While so much attention was focused this weekend on Hattiesburg – where Southern Miss swept Mississippi State in a tremendous season-opening series – Delta State’s accomplishments in Quincy, Ill., should not go unrecognized. The Statesmen, ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II, won three games against nationally ranked foes, beating Southern Indiana 7-0 on Saturday and sweeping host Quincy 6-5 and 11-2 on Sunday. The Statesmen (7-1) are batting .312 with 10 home runs as a team. But we knew they could hit. A key for this season is going to be how a rebuilt pitching staff performs, and there were good signs over the weekend. Seth Birdsong, a 10-game winner on last year’s College World Series club, found his form against Southern Indiana, throwing 5 2/3 shutout innings to notch his first win. He has 16 strikeouts in 12 innings of work. Expect him to start further cutting into that 6.75 ERA. Hayden Davey, a newcomer from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, improved to 2-1, 2.12 by beating Quincy in Sunday’s opener. He has 20 punchouts in 17 innings. Dalton Minton, a Northwest Mississippi CC product, and Tyler Walton, a Memphis transfer, combined for six scoreless innings in Game 2 against Quincy. Returnee Peyton White has stepped up with three saves, and Melvin Frazier, out of Baton Rouge (La.) CC, has a 2.53 ERA over three appearances. … DSU next plays D-I Mississippi Valley State in Itta Bena on Tuesday in what is a rivalry – sort of. DSU leads the series 84-15.