Winter Haven, FL – The Pioneers split a double-header on Sunday, losing to Glen Oaks (NJCAA DII) 15-12 before beating Lake County (NJCAA DII) 7-6. The split improves their record to 2-3-1 on the year heading in to a Monday off day.
For the third straight game, Delta was tied or held a lead late in the game against Glen Oaks before a seven-run sixth inning doomed them. Down 3-0 after one inning, Delta put up a four-spot in the top of the second to take a 4-3 lead. Carson Longstreth and Kyle Belger both singled before Jake Glover was drilled with a pitch to load the bases. A Drew Long squeeze bunt score Longstreth and a Braden Lamberg single to right score both Belger and Glover. Lamberg scored after stealing second and third base and scoring on a throwing error.
Glen Oaks re-took the lead with a three run third inning off staring Delta pitcher Andy Sills before the Pioneers were able to tie it up in the fourth with two runs of their own. Cam Fowler and Nick Johnson both singled before scoring on a double off the bat of Carson Longstreth. The Pioneers went up 9-6 in the fifth as Kyle Belger reached on an error and came to third on a Jake Glover single to center and a Drew Long bunt single. Belger would steal home for one run before Braeden Lamberg loaded the bases once again with a bunt single of his own. Long and Lamberg would then score on a double-squeeze off the bat of Johnson.
Glen Oaks made it a 9-8 game with two runs in the fifth before Delta once again put up three runs in the of the sixth courtesy of a two-RBI single off the bat of Belger that scored Longstreth and Jeff Allen. Belger came around to score on a stolen base and an error to make it 12-8 going in to the bottom of the inning.
Glen Oaks would go on to score seven runs in the bottom of the sixth off of Delta reliever Jack Rossbach to take a 15-12 lead. The Pioneers offense loaded the bases in the seventh but couldn't score.
Kyle Belger had a big game for Delta with two hits, three runs and two RBI while Carson Longstreth chipped in with three hits, two runs and two RBI. Braeden Lamberg had his best game of the year with three hits, two runs, two RBI and two stolen bases.
Rossbach (0-1) took the loss in relief of Andy Sills who threw five innings while giving up eight runs (seven earned) while striking out three.
"It's been the same story," said Coach Smith. "We hold a lead late or are tied and then give up a huge inning. Fortunately, we turned the page in the nightcap."
Delta jumped out to a 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning against Lake County as leadoff hitter Cam Fowler walked and stole second before coming around to score on a dropped fly ball off the bat of Carson Longstreth. Longstreth – running hard out of the box – came all the way around to score as well on a close play at the plate.
The Pioneers tacked on three more in the third with a bases loaded squeeze by Nick Johnson and a double squeeze off the bat of Longstreth. Lake County responded with three unearned runs off of Delta starting pitcher Drew Schultz in the fifth but Delta came right back with two more in the bottom half to make it 7-3 heading in to the sixth.
Alex Dingee replaced Schultz on the hill and surrendered another unearned run to make it 7-4. Lake County plated two more in the seventh before Dingee struck out the final hitter to preserve the win and collect his first collegiate save.
Drew Schultz got the win to go to 1-0 on the year, throwing five innings with six strikeouts. Nolan Raymond led the offense with two hits while Jackson Lund had two RBI, a stolen base and a single. Fowler and Even Pocius each scored two runs while Johnson had a run, a stolen base and an RBI.
Delta will next play on Tuesday against NJCAA DII power Monroe CC. The Tribunes have been to the DII College World Series in two of the past three seasons.