NEW ORLEANS — A pair of lefties had all the right stuff for No. 3-ranked Delgado on Sunday at the NJCAA Region 23 Division Tournament at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
Christian Trent and Pierce Liberta threw complete-game victories over Meridian (Miss.) Community College and Batton Rouge CC, respectively, putting the Dolphins within one win of advancing to the NJCAA South Central District Tournament next weekend at Connor State College in Warner, Okla.
Trent defeated Meridian 11-3, and Liberta beat BRCC 8-2 to put the undefeated Dolphins in the driver’s seat of the double-elimination tournament.
Delgado (45-9) and BRCC (28-30) will meet at 1 p.m. Monday for the championship. A second game, if necessary, will follow at 4 p.m.
“Liberta and Trent have been good for us all year long,’’ Scheuermann said. “They give you a chance to win every time out. They throw the ball over the plate, and we play well behind them defensively.’’
Sophomore right-hander John DeArmond (2-2, 3.69) is expected to start for the Dolphins on Monday.
Delgado 8, BRCC 2: Liberta (7-0) allowed seven hits in the nightcap, striking out five and walking one in going the distance.
Designated hitter Luke Voiron and center fielder Bubby Riley led a balanced 10-hit attack with two RBIs apiece. Riley’s two-run triple into the right-field corner highlighted a three-run seventh for the Dolphins.
BRCC starter Jared Keating (6-6) pitched well in defeat, striking out 12 and walking two in six innings.
“We pretty much hung a number in every inning,’’ Scheuermann said. “When you do that, you got to feel good about it.’’
Delgado 11, Meridian 3: Trent earned his fourth consecutive complete game victory Sunday in a game shortened to seven innings because of the NJCAA eight-run mercy rule.
Meridian ended its season at 18-30.
Trent (9-2) allowed five hits, struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. He entered Sunday’s game with a streak of 23 consecutive scoreless innings after shutout victories wins against LSU-Eunice, BRCC and Meridian. He extended the streak to 25.2 innings before the Eagles scored two unearned runs in the third and one unearned run in the fourth to take a short-lived 3-2 lead. Delgado pushed across five runs in the bottom of the fourth on four Meridian errors and two hits.
“We got an adrenaline rush in the first inning when we scored twice, then we kind of sat back on our heels defensively,’’ Scheuermann said. “But the kid (Trent) threw well. He has a legit D-1 arm. This is no accident. He can get it done.’’
Trent, who transferred to Delgado after a redshirt season at LSU, recently signed a national letter of intent with Ole Miss.
“I’m glad I left LSU and came here,’’ said Trent, who prepped at St. Paul’s in Covington. “LSU is a good program, but this is where my career starts collegewise. I’ll have three years left at Ole Miss. Delgado is a good steppingstone to continue your college career.’’
Delgado added two runs in the fifth and closed out the game on RBI singles by Bubby Riley and Cameron Hoffman in the seventh.
BRCC 5, Meridian 2: Baton Rouge CC used a five-run inning and the pitching of right-hander Mason Liles to win the day’s first game.
The Bears did all of their damage against Meridian starter Andrew Crook (4-2) with two outs in the fifth as left fielder Bo Parker and first baseman Nicholas Ber each delivered two-run hits.
Liles (3-1) scattered 10 hits over 7.1 innings, striking out five and walking four. James Fontenot threw the final 1.2 innings for the save.
Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, BRCC center fielder Adam Michel prevented two runs from scoring with an inning-ending diving grab of a sinking liner off the bat of Jonathan Youngblood.