CLEVELAND, MS – Delta State rallied from a 7-3 deficit to come back and defeat Florida Southern, 9-7, in winners' bracket action here Friday on the second day of the NCAA Division II South Regional Tournament at the Tim & Nancy Harvey Stadium at Dave "Boo" Ferriss Field. The loss drops the Moccasins into an elimination game Saturday at 11 a.m. against West Alabama, which earlier downed Miles, 17-15, to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament.
Florida Southern drops to 35-16 on the year while Delta State improves to 42-11.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Austin Mauer gave the Moccasins a quick 1-0 lead with a two-out solo homer in the first inning off Delta State starter Seth Birdsong (10-1).
- Zach Shannon put his Delta State teammates ahead, 2-1, with a two-out blast over the left field fence in the bottom of the first inning.
- The Moccasins took advantage of two errors to put up four unearned runs in the second inning and take a 5-1 lead. Logan Browning reached on a two-base error to lead off the inning while Jason Sierra also got on due to a Statesmen error to put runners on the corners. Kevin Fuller singled up the middle to plate Browning while, one out later, Cody Burgess hit a three-run homer, his 14th of the season, over the left field fence.
- Sierra drove in the Moccasins' sixth run of the game with a sacrifice fly to score Mitch Reeves who got on base with a one-out single as the Moccasins took a 6-1 lead in the top of the third.
- Delta State cut into FSC's lead with a solo run in the third on two singles and an infield ground out.
- The Moccasins got the run back as Mauer smashed his second homer of the day, a solo shot with two outs in the fourth inning. He now has 13 roundtrippers for the season.
- The Statesmen took advantage of some uncharacteristic wildness by Walsh to score three runs in the fifth on just one base hit. Delta State drew four walks off Walsh, who had walked just 20 batters all season and two of the runs were unearned in the inning. A.J. Smith (3-3) relieved Walsh with two outs and the bases loaded and got lead-off batter Jason Popovich to fly out to center field to end the threat.
- However, Emil Ellis and Brian Lane hit back-to-back homers off Smith to lead off the sixth inning, chasing the senior from the game. J.T. Hintzen came on in relief and, despite allowing a pair of base hits, got out the inning without any further damage as the Moccasins trailed 8-7 heading into the seventh inning.
- Delta State tacked on a run in the eighth on a single by Justin Nussbaum to make score 9-7. Zach Osborn took the save for the Statesman despite allowing base hits to three of the five batters he faced.
- Florida Southern wasted opportunities in the late innings as Evan Barnes doubled to lead off the seventh and was stranded. in the eighth, the Mocs got back-to-back singles from Burgess and Pablo Cabrera to put runners on the corners with two outs, but could not capitalize. In the ninth, Omar Villaman and Reeves led off with back-to-back singles and were sacrificed up a base, but the rally ended when Villaman was picked off third and Sierra flew out to end the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- This is Florida Southern's 41st appearance in the NCAA postseason and the Moccasins now have a 147-77 record in tournament play.
- Florida Southern is 9-10 overall versus Delta State, including a 5-1 record in the postseason.
- The two home runs by Mauer and the three-run shot by Burgess increase the Moccasins' school record to 80 homers on the season. Burgess' homer puts him in a tie with six other for fifth most on the single season home lists at Florida Southern, while Mauer's 13 homers ties him for sixth most.
- Villaman led FSC with three base hits while Burgess, Mauer, and Reeves each had two hits.
NCAA SOUTH REGION TOURNAMENT HOME PAGE (for live video and live stats)
NCAA DIVISION II BASEBALL
SOUTH REGION TOURNAMENT
(all times Eastern Time)
THURSDAY, MAY 18
GM1 - #3 Nova Southeastern 20, #6 West Alabama 5
GM2 - #2 Tampa 12, #7 Miles 1
GM3 - #4 Florida Southern 6, #5 Valdosta State 3
FRIDAY, MAY 19
GM4 - West Alabama 17, Miles 15 (Miles eliminated)
GM5 - #1 Delta State 9, Florida Southern 7
GM6 - Nova Southeastern 3, Tampa 1
SATURDAY, MAY 20
GM7 - Florida Southern vs West Alabama – 11:00 am
GM8 - Valdosta State vs Tampa – 4:00 pm
GM9 - Delta State vs. Nova Southeastern – 8:00 pm
SUNDAY, MAY 21
GM10 - Winner GM7 vs Winner GM8 – 2:00 pm
GM11 - Winner GM10 vs Loser GM9 – 5:30 pm
MONDAY, MAY 22
GM12 - Winner GM9 vs Winner GM11 – 2:00 pm
GM13 - If Necessary – 5:30 pm