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First-Place Wonder Boys to Visit DSU

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The top two offensive teams in Gulf South Conference West Division baseball will meet for three-game series with major GSC West Division title implications when Arkansas Tech visits Delta State this weekend.

The Wonder Boys (24-13 overall, 10-2 GSC) and the Statesmen (24-14, 9-3) will play a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday. Those games will be broadcast in the Russellville area on KWKK 100.9 FM. The series will conclude with a single game beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday. That contest can be heard in the Arkansas River Valley on KCAB 980 AM. All three games will be played at Ferriss Field in Cleveland, Miss.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcasts (pay no attention to the game times listed on the streaming page; the game times listed in this article are correct). Arkansas Tech enters the weekend in first place in the GSC West, while Delta State is tied for second place with nationally 16th-ranked Harding (32-7, 9-3).

Just three weekends remain in regular season league play before the top four teams from the GSC West join the top four teams from the GSC East for the Gulf South Conference Tournament in Millington, Tenn., May 6-10.

Arkansas Tech and Delta State are both on pace to reach Millington primarily because of their hitting.

The Wonder Boys rank No. 1 among GSC West teams in batting average (.347), slugging percentage (.571), on-base percentage (.438), runs (348), base hits (433), doubles (99) and home runs (50).

The Statesmen are right on Arkansas Tech’s heels in several of those categories. Delta State ranks second in the GSC West in batting average (.321), slugging percentage (.473) and runs (289).

The Statesmen have traditionally dominated their series with the Wonder Boys. Delta State won 30-of-31 games over Arkansas Tech during a stretch from 1999-2009.

DSU had won 10 consecutive games against the Wonder Boys and the Statesmen were 45-5 all-time against Arkansas Tech going into the 2010 season.

Unfazed by history and by Delta State’s No. 15 national ranking, the Wonder Boys went to Ferriss Field last season and swept the Statesmen by scores of 12-2, 6-5 and 4-2.

It was not only the first time that Arkansas Tech had ever swept a series from Delta State; it was the first time the Wonder Boys had ever even won a series against the Statesmen.

Just like it did last season, Arkansas Tech carries a five-game winning streak into its series at Delta State. The Wonder Boys have scored 10 or more runs in five consecutive games, their longest such streak since March 2005.

The Statesmen won six straight games from March 30-April 5, but Delta State has since lost 3-of-4 contests. Ouachita Baptist went to Cleveland and took 2-of-3 games from the Statesmen last weekend.

After visiting Delta State, Arkansas Tech will prepare to host Henderson State for a three-game GSC series at Tech Field on Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23.