Sandusky, Ohio – The Delta College baseball team staged a late inning comeback today to win the Region XII championship over Owens Community College and move on to next weekend's Super Regional in Illinois. Down 10-5 heading in to the top of the seventh inning, Delta cut the lead to three before scoring four runs in the eighth to take an 11-10 lead and hold on from there for the victory. The win is the second regional title in three years for DC and improves their overall season record to 28-24.
"We just got together and decided win or lose, we were going to compete offensively and (Delta relief pitcher) Alex was going to throw three perfect innings from here on out," said head coach Danny Smith. "That's exactly what happened."
With the bases loaded and two outs, Delta's Matt Fisher laced a ball into left field that scored Evan Pocius and Andrew Gauthier with the tying and go-ahead runs. Alex Snider, who had entered the game in relief in the sixth inning, threw a perfect eighth and ninth inning to preserve the lead and collect the win on the mound. He threw three and two thirds innings giving up no runs on two hits and striking out one.
It didn't look good for Delta from the start as Owens quickly took advantage of control issues by Delta ace Drew Schultz. A walk, a hit batter, a single and a double spotted Owens a 3-0 after one inning where it remained until Delta's Cam Floyd gave the Pioneers a 4-3 lead with a three-run homerun to left in the top of the third inning. But the Express answered with three more in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-4 lead and held a 10-5 advantage in the bottom of the sixth when the game was delayed due to weather conditions.
"That was lucky," said Smith. "We were just bringing Snider in to the game with one out in the sixth when they called the delay. An hour later, he was still ready to go whereas the Owens pitcher was done for the day."
Snider proceeded to get out of a bases loaded jam unscathed and cruised from there. Meanwhile, Delta continued to be patient at the plate as they collected seven walks and two hit batsmen over the final three innings to aid in the comeback.
Both Floyd (two hits, four RBI) and Gauthier (three hits, two runs, RBI) led the offense as did Fisher with two hits and three walks. Selected to the Region XII All-Tournament team was Floyd with five hits, three runs and seven RBI while Jake Wright was tabbed as well after throwing eight innings giving up one earned run on two hits and striking out nine.
Alex Snider was selected as the tournament MVP as he picked up the win in the championship and the save in the semi-final. In all, he threw four and two-thirds innings giving up no runs on three hits and striking out two while walking zero.
Delta will play the winner of Region IV in a best, two-of-three series with the winner advancing to the NJCAA College World Series in Greeneville, Tennessee. Region IV features defending national champion Oakton Community College as well as national ranked Rock Valley College. Delta advanced to the World Series in 2017 where they finished fifth in the country.