MAGNOLIA, Ark. - Former conference foes Southern Arkansas and Delta State renewed their rivalry in non-conference action on Tuesday night as the No. 17 Muleriders hosted the No. 1 Statesmen in Walker Stadium at Goodheart Field. The Statesmen (14-2) would get the better of the top-25 non-conference clash as they beat the Muleriders (14-7) by a score of 8-1.
The Muleriders took an early 1-0 lead as they scored the game's initial run in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI double to right-centerfield by David Harris. Harris' double scored Jason Dahl, who singled on a bunt to lead off the inning.
That early lead would stand until the top of the third inning when the Statesmen were able to score the tying run on a single by Jordan Chovanec.
After neither team scored in the fourth inning, the Statesmen broke the game open in the top of the fifth inning as they scored five runs on four hits to take a 6-1 lead. During that eventual five-run outburst, Mulerider starting pitcher Timothy Buchanan would be chased from his start with one out in the fifth. Prior to that inning, Buchanan had given up just two hits while allowing one unearned run.
Janson Carr would come on in relief of Buchanan and the right-hander allowed a pair of hits before working out of the fifth inning. Carr would return to the mound and did not allow a hit over the sixth and seventh innings.
The Statesmen would tally an unearned run off of Carr in the seventh inning, however, to extend their lead out to 7-1. Another run of insurance came in the eighth inning to put the score to its eventual final, 8-1.
The Muleriders will now turn their attention to their upcoming weekend series with Henderson State. The pivotal Great American Conference series is set to begin on Friday, March 8th with a first-pitch time slotted for 6:00 p.m.