Philadelphia, PA – The second-seed South Alabama Jaguars scored four runs over the first two innings and then coasted to a 9-4 victory over the third-seed Mercer Bears to being the Starkville Regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Jeff DeBlieux was 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and Nick Zaharion was a perfect 2-for-2 with three RBI for South Alabama (43-18). Dustin Dalken also got in on the hit parade with a 2-for-4, four RBI effort. Anthony Izzio allowed just a single run in six innings of work as he collected the win.
Nick Backlund went 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI for Mercer (43-16) while Brandon Barker took the loss after facing just seven batters and allowing three runs.
Alex Detz was a perfect 3-for-3 to lead the Mississippi State Bulldogs as they survived a scare by posting a 5-3 victory over the Central Arkansas Bears in the second half of the regional's first day.
Wes Rea was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI as well for the top-seed Bulldogs (44-17) who trailed 2-1 after four and a half innings. Kendall Graveman ended up as the winning pitcher as he allowed two runs, one of which was earned, on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Caleb McClanahan gave up five runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings of work to take the loss for Central Arkansas (39-21) while Michael Marietta (2-for-4) was the only player in the lineup to record more than one hit.
On Saturday Mercer and Central Arkansas will meet up in the loser's bracket while Mississippi State and South Alabama will play later in the day in the winner's bracket. The winner of the Mercer/Central Arkansas contest will face the loser between Mississippi State and South Alabama on Sunday for a spot in the regional final. The loser of the Mercer/Central Arkansas contest on Saturday will be eliminated from the tournament.