|EMCC Lions firmly stay in MACJC baseball playoff picture by sweeping Coahoma|
SCOOBA – The Lions of East Mississippi Community College moved one step closer to securing their first postseason baseball berth since 2004 by sweeping visiting Coahoma, 6-4 and 9-4, Tuesday afternoon in MACJC North Division action at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field.
With the sweep of Coahoma, the EMCC Lions maintained their fourth-place spot in the divisional standings by improving to 12-8 in league play. Itawamba is currently in third place within the division at 12-6, while front-running Holmes and second-place Northwest Mississippi presently lead the way at 15-5 and 13-5, respectively, following Tuesday’s action.
In their opener against Coahoma, the Lions grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the second inning as Connor Cox drove home Tyler Bonaventure, who had reached base with a double. After the visitors moved ahead 2-1 in the third on a leadoff solo home run by Kavaun Harrison and a subsequent unearned run, EMCC reclaimed the lead at 3-2 in the home half of the inning on a run-scoring groundout by Alex Chick and an infield RBI-single by Bonaventure.
With EMCC freshman right-hander Gabe Franks pitching into the final inning, the Lions added a pair of runs in the fifth and a solo tally in the sixth to stretch their lead to 6-2. A product of New Hope High School, Franks went 6.1 innings, giving up four runs on five hits, with five strikeouts and only one walk, to improve to 3-2 on the year. After the Tigers had cut the deficit to 6-4 with two runs in the seventh, sophomore Kameron Heiser came out of the bullpen and promptly enticed Harrison to ground into a game-ending double play. A former West Lauderdale standout, Heiser notched his third save of the season in making his first game appearance since undergoing an appendectomy last month.
With seven hits as a team in the opening contest, the Lions were led by Bonaventure and Tyler Aldridge with two hits apiece.
In the nightcap, the Lions answered Coahoma’s solo tallies in each of the first four innings with two runs of their own in the second and seven more scores the following frame to account for all of the game’s scoring. Following Jake Upton’s two-run single in the second inning, EMCC sent a dozen batters to the plate in the third. In addition to a two-run double by Rusty McAlister and Bonaventure’s RBI-single, the Lions’ seven-run third was aided by two Coahoma errors, three wild pitches and a passed ball.
As the Lions efficiently scored nine runs on seven hits in the second game, Upton led the way with a pair of singles.
On the mound for the winners, freshman left-hander Blake Hutcheson picked up his team-leading fourth victory of the year in nine decisions by allowing four runs on six hits over 4.2 innings. The Saltillo native struck out three and walked two before handing the ball to Tyler Thomas, who gave way to Justin Pritchett to close out the successful twinbill.
Improving to 14-25 overall on the season, head coach Chris Rose’s EMCC Lions travel to Senatobia to meet Northwest Mississippi in a Friday (April 22) doubleheader before closing out the regular season by playing host to Northeast Mississippi on Saturday, April 30, in Scooba.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 April 2011 )|
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