Argos eliminate Statesmen
May 19, 2013 | 1495 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TAMPA, Fla. – Delta State University could not muster the offense needed Saturday evening at the University of Tampa Baseball Field, as the Statesmen (44-11-1) were eliminated from the NCAA South Region Tournament 3-1 by the Argonauts (38-13) of the University of West Florida in the loser's bracket final. UWF advances to face the University of Tampa at noon on Sunday, May 19 in the championship round.

The Statesmen jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as Ben Kingsley delivered an RBI ground out to score Jordan Chovanec from third.

UWF used the long ball in the bottom of the first, as Drew Pritchard and Kaleb Barlow smashed back-to-back home runs to put the Argonauts on top 2-1 after the first.

Brent Langston and Carlos Leal singled to start the second inning, but UWF starter Dayan Rodriquez retired the next three batters to end the Statesmen threat and preserve the 2-1 Argonauts lead.

After Colton Mitchell retired the side, DSU got singles by Kidd and Kingsley to put runners on first and second with one out. Rodriquez proved equal to the task once again, as the right-hander retired Vinson on a fly-out to right and groundout by Leal to second.

The Argonauts struck for their third run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, as UWF strung together three hits in the frame, including an RBI single to center by Dustin Saulmon to increase the lead to 3-1.

DSU finally ended a stretch of 12-straight batters retired by Rodriquez with Kasey Kinton's infield single in the top of the seventh, but as he had done throughout the night, UWF's right-hander ended the threat after Hinton was caught stealing with a groundout to second by Crowdus.

The Statesmen tried to mount a rally in the top of the ninth after back-to-back singles by Kingsley and Vinson. A failed bunt sacrifice by Langston did not move the runners over and put the Statesmen with their backs against the wall. The game ended an a hot-shot to second that UWF's Barlow turned into a double play to quell the threat and seal the 3-1 victory.

Rodriquez (5-1) earned the complete game victory allowing just one run on eight hits with two strikeouts.

Mitchell (6-3) took the loss for the Statesmen after surrendering three runs on six hits with six strikeouts. Taylor Stark worked the final 1.1 innings of in relief with two strikeouts.

Kidd and Kinsgley finished the game with two hits each, while Vinson, Langston, Leal and Hinton collected one hit on the day.

Pritchard was the lone Argonaut with a multiple-hit game, as the senior finished 2-for-4.

Earlier in the day the Statesmen defeated the Valdosta State Blazers 7-2 to move into the elimination game against West Florida.

DSU pitcher Cody McGill scattered six hits and struck out a career-high seven batters to lead Delta State to the victory over Valdosta State.

In that game a A one-out single by Ryan McClellan to right field jumpstarted the Blazers in the top of the first. After McClellan stole second, Jake Fields' RBI single to center put VSU up 1-0. DSU starter Cody McGll quelled the threat by getting Ryan McMillan to groundout to first end the first inning.

The Statesmen countered in the bottom of the first with two runs after loading the bases with an RBI single to right by Ben Kingsley and a bases loaded walk to Brent Langston. VSU's Jeremy Holcomb worked out of the jam by retiring Michael Vinson, Kasey Hinton and Ben Pickard in order.

Leading 2-1 heading into the bottom of the second, DSU's Josh Crowdus led off the frame with a single to center. Jordan Chovanec followed with a double over the right fielder's head. Crowdus came in to score as VSU made an attempt to tag Chovanec at second. After Kidd grounded out to second, Aldridge delivered an RBI infield single to make it 4-1 after two innings.

McGill had to work out of sticky situation in the top of the third after VSU loaded the bases with two outs. As the Blazers' Fields, McMillan, and Cooper Lemonds stood on base, the crafty right-hander from O'Fallon, Mo., coaxed a groundout to second by Michael Gouge.

With one out in the bottom of the fourth, back-to-back singles by Chovanec and Kidd set the Statesmen up for their fifth run of the game. With runner's on the corners, Kidd swiped second and on the next pitch, Aldridge collected his second RBI of the game with a sac-fly to center, putting DSU up 5-1 after four.

In the bottom of the fifth, true freshman catcher Ben Pickard, who made his first career postseason start, slapped a two-out RBI single to left, plating Michael Vinson, who walked and stole second, for a 6-1 Statesmen lead.

The Blazers loaded the bases again in the top of the sixth with no one out, but like the second inning, McGill retired three straight Blazers including back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat and preserve the 6-1 DSU lead.

DSU kept the pressure on VSU in the bottom of the sixth, as Chovanec scored his fourth run of the game on Aldridge's sac-fly RBI to right. Chovanec led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kidd.

The Blazers finally got to McGill in the top of the seventh, as Fields' slapped his second RBI single to right to cut the DSU lead to 7-2. McMillan followed with a single to put runners at first and second with one out. With a big inning looming for the Blazers, McGill forced VSU's Lemonds to ground into a double play to end the inning.

After a scoreless eighth inning, McGill slammed the door on the complete game victory by retiring Hayman on a long flyout and a sweet double play to end the game 7-2.

McGill (1-0) worked all nine innings, allowing two runs on six hits with a career-high seven strikeouts. Holcomb (6-5) took the loss for VSU after giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits.

Chovanec and Kidd finished the game with three hits each, while Aldridge delivered three RBIs.

Delta State found themselves in the loser bracket on Friday when the University of West Florida (37-12) rallied for five unanswered runs to defeat Delta State 5-1 in the second round of the NCAA South Region Tournament.

DSU ended its season with a final record of 44-11-1 and the Statesmen will return to Cleveland on Sunday afternoon.