Jackson, MI – The Delta College baseball team just can't catch a break.
In Thursday's Region XII contest against Schoolcraft, the Pioneers held a one-run lead in the seventh when a seemingly easy throw was dropped at second base to give Schoolcraft the game tying run and force extra innings. The Ocelots would go on to win in eight innings, 10-6.
On Friday against MCCAA East foe Jackson College, Delta had a runner at third with one out in a 1-1 game in the top of the eighth – their second straight extra inning contest. With the runner at third breaking for home, the Pioneer hitter bunted through the pitch and instead of leading 2-1 the game remained tied.
In the bottom of the eighth, a leadoff single to center and bunt single put runners at first and second with no outs. Another bunt moved the runners up and with one out, Delta elected to intentionally walk the next hitter and go to a five-man, suicide defense. A ground out to first nabbed the runner at the plate and with two outs it looked like they were going to get out of the inning unscathed when a quiet ground ball was hit to second base.
But the ball was misplayed into a game losing error and the Pioneers fell, 2-1. Jackson went on to pick up the sweep with a 10-2 thrashing in the nightcap. Delta is now 7-12 on the season, 2-4 in MCCAA East play.
"We have moments of brilliance intermingled with small instances of devastation," said Coach Danny Smith about the team's late inning letdowns. "I believe that if we can just get in to some kind of rhythm – like playing on our own field or playing the schedule as it was designed that you would see a completely different ball club."
Delta starting pitcher Carson Longstreth threw the first seven innings in dominating fashion, allowing just three hits and striking out four. One of those hits gave Jackson a 1-0 lead on an opposite field homerun in the second inning. Delta scored a single run in the fourth to tie it up, however, as Jackson Lund singled and was moved to second on a one-out bunt by Andrew Gauthier. A wild pitch and a two-out error tied the game at 1-1 where it remained until Jackson scored in the eighth.
Connor Moe took the loss to drop his record to 0-2 on the year while three separate Pioneers collected hits in the contest to lead the offense.
DC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in game two as Evan Pocius doubled and scored on back-to-back bunts in the third inning. But that would be as close as it would get for Delta, as Jackson scored three runs in their half of the inning, another run in the fourth, five in the fifth and a single run in the sixth. Alex Dingee (2-1) took the loss.
The Pioneers play again at Jackson on Tuesday before heading to Owens Community College for a Region XII double-header Wednesday.