|Late rallies key EMCC Lions to road baseball doubleheader sweep of Northwest Rangers|
SENATOBIA – With three home runs in game one and a three-run seventh inning in the nightcap, the visiting Lions of East Mississippi Community College swept Northwest Mississippi Community College, 8-5 and 3-2, in a pair of comeback division baseball wins late Wednesday afternoon at Ranger Field.
In the opener, EMCC evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the third on a leadoff home run by Columbus’ Josh Tentoni – his second of the year – off Northwest starting pitcher Colt Burns. After the Rangers went back ahead 2-1 with a solo tally in the bottom of the third, EMCC freshman outfielder Jason Yarbor, of Meridian High School, blasted his first collegiate home run to left field in the fourth. The two-out, two-run shot put the visitors back on top 3-2.
Allowing just three hits through the first four innings, EMCC starting pitcher Smokey Ethridge was reached for two runs on three hits in the fifth inning to give the Rangers a temporary 4-3 advantage. In the top of the sixth, Burns seemed to tire and walked the bases loaded. With Burns staying on the mound with two outs, Tentoni singled up the middle for a pair of runs to reclaim the lead, 5-4, for the visitors. Fellow Columbus High School alum Leroy Wilson then followed with a three-run blast to left-center field – his team-leading fifth homer of the year – to increase the lead to 8-4.
Ethridge, a West Lauderdale product, improved to a team-best 5-2 on the year by going five innings for the victory, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six and not issuing a walk. Tyler Jones, from Victory Christian Academy, worked the final two innings for the Lions, giving up a run without a hit in the final frame.
Offensively for EMCC in game one, Tentoni, Yarbor and Zane Migues each collected two hits apiece to pace the Lions’ eight-hit team effort.
On the strength of an 11-strikeout pitching performance by Northwest’s Garrett Radicioni, the home-standing Rangers took a 2-0 lead into the last inning. In total command on the mound, Radicioni had only allowed a fourth-inning single by Yarbor heading into the seventh inning. Northwest’s two runs in the fifth were of the unearned variety off EMCC starter Blake Thomas, another West Lauderdale product.
In the top of the seventh, Yarbor led things off with a single up the middle for his second hit of the game and fourth of the afternoon. A subsequent single to right-center field by Brett Tortorich chased Radicioni from the hill. Tentoni greeted reliever Garrett Blaylock with a run-scoring single for his fourth RBI of the day. Wilson then tied the contest at 2-2 with a single through the left side for his fourth RBI of the twin-bill. Two batters later with Cody Reed now pitching for Northwest, EMCC sophomore Tyler Bonaventure picked an opportune time for his only hit of the day – a run-scoring single to center that plated Wilson with the decisive third run.
After Corbin Johnson closed out the fifth inning for EMCC’s Thomas, Lion sophomore right-hander Blake Roberts worked the final two innings to earn his first EMCC victory in five decisions. The former New Hope High School standout allowed just one hit and fanned a pair to close the door in game two and complete the Lions’ road sweep over the Rangers.
Pitching was indeed at a premium during the doubleheader, as both teams combined for just 25 hits in 14 total innings of baseball. EMCC out-hit Northwest both games, 8-6 in the opener and 6-5 in the nightcap.
Entering the day in second place behind front-running Itawamba, Northwest fell to 18-18 overall on the year and 9-5 in MACJC North Division play. Coach Chris Rose’s EMCC Lions, now 14-19 overall and 5-10 within the division, step out of division play one final time this regular season by traveling to Summit to take on Southwest Mississippi Community College in a 4 p.m. Saturday doubleheader.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 April 2012 )|
|< Prev||Next >|