|New era of East Mississippi baseball begins this weekend at Gulf Coast tournament in Florida|
SCOOBA – Under the guidance of first-year head coach Chris Rose, the 2011 edition of the East Mississippi Community College baseball team is slated to debut this weekend (Feb. 4-6) at the Gulf Coast Community College-hosted Kevin Miller Baseball Bash in Panama City. Fla.
The second annual event, presented by Sleep Inn & Suites of Panama City Beach, will feature six of the top junior college baseball teams in the Southeastern United States. Along with the host Commodores of Gulf Coast CC (Fla.) and the EMCC Lions, the three-day tournament will also feature Alabama Southern CC, Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.), Andrew College (Ga.) and Georgia Perimeter College.
With all nine contests set to take place at GCCC’s Frazier Field, all tournament games are scheduled to be covered on the Gulf Coast Sports Network via the DakStats webcast game links located at www.gcathletics.com.
With EMCC returning nine lettermen from last year’s 23-25 ballclub, the 2011 Lions will debut Friday afternoon (2 p.m. CT) in a nine-inning contest against Georgia Perimeter College. The GPC Jaguars were 36-19 last year and advanced to the title game of the NJCAA Region 17 semifinals. East Mississippi will meet host Gulf Coast Saturday at 5 p.m. CT in second-day action. The GCCC Commodores posted a 41-12 record last year en route to claiming the Panhandle Conference championship. Game times for Sunday’s championship round are slated for 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. CT.
Leading returnees on offense for EMCC’s first-year coaching staff include sophomores Hilton Gibson (New Hope HS), Mitch Bohon (Oak Hill Academy) and Tyler Aldridge (Caledonia HS). Hailing as the Lions’ leading returning hitter (.338) from a season ago, Gibson was also the team’s No. 2 run producer with 28 RBI last year.
Bohon, a West Point native, topped the 2010 East Mississippi squad with seven home runs, 12 doubles and 33 runs batted in. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound veteran also batted .311 and scored 33 runs for the Lions a year ago. Aldridge, from Columbus, led EMCC with 34 runs scored last season in addition to hitting .288 with 10 doubles and 22 RBI as a freshman.
On the mound for first-year assistant coach/pitching coach Michael Wallace, EMCC returns more than half of last year’s team wins for the Lions in the combined efforts of veterans Kameron Heiser (West Lauderdale HS), Will Edwards (Kosciusko HS) and Justin Pritchett (Northeast Lauderdale HS). Heiser claimed a team-high five wins in seven decisions a season ago, while Edwards and Pritchett posted freshman pitching marks of 4-4 and 3-1, respectively, in 2010.
Set to make his East Mississippi coaching debut this weekend, Rose replaced former EMCC head baseball coach Tony Montgomery following the 2010 campaign. Rose spent the previous five seasons as head baseball coach at Meridian Community College, guiding the Eagles to a composite record of 186-93. During his coaching stint at MCC, Rose piloted the Eagles to MACJC state championships in 2008 and 2006 as well as an NJCAA Region 23 title in 2009.
Following subsequent road trips to Bevill State (Feb. 11), Jones County (Feb. 12) and Copiah-Lincoln (Feb. 15), the EMCC Lions are scheduled to make their 2011 home baseball debut on Saturday, Feb. 19 against reigning NJCAA Region 23 Tournament participant Pearl River CC. Doubleheader action at Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus is set to begin at 1 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 February 2011 )|
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