system and what we believe in. We just need to be more consistent.”

The Blazers hurt themselves this past weekend with errors and the pitchers dealing walks.

These are just two of the inconsistencies that Guilliams is hoping will even out.

“We are trying to less our mistakes and from an offensive stand point, just be a little more consistent,” Guilliams said. “We have spent a lot of time on our bunting. That wasn’t very good this weekend. We spend a lot of time on our situational hitting and that let us down at times. We are just emphasizing to our pitching staff how important it is… to not fall behind and be walking guys.”

Early season injuries are not helping the team.

Jaime McMillan, senior first baseman, has a thumb injury that he suffered in practice and saw limited playing time over the weekend.

“Jamie has the potential to be a really good hitter and we need his bat in the lineup,” Guilliams said. “He is getting healthier and healthier.”

Another injury is to junior Matthew Fears.

The second baseman tore his hamstring in an exhibition game and has not played this season.

“[Fears] is getting closer to 100 percent. He needs live at-bats in games to get back in the swing of things,” said Guilliams.

The Blazers are going to have a similar rotation this weekend to last weekend with seniors Pete Whittingslow, Nick Fogarty and junior Jeremy Holcomb, all three of which are left handed pitchers.

Fogarty was named the Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Week for his six inning-outing and career best 12 strike outs in a 3-0 win on Saturday over Lynn University.

The season is young and there is plenty of time for the baseball team to get on the same page.

“We believe that if we play the game like we are supposed to that the outcome will take care of itself.”


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