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DSU looking for title

By Staff
Special to The Star
May 20, 2002
CLEVELAND For the second time in as many seasons, the Delta State University Statesmen baseball team is headed to the College World Series after posting a hard-fought 3-2 victory here today over the Abilene Christian Wildcats.
The Statesmen improved to 50-6 with the win and will be making their eighth overall trip to the NCAA Championships, this year held in Montgomery, Alabama. The Tournament is scheduled for May 25 – June 1.
The Statesmen defeated the Wildcats 6-5 earlier in the tournament, pounding out 14 hits in the process, but the rematch proved to be a different story.
Delta State's Nathan Price and Abilene Christian's third baseman-turned-pitcher Brad Massey staged a classic pitcher's duel through the first six innings with both pitchers holding their opponentscoreless.
The Statesmen broke the scoring drought in the top of the seventh inning, scoring three runs on two hits. DSU's first score came after Jud Thigpen raced home after a wild pitch. One batter later, Eric Patten singled through the left side, plating Craig Newton, followed by another score by Clint Turman.
Not to be outdone, the Wildcats answered back in the bottom of the inning when they were able to get into the Statesmen bullpen. Brandon Stover started the rally with a leadoff double, prompting DSU skipper Mike Kinnison to install Reeves Smith on the mound. After a balk moved Stover over to third, Smith walked the next batter and his day was done.
Joel Lyons came on and forced two fly outs before Oscar Vargas singled through the right side, scoring two runs. Dusty Hughes picked up the last out of the inning and went the rest of the way, picking up the save for the Statesmen. Price was credited with the win, improving to 9-1 on the year.
The Statesmen totaled six hits in the win while the Wildcats finished with eight.
Massey was the losing pitcher for Abilene, falling to 3-1 on the year. The Wildcats finish the season 46-14.
Members of the All-Tournament Team were: Steven Tomaszweski (First Base), J.J. Joiner (Outfield), Jud Thigpen (Designated Player), and Nathan Price (Pitcher) of Delta State; Luis Munoz (Second Base), Brad Massey (Third Base), Chris Churchill (Catcher), Clay Chesser (Outfield), Corey Tidwell (Pitcher), and Oscar Vargas (Shortstop) of Abilene Christian; and Sammy Watson (Outfield) of Valdosta State. Tomaszweski was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

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