Dover, Del. (May 15, 2017) ---Delaware State will take on Florida A&M in the opening round of the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament on Wednesday (May 17) in Salisbury, Md. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, home of the minor league Delmarva Shorebirds.
The Delaware State/Florida A&M winner will take on MEAC South champ Bethune-Cookman on Thursday (May 18) at noon. The loser of DSU/FAMU opening round game will face either Maryland-Eastern Shore or North Carolina A&T in an elimination game on Wed. evening.
The Hornets are a No. 2 tournament seed by virtue of their second place finish in the 2017 MEAC North regular season standings. Florida A&M was third in the MEAC South regular season race to earn a No. 3 seed.
This will be the second MEAC Tournament contest between the Hornets and Rattlers in the last three seasons. Florida A&M won the most recent meeting 11-2 in 2015 to open up a 14-3 lead in post-season contests against DSU. Delaware State's last MEAC Tournament victory against the Rattlers was in 2004.
The Hornets and Rattlers did not meet during the 2017 regular season.
Delaware State was 20-23 during the 2017 regular season, including a 14-10 mark in MEAC North games.
Senior catcher Evan Regez is the Hornet's leading hitter this season with a .333 average. Regez has a team-high 48 hits and is tied for the lead with 29 runs scored this season. He also has a team-high five stolen bases (5-for-6).
Two first-year players have also contributed heavily to the Hornets this season.
Freshman 3B Jared Gillis is second on the team with a .305 average. Gillis is second to Regez on the Hornets with 47 hits. He's also tops on the club in total bases (64), third in home runs (3) and fourth in runs batted in (24).
Ciaran Devenney has performed at first base and catcher in his freshman season. Devenney is the Hornets' leader with 31 runs batted in and is tied with Jaylen Zielecki for the team lead with four home runs.
Pitching wise, Delaware State No. 1 starter Lane DeLeon (jr.) is third in the MEAC with a 2.62 earned run average. DeLeon has 4-5 record and leads the Hornets with 56 strikeouts (65.1IP) this season.
Freshman Garrett Lawson is the team leader with five wins (5-4), while Sean McGrath is 4-3 with a 3.57 ERA. McGrath has 53 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched their year.
Hornet closer Darrien Ragins has a 2.63 ERA and is tops in the MEAC with nine saves. Ragins holds DSU's career and single-season saves record.
Florida A&M posted a 26-24 regular season record and a 14-10 MEAC South during the regular season. The Rattlers are third in the MEAC in hitting with a .287 team batting average and posts the league's fourth-best earned run average at 4.78.
Delaware State has an all-time record of 54-66 in the MEAC Tournament. The Hornets won their lone championship in 1989 and were runners-up in 1988, 1991, 2004 and 2012.