|Resurgent EMCC Lions set to open 2012 baseball season Sunday against Bishop State in Mobile|
The season’s first pitch is slated to be thrown out at noon at Hank Aaron Stadium.SCOOBA – Looking to ride last year’s late-season success on the diamond, the resurgent East Mississippi Community College Lions are set to open their 2012 baseball slate by playing a road doubleheader against Bishop State Community College Sunday afternoon in Mobile, Ala.
A year ago, EMCC head baseball coach Chris Rose’s first Lions squad went 16-11 down the stretch of the 2011 campaign to claim the program’s best division mark - 14-10 in the MACJC’s North Division - since the 1998 season. The team’s misleading 17-29 overall record was capped by taking eventual NJCAA Division II national runner-up Jones County Junior College to a deciding third game in last season’s best-of-3 MACJC State Playoff series held in Ellisville. Last year’s strong postseason showing marked the Lions’ first baseball playoff appearance since 2004.
Expected to lead a nine-man group of returning position players is versatile sophomore Zane Migues of Lafayette, La. Looking to move behind the plate this season after splitting time in the infield and on the mound as a freshman, Migues hails as the Lions’ leading returning hitter and run producer with a .333 batting average along with 16 runs batted in, nine doubles and 22 runs scored last season.
Also back as a major everyday contributor for East Mississippi is steady outfielder Alex Chick, of Hernando, who batted .291 as a collegiate rookie with six doubles, 11 RBIs, 19 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Other returnees figuring to lend experience and leadership to this year’s EMCC club include infielders Ismael Reyes (Northeast Lauderdale HS) and Brett Tortorich (Pearl River Central HS), converted pitcher Caleb Melton (West Lauderdale HS), along with outfielders Spencer Wilson (Stone HS), Aaron Brady (South Jones HS), Randy Hornesbuger (Louisville HS) and Tyler Bonaventure (Brusly, La.).
The Lions’ pitching staff, under the tutelage of assistant coach Michael Wallace, looks to again be headlined by sophomore left-hander Blake Hutcheson. The former Saltillo standout paced last year’s improved EMCC hurlers with a 5-5 mark along with a 4.37 ERA. Sophomore right-hander Tyler Thomas, of Corinth, also returns this season.
With 19 first-year players on hand in Scooba this year, EMCC’s talented group of newcomers figures to be powered at the corners by freshmen Austin Braddock (Heritage Academy) and Trent Waddell (Tuscaloosa, Ala.). Along with handling fielding duties at third and first base, respectively, both collegiate rookies are also capable of seeing action on the hill for the 2012 Lions.
The East Mississippi baseball team is slated to open its 2012 home slate on Saturday, Feb. 11, by playing host to Copiah-Lincoln CC in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus. The Lions are also scheduled to entertain Hinds CC at home on Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, Feb. 14) in a 1 p.m. twinbill.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 04 February 2012 )|
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