14 Apr

bruised okra

Here’s an interesting tidbit culled from the notes package on Delta State’s website: Statesmen batters have been hit by a pitch 85 times this season. That leads NCAA Division II. Is there an explanation? Well, maybe opposing pitchers are just mad about getting knocked around with such regularity. DSU, which is ranked as high as fifth in the nation, leads the Gulf South Conference in nine offensive categories, including batting average, slugging and runs. The team is second in homers. And they lead the league standings at 19-5, 29-8 overall. DSU is at West Florida (23-15, 15-9) this weekend (doubleheader today, single game Saturday), looking to extend a streak of four straight GSC series sweeps. DSU’s pitching has been solid, but the offense stirs the drink for the Fighting Okra. Zack Shannon, one of several newcomers in the DSU lineup, is batting .436 with 10 homers and 57 RBIs, a Ferriss Trophy candidate for sure. Jason Popovich is batting .363 with 39 runs. Clay Casey is at .333 with nine homers and 32 RBIs. Casey leads the team in HBPs with 14. Hurts so good. P.S. Here and there: The Barna brothers, Brandon and Justin out of Harrison Central High, combined for three homers as Alcorn State blasted Mississippi Valley State 10-3 on Thursday in a SWAC series opener at Itta Bena. … Belhaven University wraps up its home schedule today against Ozarks at Smith-Wills Stadium and will honor its 10 seniors, including Terrell Hodges, Tanner Cable, J.G. Miley, Daniel Ammirati and Stephen Sexton. After sweeping two from Ozarks on Thursday, the Blazers are 21-14, 10-10 American Southwest Conference. They are not eligible for the ASC Tournament or the NCAA Division III postseason. … Millsaps welcomes D-III No. 3 Birmingham-Southern to Twenty Field this weekend (single today, doubleheader Saturday). Birmingham-Southern is 27-5 and 14-1 in the Southern Athletic Association. The Majors, on a three-game win streak, are 15-18, 6-8 SAA (tied for fourth). … Jackson State (26-11, 12-3 SWAC) is in Montgomery, Ala., for a SWAC East showdown against Alabama State (17-16, 13-2). JSU has four of the top seven hitters in the SWAC: leader Bryce Brown (.394), Lamar Briggs (.381), C.J. Newsome (.369) and Sam Campbell (.347).

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