There were 31 hits and 22 runs in Saturday’s NJCAA Region XXIII, Division I championship series between Delgado and Baton Rouge Community College at Zephyr Field.

However, in the end, BRCC reliever Troy Whitty allowed one base runner during the final two innings, preserving a 12-10 victory that keeps the Bears’ chances alive.

The win cut Delgado’s lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

BRCC would have to win two seven-inning games Sunday to advance to the South Central District championship, which will be played May 19-21.

The first game is at 1 p.m. at Zephyr Field

“Troy came to us from LSU,” Bears coach LJ Dupuy said of Whitty, who transferred to BRCC after having arm problems and being released. We took it easy with him hoping we’d have him ready for the end of the season, and he’s pitched well in the two games he’s pitched in the playoffs.

“He’s a big-time guy, a 92, 93 mph (fastball) pitcher. He can throw a good breaking pitch, and he’s got a lot of moxie about him. He’ll go after people.”

In a back-and-forth game, BRCC (32-17) took the lead for good in the top of the ninth after loading the bases with two singles and a walk after there were two out. First baseman John Mauldin then singled to left field, scoring Devin Bailey and William Mouton.

“They got 18 hits,” said Delgado coach Joe Scheuermann, whose team used seven pitchers. “Usually, you wouldn’t be in the game. We had a two-run lead, a one-run lead, but we didn’t pitch well.

“The good thing is, they have to beat us twice (Sunday).”

Mauldin went 5-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs and Mouton 4-for-5 with three runs to lead BRCC. The Bears’ first four hitters combined to go 13-for-21 (.619).

“(Mauldin) has been outstanding for us all year,” Dupuy said. “He has nine home runs. Recently, he’s been lunging at balls, which is a difficult thing because it’s playoff time and we want him to get those big hits.”

Second baseman Brandt Broussard was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs to pace the Dolphins (32-14).

Delgado led 10-9 after Tyler Thompson led off the seventh with a single, advanced to second on Broussard’s bunt, then went to third on a wild pitch and scored when the catcher’s throw went into left field.

BRCC tied the score in the top of the eighth when Layton Laird scored on Aidan Hodges’ fly to right field.

The Bears had taken a 5-1 in the fourth after scoring five runs on five hits and an error in the inning, loading the bases three times.

The Dolphins answered in the bottom of the inning, closing to 5-4, and then scored four runs in the fifth to lead 8-6, the big hits doubles by LaGreco and Christian Clayton.

However, in the sixth, Laird hit a one-out, two-run single to left, scoring Tim Hamilton and Mouton and tying the score.