CLEVELAND, Miss. — Lee University head baseball coach Mark Brew reached a milestone on Saturday afternoon when his Flames handed 12th-ranked Delta State a 5-3 defeat. All the news was not good from Ferriss Field, however. Lee dropped a 9-0 decision to the Statesmen on Friday and then fell 11-1 in the nightcap of Saturday's twinbill.
Brew is in his ninth year as the head man at Lee. His current record stands at 400-104-1, an average of over 44 victories per season. His current Flames stand at 23-15 and 10-11 in Gulf South Conference play. Delta State improved to 24-7 and 19-4 against conference opponents.
The Flames scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning as they battled from behind to upset the Statesmen in game one. Lee trailed 2-0 until they scored a single run in the sixth inning to make it a 2-1 contest on a sacrifice fly by Josh Silver that scored Nate Wierzgac. Another single run in the seventh inning tied the contest at two. Jordan Stewart had a one-base knock to right that plated Zac Hawkins.
Delta State took the lead again (3-2) in the bottom of the seventh but a three-run rally salted the big victory away for the Brew crew in the eighth. Derrick Pitts collected a pair of RBI with a double that scored Silver and Cameron Brewster. The final tally came on a single by Andres Nelo that pushed Pitts across home plate.
Nelo and Brewster had two hits apiece in the win, while Siosi Poti and Wierzgac joined the nine-hit parade. Pitts had the game's only extra base hit.
Pitching against the hard-hitting Statesmen was a key to the victory. Senior Jeremy Stawychny started and worked 6 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits, three earned runs, struck out three and walked three. Jeremy Bales came on to continue his splendid relief work. The senior submariner hurled 2 2/3 innings of one-hit ball to pick up his second win of the season. Bales did not walk a hitter.
Michael Manley was the starting and losing Delta State pitcher. He hurled eight innings and allowed eight hits, four earned runs, struck out four and walked four. Trevor Blocker worked the final inning. Jordan Chovanec proved to be a hard out during the entire game. He had four hits in five trips to the plate, while Landon Thibodeaux added a pair of singles.
In Saturday's nightcap, Jonathan Moody hurled a six-inning three-hitter at the Flames. He also fanned seven and walked two while allowing one earned run.
Pitts, Hawkins and Wierzgac had Lee's only hits. Hawkins scored the lone run and Wierzgac posted the RBI. Pitts toed the rubber for 2/3 of the first inning but quickly gave up six hits and five earned runs. Grayson Bailey pitched the next 2 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and one earned run. Carlos Ditren followed for 1 2/3 innings and did not give up an earned run, while Ryan Zimmer wrapped things up in the sixth.
Chovanec continued his hot hitting from his lead-off position with three one-base knocks. Carlos Leal also had three hits and posted a pair of RBI. Hunter Twitty drove home two runs while Benji Sullivan, Kasey Hinton and Dex Herrington each banged out a double.
The Flames will return to non-conference action on Tuesday when they travel to Greeneville, Tenn. and re-match with Tusculum College.
Winning pitcher Drew Milligan got all the run support he needed in the first inning and Delta State University held on to its top spot in the Gulf South Conference (GSC) with a 9-0 victory over visiting Lee University on Friday evening.
Milligan (2-2) hurled a complete nine-inning game. He allowed six hits, two walks and struck out six. The Statesmen struck for four runs in the first off Lee starting and losing pitcher Dustin Lawson (4-3). The Flame right-hander gave up five earned runs, nine hits, walked three and struck out two over four innings. Rob Gustitus came on to give Lee three solid innings. He surrendered one earned run, two hits, two walks and fanned four. Lucas Barnett pitched in the ninth.
Will Robertson and Chovanec banged out three hits apiece as the winners pounded out 13 hits. Herrington had two hits including a double and Ricky Velez posted two hits to help spark the Delta State attack. Chovanec also scored three runs and Velez scored twice. Robertson and Herrington were the RBI leaders with two apiece.
Pitts was the only Flame with more than one hit. He pounded out a pair of singles. Cameron Scott, Hawkins, Blake Ray and Wierzgac had Lee's other singles.