SuperTalk Mississippi

Mississippi College eliminates Delta State in regional

Photo courtesy of Mississippi College Athletics.
Photo Courtesy of Mississippi College Athletics

In a very familiar matchup, Mississippi College continued their historic season by eliminating in-state rival Delta State University by a score of 7-4 in the NCAA Division II South Regional on Tuesday afternoon. 

It was the third time that the two teams have met this postseason. On May 8 in Cleveland, the Choctaws defeated the Statesmen in the semifinals of the Gulf South Conference tournament before eventually defeating Lee University in the championship game.

On May 18, the Statesmen came out on top, winning 13-3 in the first round of the regional, but the Choctaws would get the last laugh after Tuesday’s win.

“It was awesome,” senior left fielder Hunter Wilson said. “The first game, we didn’t show up like we should have, and we remembered it.”

The Mississippi College offense, led by Wilson, has been a force all postseason, and Tuesday afternoon was no different. The Choctaws put up three quick runs in the 3rd inning before Delta State responded with three of their own, in large part due to a two-run shot from Zack Shannon. This would be Shannon’s 31st home-run on the season. Earlier in the day against Montevallo, the Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist broke the state’s home run record held by Rafael Palmeiro (1984) and Bruce Castoria (1981).  

After trading a run apiece, Mississippi College’s Billy Cameron delivered a two-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give his team a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the contest.

Shelby Craddock (3-0) earned the win for the Choctaws to secure his undefeated season, and Statesmen pitcher Jason Lott (3-3) would come away with the unfortunate loss. Closer Ryan Lane kept his postseason surge going with his second save of the regional.

Unfortunately for Mississippi College, their postseason was also cut short the very next game when they lost to the University of Tampa, 7-1, in the regional semifinals on Tuesday night.

A magical season for the Choctaws, which included the second most wins in school history (36) and a conference championship, leaves a sense of satisfaction with fans across the state, and 2019 should be no different.

“Expect bigger and better things [for 2019],” Lane said. “We aren’t losing many people, and now that we have set the standard high, there is no reason we shouldn’t reach it again and go further.”

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