|EMCC Lions fall, 7-2 and 7-5, at Itawamba in MACJC North Division baseball twinbill|
FULTON – At the season’s midway point of league play, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College fell twice, 7-2 and 7-5, on the road to division foe Itawamba CC in junior college baseball action Saturday afternoon at Crubaugh Field.
With both teams battling for position within the MACJC’s North Division standings, the Indians improved to 9-5 in league play to take over third place from EMCC, which fell to 8-6 within the division. The Lions are bidding for their first postseason berth since 2004.
In Saturday’s opener, the home-standing Indians broke out of the gates early with a quick 3-0 lead on Jake Smithey’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. After the visitors got one of the runs back the next frame on a two-out RBI single by Jake Upton off ICC starter Nathan Flanagan, Itawamba answered with two more runs in the home half of the second to move ahead 5-1.
EMCC starter Gabe Franks settled down on the mound after the early damage, but the Lions could only muster one more run the rest of the way in support of their starting pitcher. After Tyler Aldridge’s run-scoring single in the fourth inning, EMCC managed just one more hit off ICC reliever and eventual winner Landon Brister over the final three innings.
A freshman right-hander out of New Hope High School, Franks gave up seven runs (five earned) on eight hits over 5.1 innings to fall to 2-2 on the year.
In the nightcap, EMCC grabbed an early 1-0 lead by plating an unearned run on Zane Migues’ RBI double after Mitch Bohon had reached on an error. Migues would add a fifth-inning single to post his second straight 2-for-4 hitting effort of the afternoon.
ICC reached Upton, EMCC’s game two starter on the hill, for a pair of first-inning runs and single tallies in the second and third frames to take a 4-1 advantage. However, the visitors replied with two scores of their own in the fourth inning off Indians starter Dillon Mitchell. Following singles by Noah Greer and Randy Hornesbuger, EMCC pinch-hitter Stephen Hudson came through with a run-producing single and Aldridge added a sacrifice fly.
The two-run frames continued as Itawamba received a clutch two-out, two-run single from Drew Alford off EMCC reliever Cole Vaughan to get back the three-run margin at 6-3. The Lions again cut the deficit to one run by pushing across a pair of runs for the second straight inning on Tyler Bonaventure’s sacrifice fly and Hornesbuger’s RBI double that plated Alex Chick and Migues, who led off the frame with back-to-back singles.
With the Lions having knocked out Mitchell in the fifth inning, ICC reliever Luke Hargett came in to shut down EMCC in the sixth and seventh innings. After EMCC’s Hudson and Aldridge had started the sixth with a bunt single and walk, respectively, Hargett sandwiched a pickoff of a runner at second base between strikeouts of Bohon and Chick to single-handedly quell the Lions’ possible comeback attempt.
Moving to 20-12 overall on the season, Itawamba plated an insurance run in the sixth on Smithey’s sacrifice fly, while Hargett retired EMCC in order in the seventh to pick up the save for the winners.
For the visitors, Migues, Hornesbuger and Hudson all had two hits apiece in the nightcap, while Aldridge went 2-for-4 at the plate in the opener and added a single in the second game. After totaling seven hits in game one, the Lions managed nine hits in the nightcap.
Head coach Chris Rose’s EMCC Lions, now 10-23 overall on the year, travel to Moorhead to meet Mississippi Delta in a Wednesday afternoon (April 13) doubleheader before returning to campus for a two-date home stand against division foes Holmes (Saturday, April 16) and Coahoma (Tuesday, April 19). Both upcoming home twinbills are set to begin at 3 p.m. at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 April 2011 )|
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