|EMCC Lions drop home baseball doubleheader to No. 17 Itawamba|
SCOOBA, Miss. – The Lions of East Mississippi were swept, 20-1 and 15-5, by North Division-leading Itawamba Tuesday afternoon in community college baseball action at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field.
Following a mercy rule-shortened victory by 17th-ranked Itawamba in the opener, the two divisional rivals were involved in a one-run contest through the first four innings of the nightcap until the visiting Indians plated five runs in the fifth en route to completing the sweep and extending their winning streak to 12 consecutive games.
After both teams pushed across a pair of runs in the second inning, ICC took a brief 3-2 lead in the fourth when Jake Sloan’s groundout drove home Ladarrius Cole, who led off the frame with a triple. The Lions reclaimed the lead, 4-3, in the home half of the inning with two more scores. Heidelberg’s Derek Beach led off the fourth with a triple and came home two batters later on Chase Pearson’s single. Pearson, of Hatley, later scored on Nathan Peden’s two-out RBI single.
Itawamba came right back to chase EMCC starter Corey Luke after a leadoff walk in the fifth inning. New Hope’s Drake Gregory gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters he faced. Following a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Nate Coleman that knotted the score at 4-4, Gregory got Cole to ground into a potential inning-ending double play. However, the Lions could not complete the back end of the double play, allowing a run to score and extending the inning. Two batters later, Sloan connected on an opposite-field, three-run home run to give ICC an 8-4 cushion.
The 23-5 Indians then batted around during a seven-run seventh inning to secure the 15-5 victory for Justin Bryant in relief of starter Joseph Koon. Gregory took the loss in the nightcap for East Mississippi.
Itawamba opened the twin bill by sending 14 batters to the plate during a nine-run first inning. With seven hits in the opening frame, the Indians chased EMCC starter Drew Esslinger after one time through the batting order. The Lions’ lone tally in the first game came in the second when Columbus’ Billy Beard scored on David Williams’ groundout after leading off the inning with a triple. ICC would later send 16 batters to the plate during an 11-run, 10-hit fifth inning in which the first 10 ICC hitters all reached base safely and later scored.
Josh Chism scattered six hits, while striking out two and not issuing a walk, over five innings to record the complete-game victory for the Indians in the opener.
For East Mississippi, Peden, a preseason NJCAA third-team All-American by way of Northeast Lauderdale, went 4-for-7 for the afternoon with a double in each outing. Beach had three hits with two runs scored on the day, while Hernando’s Williams had two singles in the nightcap and an RBI in each contest for the Lions.
Head coach Tony Montgomery’s EMCC Lions, now 6-25 overall and 2-6 in North Division play, travel to Goodman to meet Holmes in a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 March 2009 )|
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