25 Mar

alternative energy

Power, in particular the power of Zack Shannon, was a big part of Delta State’s game in 2018, when the team bashed its way to 42 wins and another regional appearance. Minus Shannon – and fellow sluggers Clay Casey and Brian Lane – the 2019 Statesmen figured to be a different kind of club, more reliant on pitching and defense. That has played out. The current team doesn’t have a lot of thunder in the lineup but has a brilliant 2.18 staff ERA — and is ranked as high as No. 2 in NCAA Division II. Still, as the Statesmen showed on Sunday, an occasional burst of power can come in handy. DSU got three home runs from Hayden White and a fourth from Jake Barlow in a much-needed 16-6 win over nationally ranked West Florida, which had won the first two games in the Gulf South Conference series at Ferriss Field. White, a former Madison-Ridgeland Academy and Copiah-Lincoln Community College star, had just one homer before Sunday. Barlow, the team’s best hitter (.371), has a team-best seven bombs; no one else has more than two. Last year, the Statesmen averaged 1.3 homers a game (twice this year’s average), led by Shannon’s state college-record 31, Casey’s 18 and Lane’s nine. This year, the team’s energy is in the arms of Hunter Riggins (6-2, 1.55 ERA), Dalton Minton (5-1, 2.65), Melvin Frazier (4-2, 2.74) and others. DSU is 20-7 now, 12-5 in the GSC, second only to UWF (13-2) with ample time to catch up.

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