The Delta State University Statesmen and the Mississippi College Choctaws battled each other in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Region Baseball Tournament in Lakeland, Fla.
The game started Thursday but concluded this morning as heavy rains caused the game to be halted in the bottom of the seventh. The game picked up where it left off this morning. The Statesmen started the tournament on the right foot with a 13-3 victory over the Choctaws.
The Statesmen improved to 41-9 and will play Tampa at 4 p.m. Saturday if all of today’s games are played. The Choctaws (33-16) will play the loser of the Tampa-Albany State game in an elimination contest at a time to be announced.
Delta State’s offense banged out 13 hits, while the Choctaws were held to just three hits.
Emil Ellis drilled two hits including a triple with three RBIs and two runs scored to lead DSU, followed by Justin Nussbaum with two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored, Jason Popovich with two hits including a double with a RBI and a run scored, Nick Morgan with two hits, a RBI and two runs scored, Brian Lane with two hits and a run scored, Clay Casey with a hit, a RBI and two runs scored, Juwan Burney with a hit, a RBI and a run and David Herrington with a hit, a run scored and two RBIs. Josh Russell didn’t have a hit but scored once, and Zack Shannon saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end but still drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Shannon has 87 RBIs this season and has drive in at least one run in 38 games this season.
Seth Birdsong (9-0) pitched a great game for DSU as he gave up two runs, one earned, on just one hit with five strikeouts and a walk in six innings of work to earn the win. Peyton White tossed a scoreless inning of work, Tyler Walton gave up a run on two hits and Jonathan Lindsey tossed a perfect inning to close out the game for the Statesmen.