Chargers down Statesmen to win GSC Championship
May 07, 2014 | 934 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The University of Alabama in Huntsville claimed its second Gulf South Conference championship in program history, as the Chargers (39-16) defeated No. 4 Delta State University (38-11) 8-3 in the title game Tuesday at Young Memorial Field on the campus of the University of Alabama in Birmingham. 

 With UAH taking the league's automating bid into the NCAA South Region Tournament, the Statesmen will await their fate on Sunday's NCAA Division II Baseball Selection Show at 9 p.m. EST.  The show will air live on NCAA.com and links will be available at GoStatesmen.com. 

 UAH took advantage of two Statesmen errors in the top of the first inning, taking a 3-0 lead.  Chandler Brock's RBI double and Brandon Lawing's sac-fly RBI provided the spark for the Chargers.

 The Chargers kept the foot on the accelerator in the second, as Blake Massey's two-RBI single to left extended the UAH lead to 5-0 of DSU starter Jonathon Moody.

 In the third, DSU made the call to the bullpen to bring Witt Haggard into the game.  The junior from Meridian, Mississippi, quickly worked a three-up, three-down frame. 

 DSU roared back for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut into the UAH lead 5-3.  Dex Herrington and Ben Pickard delivered RBI singles, while Carlos Leal plated the Statesmen's third run on a sac-fly to right-center. 

 The momentum didn't stay with the Statesmen long.  UAH came right back in the top of fourth with three runs on three hits to extend the lead back to five runs, 8-3.  After Brock led off the frame with a single and advanced to second on an error, the Chargers scored their first run of the inning on a throwing error, as UAH attempted a squeeze at home. 

 The Chargers loaded the bases after a pair of fielder's choice plays and walk before Justin Riddle slapped a two RBI single to center to end the scoring in the fourth. 

 DSU would threaten again in the sixth, but UAH reliever Jacob Croft worked his way out the inning to keep the margin at five runs. 

 Taylor Stark entered the game in the seventh to try and keep the Statesmen within striking distance.  The senior from Flowood, Mississippi, retired all nine batters he faced, including three by strikeout. 

 Croft allowed a walk in the seventh and a single to Leal in the eighth, but slammed the door each inning to nail down the victory for the Chargers.

 Moody (9-3) took the loss after giving up five runs on eight hits in just 3.0 innings of his 11th start.  Haggard also worked 3.0 innings while giving up three runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout.

 Croft (4-5) earned the victory in relief after throwing 5.2 shutout innings.  The senior walked three and struck out three en route to the win.  Howell started the game for the Chargers, but did not factor in the decision. 

 DSU placed five players on the GSC All-Tournament Team, including Herrington, Leal, Will Robertson, Michael Manley and Jonathon Andrews. UAH's Massey was named GSC All-Tournament Team MVP.