MAGNOLIA, AR. – After reaching the postseason for the first time since 1998, the Barry University baseball team ran into a tough Valdosta State squad that defeated the Bucs, 8-3, Thursday afternoon in the first round of the South Regional Tournament at Mulerider Field.
No. 7 Valdosta State started the scoring early, as Matt Costello singled in front of a Clayton Cain towering two-run homer that sailed over the centerfield wall for the first runs of the game.
The Blazers (42-19) kept the pressure on the Bucs, scratching two more runs across the plate over the next two innings to build a 4-0 lead.
No. 2 Barry (44-10) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth thanks to Yudelmis Hernandez, as his drive went well beyond the left-centerfield fence to make it 4-1, as Hernandez continues to add to his single-season school record which is now at 22 HR.
Costello made life difficult throughout for the Bucs, as he kept Barry off-balanced through 7.2 innings, tallying the victory.
“(Costello) kept us off-balance,” head coach Marc Pavao said. “He didn’t let up the big inning and you have to tip your hat to their hitters. They took advantage of opportunities and just hit some good pitches.”
Valdosta State put the game out of reach in the seventh, behind a Sho Kohata RBI single and the big blast off the bat of catcher Chase Blackwood, who delivered a three-run shot to left field to make it 8-1.
Yan Gomes hit his 20th homer of the season in the eighth, a two-run shot, but the Bucs couldn’t mount a comeback.
Brad McAllister got the start for the Bucs and tossed 6.1 innings, giving up eight runs, seven earned on 10 hits.
Barry will have to now battle back in the losers bracket beginning Friday morning at 11 am eastern time when they play against West Alabama in a win or go home game.
West Alabama lost to Florida Southern, 14-7, in the third game of the day Thursday.
Fans can follow Friday’s game through the broadband, audio or livestats links below.