All five senior starters reached base and scored a run for the Statesmen in the game and Ben Kingsley and Sam Kidd each had big days at the plate, combining for seven hits with five runs scored and six RBIs. Kidd capped off the game with a grand slam to right field in the bottom of the eight as the Statesmen sealed the victory with a six-run inning.
Delta State (35-5-1, 18-2-1 Gulf South Conference) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead. Kidd reached on a single and Tyler Aldridge followed it up with a walk. After both runners advanced on a failed pickoff attempt, Michael Vinson hit a sacrifice fly to score Kidd.
Kingsley then picked up his first of two RBIs with a single to left field, scoring Aldridge from third. Kingsley then found his way to third base, stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error. Carlos Leal then hit a single down the left field line, scoring Kingsley.
West Georgia (23-21, 11-12 GSC) climbed back into the game with three runs in the second and third innings. The Wolves used a lead off double, followed by a single in the second to score a run and added two more in the third via bases loaded walks. Statesmen starting pitcher Michael Manley was relieved by Ricky Winters after the second walked in run of the inning.
Winters forced a soft line out to Josh Crowdus at short before picking up a strikeout to end the inning and get out of the jam.
The tie didn't last long as the Statesmen bats put together three more runs with a two out rally in the bottom of the third inning. Vinson reached base with a one out walk and Kingsley followed with a single down the left field line to put runners at first and second with one out.
After Vinson then took third on a Leal flyout, Rachal started the scoring in the inning with a RBI single through the left side. Kasey Hinton then singled through the right side and Kingsley scored from second. Rachal moved over to third on the play and the Statesmen followed it up with a perfectly executed double steal. Hinton stole second and on the throw Rachal came home.
The Statesmen never looked back in the game. Kidd led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to the hole at shortstop. The senior then stole second and advanced on a wild throw by the catcher. Kidd never stopped running, rounding third to score all the way from first on the play as the centerfielder misplayed the wild throw from the catcher.
After three quick innings, the Wolves scored a run in the top of the eighth and Delta State blew the game open with six runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Hinton led off the inning with a well-executed bunt single and Crowdus followed it up with a single to center field. Jordan Chovanec then laid down another bunt for a single to load the bases. Sam Kidd then stepped up and smashed his first home run of the season over the right field wall for a grand slam.
The inning wasn't over as Tyler Aldridge then reached on his second walk of the game and Vinson followed it up with a walk against a new pitcher for the Wolves.
Kingsley then picked up his second RBI of the day, sending a ball to left field, scoring Aldridge on the play. After a shallow fly out and an intentional walk to pinch hitter Brent Langston, another pinch hitter, Jonathan Andrews, singled to right, scoring Vinson.
Taylor Stark, who pitched the final out of the eighth inning earned a four out save after recording a pair of strikeouts and a fielder's choice ground out in the ninth. Stark finished with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings pitched, recording his fifth save of the season.
Winters improved to 5-0 on the season, picking up the relief victory with 5.1 innings pitched. Winters gave up one run on three hits, while striking out six.
Manley pitched the 2.1 innings and gave up three runs on four hits and four walks. Manley had two strikeouts in the no decision.
The Statesmen seniors combined for nine hits in 19 at bats, while reaching base on our walks. The group combined for 10 of the 13 runs and seven RBIs.
Delta State will play its final home games of the regular season today, hosting Henderson State University for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.