The Statesmen (27-5-1) grounded into four double plays on the night and stranded four base runners in scoring position.
Southern Arkansas (29-12) took the lead in the second inning. After a stolen base and a wild pitch put a Muleriders runner on third, a single gave Southern Arkansas the lead.
Delta State answered with a run in the second but helped the Muleriders out. After Ben Kingsley and Michael Vinson reached base to start the inning with no outs, Brent Langston grounded into a double play. Carlos Leal then reached on a fielding error that scored Kingsley to tie the game, but Leal was picked off first base to end the inning.
Delta State took the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Jonathon Andrews and Jordan Chovanec hit a pair of one out singles to put runners on first and second. Sam Kidd hit an RBI single to score Andrews and put runners on the corners for the Statesmen. However, after a Tyler Aldridge walk to load the bases with one out, Kingsley grounded into a 5-3 double play to end the inning and the threat.
In the top of the fourth, Statesmen starting pitcher Cody McGill walked the first two batters on eight pitches before reliever Ricky Winters walked the bases loaded. Winters then recorded two strikeouts, but gave up a two out RBI single that scored two runs for Southern Arkansas.
The Muleriders added another run in the fifth by way of a home run that bounced off the top of the wall in left field.
With a two run deficit, the Statesmen crawled back into the game with runs in the sixth and seventh inning. Vinson hit his third home run of the season in the sixth, sending a ball over the wall in right center.
In the seventh, Chovanec singled and then took second on an aggressive play on an overthrow in from center field. Chovanec then came around to score on a fielding error at first base on a ball put in play by Sam Kidd. The run tied the game at four.
After an Aldridge ground out moved Kidd to third, Kingsley struck out to end the inning, stranding another Statesmen in scoring position.
In the eighth, Southern Arkansas took advantage of a lead off single and followed with a pair of doubles down the left and right field lines to open the SAU lead back up to 6-4.
In the ninth, the Statesmen put runners on first and second with no outs after a bunt single and a walk. Chovanec sacrificed the runners to second and third, allowing the lead runner to score on a ground out by Kidd. However, Aldridge grounded out to end the game in the next at bat, leaving the tying run stranded in scoring position.
The Statesmen will look to rebound with a three-game series at Union in Jackson, Tenn. this weekend. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 12 p.m.