|Lions take nightcap 6-1 to earn DH split at East Central; ECCC wins opener 3-1 on walk-off homer|
DECATUR – The East Mississippi Community College baseball team bounced back from a heartbreaking 3-1 road loss in Saturday’s opener with a 6-1 win in the nightcap to earn a doubleheader split against East Central Community College at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex.
The Lions and Warriors battled through eight scoreless innings of the scheduled nine-inning opener to set up an eventful final frame. In the top of the ninth, EMCC leadoff batter Tyler Bonaventure reached on a walk and was sacrificed to second by Spencer Wilson. Following a groundout, Lion sophomore catcher Zane Migues battled back from a two-strike hole to get his second single of the contest. With EMCC runners on first and third, East Central reliever Brock Ward balked in the go-ahead run. Ward’s replacement, Evan Humphries, then hit Ismael Reyes and walked Jason Yarbor to load the bases, but late-game replacement Brett Tortorich popped up to second base to end the threat.
Though finally posting a run with the solo tally in the ninth inning, the Lions left two runners on base in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before leaving the bases loaded in the ninth. Those nine stranded runners late in the game would come back to haunt the visitors.
The home-standing Warriors promptly responded in the bottom of the ninth. Leadoff batter Jared Seymour earned a four-pitch walk from EMCC middle reliever Dillon Hawkins. Freshman right-hander Tyler Jones came in and picked up an out when Tim Anderson sacrificed Seymour to second base. Ricardo Velez followed with a single to set up Carlos Leal’s walk-off, three-run home run to right-center field, giving East Central the 3-1, come-from-behind victory in the opening game.
The nightcap also started out as a pitcher’s duel. Following three scoreless innings, the Warriors plated the game’s first run when Leal scored on a wild pitch by EMCC starting pitcher Smokey Ethridge after leading off the fourth inning with a walk.
The Lions scratched out solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings before adding four insurance runs in the final frame of the pre-determined, seven-inning nightcap. Reyes drove in the tying run in the fifth with his first of two doubles in the contest. An inning later, Randy Hornesbuger knocked in Austin Braddock with a sacrifice fly to give EMCC the 2-1 lead.
With middle reliever Tyler Thomas earning the win with his brief fifth-inning appearance and freshman K.C. Abney picking up the save by working two shutout innings, EMCC’s pitching trio would only allow a third-inning, leadoff single by Xzavier Franklin. Ethridge surrendered just the one single and only one run, while striking out two and walking two, over 4.2 innings, though the former West Lauderdale product didn’t figure in the decision.
After Reyes, of Northeast Lauderdale, led off the final frame with his second double of the nightcap and third hit of the day, the visitors would tack on four more runs on successive two-run doubles by Migues and Bonaventure to push the final margin to 6-1. Migues, from Lafayette, La., went 3-for-4 at the plate in game two to cap off a 5-for-7 effort on the afternoon.
Coach Chris Rose’s 3-5 East Mississippi Lions will be back on the road to take on Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in a Tuesday twinbill in Perkinston, before returning home to play host to Pearl River CC in a Friday doubleheader set to begin at 5 p.m. at Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 25 February 2012 )|
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