Delgado favorite in Region 23
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
May 8, 2002
As the team with the best record in the 17th-annual Region 23 Division I Baseball Tournament, the Delgado Community College Dolphins have the role of pre-tournament favorite when play begins Thursday at Scaggs Field on the Meridian Community College campus.
With a 41-9 record and a No. 12 ranking in last week's NJCAA Division I poll, Joe Scheuermann's Dolphins are the team the other five coaches expect to have to deal with at some point.
In Thursday's trio of games, Meridian, 24-26, squares off with Mississippi Delta, 23-16, at 1 p.m., Gulf Coast, 21-22, plays Delgado at 4 p.m., and MACJC state champion Jones, 27-22, takes on East Mississippi, 17-29, at 7.
Jones finished second in the MACJC South Division behind Division II member Pearl River. Gulf Coast tied for fourth place. Delta placed fourth in the MACJC North Division behind Division II members Northwest, Holmes, and Itawamba. East Mississippi was fifth in that league after beating Northeast 10-4 in a one-game playoff.
Scheuermann wasn't so sure about the role of favorite, but admitted winning the tournament was one of his team's annual goals.
Delgado is 10-2 against the tournament field, sweeping Gulf Coast 4-0 and Jones 2-0, while beating MCC four out of six games.
MCC coach Mike Federico is impressed with Delgado after finishing second to the Dolphins in the Miss-Lou Conference standings.
MCC is making its 13th consecutive region appearance. After a three-year absence, East Mississippi is back. The Lions won the inaugural tournament in 1986, beating Northwest 7-6 and 7-3 on the final day. The original tournament field also included Gulf Coast and Delgado.
Delta coach Terry Thompson wasn't sure who thinks will win.
If rain hampers the tournament, blame Thompson for bringing it.
The 1991 tournament was plagued with rain, not finishing until a Wednesday that saw Gulf Coast knock off Delta 11-5 in the championship contest. The Bulldogs went on to the NJCAA World Series that year with current pro Matt Lawton being the team's star.
Jones comes into the tournament hot, winning three of four games in the MACJC State Tournament at Senatobia, Saturday-Monday.