|EMCC Lions salvage home DH baseball split with Copiah-Lincoln in season-opening twinbill|
SCOOBA – In their 2012 baseball season debut, the East Mississippi Community College Lions made a seven-run second inning stand up in the nightcap to salvage a doubleheader split with Copiah-Lincoln Community College Saturday afternoon in cold and blustery weather conditions at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field. Following a tough-luck 6-3 extra-inning setback in the opener, the Lions held on for an 8-7 victory in the season-opening nightcap.
In the second contest, the Lions sent 13 batters to the plate in their seven-run second frame to stake starting pitcher Trent Waddell to an early 7-0 lead. The Wolfpack chased Waddell the next inning by scoring three runs in the third with the aid of three walks, an error and a wild pitch. Another EMCC error in the fourth inning contributed to two more Co-Lin runs, but Lion freshman reliever Smokey Ethridge ended the rally by striking out Noel Santos and Mitch Little consecutively.
The Lions got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth to make it 8-5 on Alex Chick’s two-out RBI single to left field. However, as they did in the opening game, the visiting Wolfpack battled back in the final frames to push the contest to the final out.
With EMCC struggling defensively, Co-Lin capitalized on three more Lion miscues in the sixth inning to plate another run. Once again, Ethridge put out the fire by setting down Santos and Little on consecutive strikeouts, stranding the potential tying runs in scoring position. The visitors came right back in the final frame in an attempt to knot the score or possibly take the lead. Back-to-back hits by Matt Smith and Jonathan Santana, followed by pinch-hitter Zac Ferguson reaching first base on a swinging third strike that bounded away from the home plate area, put the Wolfpack back in business at 8-7. In relief of Ethridge, EMCC freshman Dillon Hawkins got Will Gatlin to bounce into a fielder’s choice and then caught Nolan Long looking on a called third strike to salvage the doubleheader split.
Ethridge, a freshman right-hander from West Lauderdale, picked up the victory in middle relief for the Lions, striking out six and not allowing a walk over 3.2 innings of work. Hawkins, a New Hope product, was credited with a save.
At the plate for the Lions, Chick, of Hernando, collected two of EMCC’s six hits in the nightcap with a pair of runs batted in after contributing a run-scoring double in the opener.
In Saturday’s opener, the game stood at 3-2 in favor of the home team after three innings of play, including a two-run second inning on four consecutive hits by the Lions. However, EMCC would manage only two more hits over the next six innings of the extra-inning contest.
After leaving the contest with a 3-2 lead after five innings, EMCC southpaw Blake Hutcheson gave way to fellow sophomore Blake Roberts to start the sixth frame. With the former New Hope right-hander working methodically, a perfect sixth inning was followed by a pair of groundball outs to begin the seventh. Co-Lin’s Ferguson reached on a pop-fly double to left field to prolong the contest. Smith then reached on a dribbler down the third base line. At the bottom of the lineup, Javon Washington coaxed a walk on a full-count wild pitch, while Ferguson raced home from third to score the tying run on the errant delivery.
With the Lions being retired in order in the seventh and eighth innings by Co-Lin reliever Andrew Lee, the Wolfpack utilized three infield hits and a bloop single in the top of the extra frame to send across three runs and close out the 6-3 comeback victory.
Head coach Chris Rose’s 1-1 EMCC Lions stay at home to play host to Hinds Community College Tuesday afternoon in a Valentine’s Day doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m. at Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 February 2012 )|
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