Never Before: Tech Sweeps Series From DSU

Arkansas Tech became the first team to ever go to Ferriss Field in Cleveland, Miss., and sweep a three-game Gulf South Conference series from Delta State by posting a 4-2 victory over the Statesmen on Sunday.

Blaine Sims (5-3) pitched seven and one-third innings of nearly flawless baseball and Gino Spratley came on to earn his first save as a Wonder Boy as Arkansas Tech made history for a second consecutive day.

The Wonder Boys (33-14, 13-4) had never won a series against the Statesmen before this weekend. They had only defeated Delta State once in their last 31 meetings before Saturday, when Tech defeated the Statesmen 12-2 and 6-5 to clinch their first GSC Tournament berth since 2007.

Delta State (31-13-1, 11-6) struck first on Sunday. Matt Discon hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to put the Statesmen in front 1-0.

Tech took advantage of two DSU errors in the top of the sixth to score the tying run, and the Wonder Boys went in front 2-1 on Anthony Gower’s RBI double in the top of the eighth.

Two more Statesmen errors in the top of the ninth helped Tech add two insurance runs. Chad Wynn had an RBI double, Nick Makris had an RBI single and the Wonder Boys went to the bottom of the ninth with a 4-1 lead.

Delta State did not go quietly. Chase Blanchard notched an RBI single and the Statesmen loaded the bases with just one out.

That was when Spratley induced back-to-back fly outs to right field by two of DSU’s top hitters — Michael Niemann and Josh Gordon — to end the game.

Sims allowed just four hits and struck out five while winning his third straight decision.

Makris and Clint Stroud had three hits apiece for the Wonder Boys. Tech’s Joe Walton recorded two hits.

The Wonder Boys are now two games in front of Delta State for second place in the GSC West Division with one weekend of league play remaining.

Tech will visit Harding University for a three-game series in Searcy next weekend. DSU will host nationally top-ranked and GSC West Division champion Southern Arkansas on Saturday and Sunday.

The Wonder Boys and the Bisons will play two games at noon next Saturday and a single contest at 1 p.m. next Sunday.