This is a winning percentage percentage of.826, better than Mike Kinnison’s career winning percentage. And that’s saying something considering Kinnison’s previous 21 Statesmen teams won 75.6 percent. The Mississippi Delta is certain to have a hot, humid summer after a successful spring by the Delta State baseball team. We learned this weekend that Mississippi College, which recently moved back to Division II after being in Division III, has made great strides under Jeremy Haworth, its third-year coach. Haworth took over a team which finished 12-34 in 2015. His first MC team was 17-30. Then came 20-28, and now he is 29-15. The Choctaws split a doubleheader against Delta State on Saturday and finished 18-10 in the tough Gulf South. They will now be the No. This weekend, the 4th seed. We’ll return to Mississippi College but first, we have to look at Delta State, which won for the 11th consecutive year the Gulf South regular-season title under Kinnison. When Kinnison was asked Sunday to compare his spring team with previous editions, Kinnison replied, “Offensively this is probably our best.” We’ve been quite good defensively. Although we may not have the same arm strength as some past teams, these guys have done an excellent job. These guys are definitely one of the best teams we have.” The statistics prove it. The Statesmen, led by Zack Shannon, last year’s Division II National Player-of-the Year, clocked a team score of.334 It’s not a typo: The Statesmen hit.334 collectively. Their team has scored 64 runs in 46 games. Shannon is the leader, with a school-record 28 homers and a.434 average batting. They also have 82 RBI in 44 games. Kinnison stated, “I have never seen a hitter enjoy a season like Zack’s and I doubt that I will ever again.” It’s amazing that his opponents are so knowledgeable about him that they rarely even give him a pitch. He isn’t a swing-and-miss guy. He has only 22 strikeouts for a guy with so much power compared to 28 home runs. This is pretty remarkable.” Shannon, a Cincinnati native, has now hit 47 home runs in two seasons. There are many people who can help him. Ridgeland’s second baseman Emil Ellis is at.404. Right fielder Clay Casey is second in the batting order and is currently hitting.351 with 15 runs and 62 RBI. The Statesmen have a lot of experience. Eighteen of the nine batters Sunday were seniors. On Sunday, Delta State honored 16 seniors with Senior Day. Don’t assume that DSU will lose its baseball mountain just because half of the roster has graduated. Similar turnover occurred before 2017, when the Statesmen won a regional, finished at 45-13 and advanced to the D-II College World Series. How can you explain DSU’s success with Kinnison as coach? Shannon tried it. Shannon stated, “That man hates losing.” The reporter nodded. Shannon replied, “No, you don’t understand, Kinnison really hates losing.” There’s a big difference between liking losing or loathing to lose, and being the person he is. Is it the old saying, “The sun rises tomorrow?” Kinnison does not believe that. He doesn’t believe that if we lose, the sun will always rise for us. He expects perfection.” Mississippi College seems to have a coach with the same outlook. Haworth, who is originally from Ouachita Baptist and came to Mississippi College, is a demanding coach who is proud of the program’s progress. Haworth stated, “We had three dogfights this weekend with Delta State.” We only got one, but we should have had two. We were in all three. They’re like Goliath and we’re kind of David right now, but at least they’re fighting now.” The Gulf South Conference Tournament features eight teams, divided into two divisions. Each team plays the other three in its respective division in games on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The championship game will be played on Tuesday between the two best teams. On Monday, DSU and Mississippi College will face off again. It is not surprising that Tuesday’s league championship will be decided by this game.