05 May

a puncher’s chance

Delta State likely needs to win the Gulf South Conference Tournament to get an NCAA Division II regional bid. The Statesmen (25-17) are two wins away. Sixth-seeded DSU has won three straight elimination games in Livingston, Ala., including an 11-7 victory against Alabama-Huntsville and 9-5 win over West Georgia on Monday. DSU, pegged to win the league title in preseason, must beat top-seeded West Alabama twice today to win the GSC crown. After losing to UWA on Saturday, the Statesmen survived with a 7-4 win over Valdosta State on Sunday as Ethan Gill belted his 10th home run and drove in four runs all told and Nick Goza notched his seventh save. DSU avoided going 2-and-out in the league tournament for the first time since 2010. On Monday, an eight-run fourth inning (big hit: two-run double by Dalton Skelton) propelled DSU past UA-Huntsville and a seven-run sixth (big hit: Colton Welch’s two-run double) toppled West Georgia. Three GSC teams appeared in the most recent D-II South Region top eight: West Alabama, UA-Huntsville and West Georgia. P.S. The Millsaps Majors (28-12), who last played a game on April 26, won’t know until Sunday if they’ll get an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III regionals. It would appear unlikely. In the meantime, senior Keith Shumaker has been named the Southern Athletic Association player of the year for the second time; he also won the award after his sophomore season. The Brandon native, a preseason D-III All-America choice, led the conference in runs scored (48) and hit .417. The right-hander went 8-1 with a 2.31 ERA on the mound during the regular season. Shumaker’s 254 hits for his career set a school record. Joining Shumaker on the SAA first team are outfielders Isaac Glenn and William Chenoweth. Glenn, a junior from Madison, led the SAA in hits (66), batting (.446) and slugging (.649) and was second with 44 RBIs.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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