CLEVELAND, Miss. – Delta State scored the game's first 10 runs as the Statesmen defeated Valdosta State 10-5 in Gulf South Conference baseball action at Ferriss Field Sunday afternoon.
The victory improved DSU to 17-7 on the season and 4-5 in GSC play while Valdosta State fell to 15-9 and 7-2 in league action.
The two starting pitchers dominated in the early going before Delta State struck for three runs in the fourth inning. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Jon Carnahan singled to right for the first Statesmen hit of the game and advanced to second as Brent Langston grounded out to second. A hit batter and a walk loaded the bases before Jonathan Andrews singled to drive in Carnahan and Michael Vinson. Jordan Chovanec followed with a base hit that plated Tyler Aldridge for a 3-0 DSU lead.
After sending nine men to the plate in the fourth, Delta State sent 10 more up to bat in the fifth inning while scoring six runs. The Statesmen collected five hits in the inning and also took advantage of an error that led to three unearned runs as the pushed their advantage to 9-0.
DSU added its final run in the bottom of the sixth inning before Valdosta State struck for all five of its runs in the seventh.
After VSU collected just two hits through the first six innings of the game against DSU starter Josh Branstetter, Austin Lawrence opened the seventh with a single and reached second safely when a throw to second on a Steven Groves batted ball eluded Aldridge. Chaz Bagwell followed with a single that loaded the bases and Bryant Hayman doubled down the left field line to score both Lawrence and Groves while Buster Jackson drove in two more with a base hit. After a fly out and a ground out, Branstetter looked to get out of the inning with a ground ball off the bat of Cameron Graves, but Aldridge was unable to handle the ball at second base to allow Jackson to score the game's final run.
Branstetter pitched a complete game and improved to 1-1 as he allowed eight hits and five runs, only three of which were earned. He did not walk a batter while striking out 13 in the game. VSU's Pete Whittingslow surrendered nine hits and nine runs, six earned, while striking out three in falling to 2-2.
Ryan Noelte and Bagwell each tallied two hits to lead VSU offensively while Jackson and Hayman drove in two each.
Valdosta State returns to action Wednesday, March 28 at 6:00 p.m. when it travels to Saint Leo.