Delgado awakens after slow start to stay alive at JUCO World Series

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – For three innings, the Delgado Dolphins were still living in the aftermath of Saturday’s first round loss.

After that, the offense started to click and scored in each of the next six innings to post an 11-5 win over Andrew College on the second day of the 2023 NJCAA World Series at Suplizio Field.

Logan O’Neill stroked and RBI double to cap a two-run fourth inning and Josh Alaxander blasted a two-run home run that gave the Dolphins the lead for good in the fifth inning.

“The game reflected what both teams went through yesterday,” Delgado head coach Joe Scheuermann said. “After you start like they did and like we did, it takes a little while to get off the deck. Both clubs struggled early, but the last six innings we played pretty well. We swung the bat throughout our lineup which has been our club for the last half of the year.”

Delgado (46-12) pounded 18 hits on Sunday to stay alive at the NJCAA World Series. The Dolphins will play again on Monday at 2 p.m. (CT) against the winner of Sunday night’s losers bracket game between Johnson County and Salt Lake City.

Six Delgado players had multiple-hit games in the win over the Tigers. Jacob Singletary, Cole Stromboe and O’Neill led the way with three hits each. Brock Slaton, Jake Kaufmann and Cade Pregeant all had two hits.

The Dolphins hit into five double plays on Sunday, including two in the first three innings. Things changed in the fourth.

Singletary stroked a leadoff double to center and moved to third on Slaton’s hard ground ball that struck Andrew College pitcher Seth Crowe. Singletary raced home on a throwing error by Crowe on a failed pick off attempt and O’Neill stroked a two-run double to left to push the lead to 2-0. A third double play ended the inning.

Andrew College (34-25) answered back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take it’s only lead of the game at 3-2. Brent Buford singled and later scored on a throwing error by Singletary. Deklel Williams blasted a two-run home run to left to give the Tigers the lead.

It was short-lived as Delgado regained momentum in the top of the fifth when Alexander’s two-run home run put the Dolphins ahead to stay.

“Josh gets a big two-run home run to put us back on top,” Scheuermann said. “It was a momentum changer. I am a big believer in momentum. Uncle Mo is a powerful person and once you get him on your side it’s tough to stop. I thought that was a big, big at-bat for us.”

Pregeant led off the inning with a single but was erased when Broussard reached on a fielder’s choice. With one out, Alexander stepped to the plate and deposited his 12th home run of the year into the left-center field bleachers to give the Dolphins a 4-3 lead.

“My at-bat was the key to the game, but it goes back to the team,” Alexander said “They put me in that situation and gave me that opportunity. We’ve been in these situations all year. We just keep battling.”

They kept scoring too.

The Dolphins scored two runs in each of the next three innings and one run in the ninth to extend the lead.

Maddox Mueller hit a solo home run in the sixth and JT Whatley added an RBI single in the seventh to cap the scoring for Andrew College.

Delgado starter Chris Olivier (12-2) battled through six innings for the win. He allowed four runs and five hits with six strikeouts and six walks.

O’Neill moved from second base to the mound in the seventh inning to earn his second save. He allowed one run and two hits in three innings with two walks and two strikeouts. After the plate, he went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, one run scored and one RBI.

“Logan swung the bat for us too and got some big hits,” Scheuermann added. “Not only did he pitch well, but he swung the bat for us.”

Crowe (4-4) took the loss for Andrew.

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