|EMCC Lions drop tough road baseball doubleheader, 5-3 and 4-3, at Mississippi Gulf Coast|
PERKINSTON – In their third road baseball doubleheader in a week’s span, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College were swept, 5-3 and 4-3 in eight innings, by Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College late Tuesday afternoon at Curly Farris Field on the MGCCC campus.
Following three scoreless innings in the opener, EMCC took the first lead in the top of the fourth inning on Tyler Bonaventure’s two-run home run off MGCCC starting pitcher Tyler Bray that also scored courtesy runner Cody Berryhill. Sophomore catcher Zane Migues got the rally started with a one-out single. Bonaventure’s homer was the Brusly, La., native’s first collegiate round-tripper, as well as marking the Lions’ first home run as a team this season.
The home-standing Bulldogs struck right back in the bottom half of the inning with a four-run fourth to take a 4-2 lead. MGCCC benefitted from a lead-off walk and four straight singles off EMCC relievers Blake Thomas and Dillon Hawkins. Freshman right-hander Corbin Johnson drew the starting nod on the mound for the Lions in game one but didn’t figure in the decision after pitching just the first two innings.
After Gulf Coast added an unearned run in the fifth frame, the visitors mounted a comeback attempt in the top of the seventh. Leroy Wilson, of Columbus, started the rally for the Lions with a one-out single. Following a pop out, consecutive pinch-hit singles by Randy Hornesbuger and Holden Watts brought Wilson around to score to cut the deficit to 5-3. However, with Jason Yarbor at the plate, Hornesbuger was thrown out at third base while attempting to advance on a ball thrown in the dirt by MGCCC reliever Jordan Mata.
The nightcap featured another tight contest, as the Bulldogs grabbed the early 1-0 lead in the first on a run-scoring triple by Ben Slaton that plated Michael Gilbert following his lead-off double. The two teams would trade single tallies in the next two innings. In EMCC’s second at-bat, Wilson doubled and later scored during a delayed steal of second base by Watts. Gulf Coast went back ahead 2-1 with a solo run a frame later.
The Lions would take back their short-lived lead with two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Watts, a former Stone High School product, smacked a one-out double to ignite the rally. Yarbor then drove home Watts with a two-out single to left field. After Aaron Brady singled, Austin Braddock’s ground ball was booted by the second baseman, allowing Yarbor to race home and put EMCC on top briefly by a 3-2 score.
However, the Bulldogs immediately knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom half of the fifth on a lead-off home run by Daniel Miles off EMCC starting pitcher Blake Hutcheson. With the extra-inning contest, the sophomore left-hander from Saltillo didn’t figure into the decision after scattering six hits and giving up three runs over 5.1 innings.
With both teams using three additional pitchers over the final three innings, both EMCC and Gulf Coast squandered scoring opportunities down the stretch to force an extra and decisive eighth inning. After leaving a runner at third base to end a scoreless sixth inning, the Lions stranded potential go-ahead runs at second and third during the seventh and eighth innings.
Meanwhile, the Lions did atone themselves defensively by first gunning down a runner at third base in the sixth on a throw by Yarbor from center field. An inning later, EMCC’s Brady, from left field, nailed courtesy runner Brelan Booker at home plate as he attempted to score the would-be winning run on Joey Harris’ two-out single.
The decisive bottom of the eighth inning started ominously for the Lions and reliever K.C. Abney with a lead-off walk to JC Cassidy, who was then bunted over to second. Following a walk to Hunter Frierson at the bottom of the lineup, Cassidy later took off for third base on a steal attempt. Migues’ throw from his catcher’s position bounded away from Braddock at third to send the winning run to home plate and complete the home sweep for the 11-3 Bulldogs.
Coach Chris Rose’s 3-7 EMCC Lions return home for a scheduled 5 p.m. doubleheader Friday evening against Pearl River at Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 February 2012 )|
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