For the first time this season the University of North Alabama baseball team came out on the short end of a Gulf South Conference series as the Lions split a Sunday double-header with Valdosta State, winning the opener 7-6 before falling in the nightcap 5-3. UNA lost the series opener on Saturday and dropped the series 2-1. The Lions are now 25-9 overall and 7-5 in the GSC. Valdosta State is just 17-11 overall but leads the GSC standings at 9-3.
Chad Boughner (6-2) got his fourth straight win for the Lions in the Sunday opener, pitching 8 2/3 innings before Drew Batchelor came on to get the final out and earn his first save of the season. UNA jumped on top early with a six-run second inning and added another run in the fourth on a solo home run by Michael Schmidt.
Valdosta State chipped away with a run in the second, two in the fourth and one in the sixth. In the ninth the Blazers scored two runs on four hits and had two runners on base when Batchelor came on and got Ryan Noelte to ground out to first to end the threat and the game.
Josh Cyr led UNA’s offensive efforts, going two-for-two with two RBI.
Boughner won his fourth consecutive start and ran his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 20 2/3 before giving up a solo home run in the second inning.
UNA jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two but the Blazers tied it with a run in the first and another in the second off UNA starter Michael Watkins. The Blazers took the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth but UNA tied the game with a run in the fifth on a single by Michael Schmidt and an RBI single by J.P. LaMunyon. The Blazers answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth and another in the sixth to take a 5-3 lead. UNA put two runners on base in the seventh but couldn’t score.
Watkins (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing four runs on seven hits over four 1/3 innings. H ewalked one and struckout three. Drew Batchelor and Jacob Westerhouse also pitched in relief. The Lions had just six hits, led by Schmidt who was four-for-four with two runs scored.
North Alabama hosts Freed Hardeman Tuesday at Mike Lane Field.
Courtesy UNA Media Relations