LOCAL COLLEGE/PREP ROUNDUP: With brand new No. 9 ranking, Cavs crushed by Middle Georgia

Darton’s Nate Ferrell turns a double play at second base during Thursday’s game against Middle Georgia, which the Cavs lost, 11-1.

Darton’s Nate Ferrell turns a double play at second base during Thursday’s game against Middle Georgia, which the Cavs lost, 11-1.

ALBANY — An evening that could have been a celebration of the program’s first Top 10 national ranking turned into a night full of frustration for the Darton baseball team.

The Cavs, who were ranked a program-best ninth in Wednesday’s NJCAA poll, suffered their first mercy-rule loss of the season in an 11-1, seven-inning setback to Middle Georgia on Thursday.

The visiting Warriors got to Cavs starter Casey Moody early, scoring one in the first inning and then four more in the second. Moody was pulled after just 1 2/3 innings and took the loss.

Darton’s lone run came in the bottom of the first when Brandon Sharpe knocked in Davis Knapp, who was 1-for-4 with a double.

The Cavs (35-10, 20-6) fell to third place in the Region XVII standings behind Georgia Perimeter and Middle Georgia after their second loss to the Warriors this week.

Middle Georgia’s Tyler Graham got the win after going six innings on the mound. Heaving 60 strikes in 90 pitches, he allowed eight hits and struck out six.

Andrew Kelly led the Warrior’s offense with four hits and three RBI.

The Cavs will host the Warriors again Saturday in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

Albany State routs Kentucky State, 15-2, to stay alive in conference tournament

OZARK, Ala.— Albany State’s long road through the loser’s bracket of the conference tournament started with a rout Thursday against Kentucky State.

The No. 1 seed Rams racked up 16 hits in the elimination game to beat No. 2 seed Kentucky State, 15-2.

Allen Hardy led the Rams at the plate with three hits and two RBI, while Ryan Latner, Robbie Latner, Xavier Chapman and Dexter Moody also added two RBI a piece.

After a scoreless first inning, ASU jumped on Kentucky State starter Larry Joe Dotson Jr. in the second with three hits and four runs. The Rams scored eight more runs in the fourth inning to pull away.

ASU starter Clifford Peterson got the win after throwing five innings and allowing four hits and two runs. The right-hander also struck out five and walked none.

The Rams (18-26), who were knocked into the loser’s bracket on Wednesday after a stunning first-round loss to Tuskegee, will play again today in another elimination game against the loser of Stillman and Miles.

LADY CAVS UPSET IN OPENING ROUND: The No. 2 seed Lady Cavs were upset by Middle Georgia College, 11-7, in the second round of the Region XVII softball tournament in Locust Grove on Thursday.

The loss puts Darton in the loser’s bracket, where the Lady Cavs will play ABAC at noon today.

The Lady Cavs, who are ranked 20th in the nation and entered the tournament with seven wins in their last eight games, will need to win three games to get into the final round, which is scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday.

DWS golfers win meet at Doublegate

ALBANY — The Deerfield golf team avenged its only loss of the season Thursday by beating Tiftarea — along with Brookwood and Westfield — in a four-way meet at Doublegate County Club.

The Knights, whose only loss came to Tiftarea earlier in the season, shot a 310, followed by Tiftarea (319), Brookwood (323) and Westfield (362).

Bill Sharpe led Deerfield with a 76, Wilson Joiner fired a 77, John Leach carded a 78 and Ethan Shellhaas shot a 79.

The Knights play again Tuesday at home against Southland.

DWS 10, CALVARY 5: Weston King threw five innings and allowed just five hits to lead the Knights to a GISA Region 1-AAA win on Thursday.

Leaders at the plate for Deerfield (12-7, 5-2) were Kh’Ron McClain (2-for-2, 2B), Coleman Butler (1-for-4, HR), Sam Shellhaas (2-for-4) and Will Akins (1-for-2, 2B).

DWS plays again Monday at home against Southland.