TAMPA, Fla. – Delta State scored seven unanswered runs to defeat Valdosta State 7-2 in an elimination game of the NCAA South Region Tournament at the UT Baseball Field Saturday afternoon.
The Blazers, who ended their 2013 season with a 34-18 record, got on the board first with a single run in the top of the first inning. With one out, Ryan McClellan singled and stole second base. Two batters later, Jake Fields hit a single to right that scored McClellan for a 1-0 VSU lead.
Delta State (44-10-1) answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 2-1. The first four batters of the Statesmen lineup reached base as Valdosta State starter Jeremy Holcomb hit two batters and walked a third. DSU also got two hits to take the lead.
The Statesmen added two more runs in the second inning as well as a single run in both the fourth and fifth to build a 6-1 lead.
Valdosta State had a chance to cut into its deficit in the top of the sixth inning as it loaded the bases with no outs in the frame. However, Delta State starter Cody McGill induced a fielder's choice that retired a base runner at home plate and struck out the next two batters to preserve his team's lead.
Benjamin Weil came on in the bottom of the sixth inning, his 38th appearance of the year, which moved into ninth-place in the NCAA single season record book.
A Tyler Aldridge sacrifice fly pushed the DSU lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the sixth while the Blazers responded with a run in the seventh when McCellan reached on a two-base error and scored on Fields' third hit of the game.
Valdosta State had its chances in the game as the Blazers left 11 base runners, including one in the first, two in the second, three in third and sixth innings as well as two more in the seventh and one in the eighth and ninth.
Holcomb gave up 10 hits and seven runs in 5.1 innings to fall to 6-5 while McGill surrendered seven hits and struck out seven in a complete game to improve to 1-0.
Fields was 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Valdosta State offensively while Jamie McMillan had two hits.