Wickes Park – Delta swept a double header from Mott Community College on Friday in the most unusual of fashions, winning game one 7-1 late before being no-hit in game two and still prevailing, 2-1. The wins keep DC in third place in the MCCAA East with a 16-10 record while improving their overall record to 29-19.
Delta struck first in game one as Hunter David singled home Brady Leppek in the bottom of the second. Mott answered in the third as they collected their only hit of the game off starting Pioneer pitcher Thomas Fortney to make it a 1-1 contest.
It remained tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Ty Jones would reach third base for Delta with two outs. With two strikes on the batter, Jones feinted a steal of home plate in an attempt to get the Mott pitcher to balk. Instead, he stepped off the back of the mound and tried picking Jones off third base and ultimately threw the ball away to give Delta a 2-1 lead. The wheels fell off the Mott proverbial bus from there as they surrendered five additional two out runs.
Meanwhile, Fortney continued his late season dominance on the hill, facing just two batters over the minimum in a complete game effort and striking out three. In six of his seven innings, he sat the Bears down in order. On offense, the Pioneers were led once again by the hot-hitting Hunter David as he went three-for-three with a walk.
In game two, Mott got on the board in the third inning courtesy of back-to-back miscues by the Delta defense to take a 1-0 lead. The Pioneers tied it in the bottom of the inning however, as two walks and back-to-back ground outs allowed Justin Heinlein to score. Justin Jurek, the sophomore starting pitcher for Delta, continued to keep the Mott bats at bay as did the Bear starter and the score remained tied at one until the bottom of the fifth.
Grant Slomkowski was hit by a pitch to lead the inning off for Delta followed by another Heinlien walk. Zack Booth then grounded out to short to put runners at the corners with one out. Booth would steal second moments later and when the throw went to second base to nab him, Slomkowski scooted home ahead of the return throw to the plate to take a 2-1 lead.
Delta didn't collect a hit in the contest, drew three walks and had a hit batter while Mott committed zero errors. Yet they went to the top of the seventh clinging to a one-run lead.
With Ethan Lesperance now in relief of Jurek, Mott threatened to tie the score with a leadoff double. A walk and a balk put runners at second and third with no outs but the sophomore from Essexville Garber struck the next three batters out to get the save and secure the win for Delta.
"I've not been on the receiving end of a no-hitter where my team won since I've been a college coach," said Delta head coach Danny Smith. "My teams have won games in the past where a pitcher throws a no-hitter with ten walks and his defense has seven errors behind him but nothing like this where both teams played a relatively clean game."
Delta heads to Mott on Sunday to finish the series with the Bears. It will also be the last regular season game for the Pioneers as they begin regional play next Friday at Northwood University.