Wednesday night at Ferriss Field, both teams met each other for the first time since that day on Feb. 27. The contest featured some solid pitching but in the end the Statesmen finished on top with a 2-1 victory. Delta State improved to 22-4, while Harding fell to 14-8.
The trio of Colton Mitchell, Cody McGill and Garrett Pickens pitched a combined two-hitter for the Statesmen. Pickens ended up getting the win as he tossed the final three innings, giving up just one hit and a walk with five strikeouts. Mitchell, who was the starter, gave up just one hit with two walks and two strikeouts over four scoreless of work, while McGill gave up an unearned with four strikeouts and two walks over two hitless innings of relief.
“I was pleased with Colton Mitchell, “Delta State head baseball coach Mike Kinnison said. “He gave us four strong innings and had a normal pitch count. Cody McGill came back. He hadn’t been pitching for us as he was trying to come off an injury. He stuck a couple of innings in there before he ran into some problems. Certainly, you have to complement the work Garrett Pickens did.”
In the bottom of the first, the Statesmen jumped on the scoreboard first as Tyler Aldridge stretched his hitting streak to 26 games by tagging a RBI-double to score Sam Kidd for a 1-0 ball game.
Delta State’s pitching provided some good support as starter Mitchell kept the Bisons off the scoreboard through the first four innings. After Mitchell, Cody McGill entered the game in relief and tossed a scoreless fifth and sixth to keep the game at 1-0.
In the top of the seventh, the Bisons finally got some offense. With one on and one out, Erin McCarver roped a single and advanced to second on a bad throw with John Chapman scoring on the play to tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Statesmen took advantage of some fielding mistakes as the Bisons committed two errors which led to a DSU run to make the score 2-1.
That run would be all DSU would need as Pickens (2-0) kept the Bisons off the board over the last two innings. Pickens, a Mississippi Delta Community College transfer, has given up just four hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts over 11 2/3 innings of work in nine appearances. He has yet to give up a run.
At the plate, Aldridge led the Statesmen again by going 2-of-3 with a double and a RBI. He also drew a walk and ended up reaching base three times in four plate appearances. Carlos Leal and Kasey Hinton tagged a hit each, while Josh Crowdus scored the final run in the seventh to aid the Statesmen.
Delta State will return to the baseball diamond on Saturday when the Statesmen begin a Gulf South Conference three-game series with UA-Huntsville with a doubleheader set for 3 p.m. at Huntsville, Ala. The series will conclude on Sunday with a single game at 1 p.m.