Flint, MI – The Pioneers ended their regular season schedule on Sunday, splitting a double-header with the Mott Bears as they lost game one 6-2 and won the nightcap, 11-7. With the win, they finish the season at 30-20 overall and 17-11 in the MCCAA East, good enough for third place. The 30-win season is the fifth consecutive year in which they have reached the milestone in wins, making them just one of two teams in the league to have done so.
Delta jumped out to a 1-0 in game one when Dean Marais singled home Hunter David in the top of the first. But Mott responded with four runs in the fourth (three unearned) off starting pitcher Jake Gross to open the game up. They would add another run in the fifth and one in the sixth while Delta could only muster a late run in the seventh.
Gross took the loss throwing 3.2 innings while striking out four and giving up seven hits. His record drops to 3-4 on the season. Marais led the offense with three singles while Hunter David added a double and a run in the loss.
Flint native and left-handed ace Tyler Kirkwood toed the rubber for Delta in game two and didn't disappoint as he threw five innings giving up two earned runs on seven hits while striking out three to improve his record to 4-2. Ethan Lesperance relieved him and threw the sixth and seventh innings.
Down 1-0 in the fifth, Pioneer third sacker Ty Jones launched his third homerun of the season to tie it one apiece. Tyley Snover would then get a two-out single before scoring ahead of Zack Booths RBI triple to give DC a 2-1 lead.
With the score knotted at two in the top of the sixth, Delta exploded for nine runs on four hits two errors and four walks. The big blows came off the bats of Snover with a two-RBI double and Zach Schirmer with a bases clearing double of his own.
Although Mott attempted a comeback, it was too little too late as Lesperance slammed the door to preserve the 11-7 win.
Snover and Booth led the offense with two hits apiece.
"It was nice to see the offense finally come to life after three straight games of grinding it out," said sixth year skipper Danny Smith. "Our pitching has just been phenomenal as of late and our defense has been pretty solid for the most part. If our offense can just stay consistent, I think we have a chance at winning our first regional next week."
Delta will play the winner of Schoolcraft and Lorain at 4pm on Friday at Northwood University. Should they win, they will play again on Saturday at 4pm. If they lose, they will play Saturday at noon. The winner of the Region XII regional tournament advances to the Super Regional versus the winner of Region IV in a best of three series to advance to the College World Series.