Delta heading to tourney finals
By By Austin Bishop/EMG Regional Sports Director
May 12, 2002
One look at Mississippi Delta Community College's three-day run in the NJCAA Division I Region 23 Baseball Tournament makes it pretty clear that good pitching has a lot to do with winning.
The Trojans, who will now have two chances to win the Region 23 title on Sunday at Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field, got a good effort on the mound against Delgado (La.) Community College on Saturday to take a 5-4 win.
Mississippi Delta's Lance Songy pitched a strong 6.1 innings before giving way to Ashley McCrillis with one out in the seventh. Ryan Roberson then came in from second base to pitch the least 1.1 innings, not allowing a base runner and picking up the win.
After Mississippi Delta had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth thanks to a bases-loaded walk to Juan Ortiz, Delgado sent its one-two-three hitters to the plate all with potential home run power to the plate in the bottom of the inning.
Two pop outs and a fly out later the Trojans were in the championship game at 1 p.m. on Sunday against the winner of Saturday night's late game between Jones Junior College and Delgado.
The Jones-Delgado winner would have to beat Mississippi Delta twice to win the title.
The Trojans who won Region 23 titles in 1995, 1990 and 1987 jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead after three innings of play.
Mississippi Delta scored twice in the top of the first inning behind singles from Brett Cerda and Ortiz. Delgado cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the second when Jose Lado doubled in Mike Prestenback.
The Trojans hit for two more in the top of the third when John Morgan singled in one run and Roberson doubled in another.
The Dolphins, 43-10 after the loss, got solo homers from Matt Graziano and Prestenback in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to 4-3. Delgado then tied the game in the bottom of the eighth when Nathan Meiners singled, stole second and scored on a single by Jeremy Helton.
Morgan had three hits and two RBIs to lead Delta, while Ortiz had two singles and two RBIs and Norwood Taylor had two singles.
Prestenback and Graziano had a homer and single each to lead the Dolphins, while Lado ripped a pair of doubles.