May 31, 2012 – Tyler Ockuly’s complete game, six-hitter powered the No. 3 Mavericks (51-11) of Minnesota State University past the No. 2 Statesmen (48-14) of Delta State University Thursday, May 31 at the NCAA DII College World Series. The MSU victory sets up a rematch between the two teams on Friday, June 1 with a berth in Saturday’s championship game on the line.
The Statesmen had several opportunities to put runs on the board in the contest, but couldn’t scratch anything across. DSU finished the game with six hits, while MSU scored one run on three hits, all-coming in the second inning.
DSU’s Ben Kingsley led off the second inning with a triple to right and Tyler Aldreidge followed with a walk, but back-to-back strikeouts by MSU starter Ockley (7-3) and a caught stealing ended the Statesmen threat.
Mike Eckhart’s two out, solo home run in the bottom of the second inning put the Mavericks up early 1-0.
The Green-and-White threatened again in the sixth inning after a one out double by Sam Kidd. Jon Carnahan would draw a two out walk to put two runners on base, but Ockuly worked out of the spot with a Kingsley strikeout.
Statesmen starter Aaron Newcomb (11-4) kept MSU off the bases in the bottom of the sixth and again in the seventh by retiring six straight.
In the top of the eighth, the Statesmen made their move as Jordan Chovanec and Kidd recorded back-to-back base hits to put runners at first and third with one out. Michael Vinson slapped a slow roller to second that MSU’s Matt Kuchenbecker turned into a controversial double play ending the threat. Vinson, who appeared to be safe at first on NCAA.com‘s instant replay, was ejected from the game.
Ockuly worked a perfect ninth to nail down the 1-0 victory for the Mavericks and setting up Friday’s rematch. The 5-foot-11 right-hander allowed six hits with two walks and six strikeouts to earn the victory.
Newcomb also worked a complete game, allowing one run on three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. The Centralia, Ill., native did not allow a Maverick hit after the second inning and only two more base runners on hit-by-pitches in the loss.
Kidd and Kingsley led the Statesmen with two hits each, while Eckhart, Nolan Johnson and Jeremy Sudbeck tallied hits for the Mavericks.
The MSU win evened the all-time series with Statesmen at 1-1. DSU had previously defeated the Mavericks 14-11 (10) in the 1978 NCAA South Central Region Tournament in Cleveland, Miss.
The Statesmen and Mavericks will square off Friday at a yet to be determined time. The NCAA will announce the game time after the conclusion of the West Chester versus Catawba contest. GoStatesmen.com will have complete updates later today.
The Statesmen Sports Network will have complete coverage of Friday’s contest starting 15 minutes prior to first pitch with the DSU Alumni Association Statesmen Game Day Report. Matt Jones has the call.