EMCC splits pair in base­ball

Starkville Daily News - - SCORECARD -

RAY­MOND – The vis­it­ing Lions of East Mis­sis­sippi Com­mu­nity Col­lege com­bined a fast start of­fen­sively with a solid pitch­ing per­for­mance by Chance Witt to claim an 8-5 open­ing-game win dur­ing their Fri­day MACJC base­ball dou­ble­header split with Hinds at Joe G. Moss Field. The Ea­gles bounced back to earn a 9-3 night­cap vic­tory over EMCC.

In the nine-in­ning opener, the Lions chased Hinds start­ing pitcher Noah Hughes with five runs in the second in­ning and two more tal­lies the next frame to stake Witt to an early 7-0 lead. Fol­low­ing run-scor­ing hits by Gage Ny­man and Luke Miller, EMCC's Destin Pay­ton belted his first col­le­giate home run – a three-run shot to the op­po­site field – to cap the five-run second. An in­ning later, Ny­man and Miller struck again with RBI sin­gles.

The early run pro­duc­tion by the Lions proved to be all Witt needed. The sopho­more left-han­der scat­tered six hits over eight in­nings of work be­fore giv­ing way to Jaxen For­rester, who picked up his first col­le­giate save by strik­ing out a pair in the ninth. Witt, a prod­uct of Pon­to­toc High School, struck out five and walked four to im­prove his mark to 2-4 for the year. He gave up solo runs in the third and fifth in­nings while also pitch­ing ef­fec­tively through a sixth in­ning that brought home three un­earned runs.

EMCC's 11-hit team ef­fort in the opener was led by Miller's 3-for-4 out­ing at the plate with three runs bat­ted in. An­thony Hick­man had three sin­gles and Ny­man added a pair of run-pro­duc­ing sin­gles for the win­ners.

The vis­i­tors grabbed a quick 1-0 lead in the night­cap on Philip Martin's solo home run – his sixth homer of the year – in the first in­ning off Hinds starter Carson Stin­nett. EMCC's slim lead quickly dis­si­pated in the bot­tom half of the frame when Staton Todd's three-run homer off Max Rinebolt made it a 3-1 con­test.

Af­ter adding an­other run in the third, the Ea­gles essen­tially put the game out of reach (8-1) in the fourth in­ning on Ian Lad­ner's grand slam.

With Stin­nett hav­ing re­tired 10 con­sec­u­tive bat­ters fol­low­ing the first-in­ning homer, the Lions got back on the board in the fifth in­ning with RBI sin­gles from Miller and Hick­man. Hinds got one of the runs back in the sixth to fi­nal­ize the out­come and gain the twin-bill split.

Stin­nett and reliever Jase Dal­ton lim­ited EMCC to just five hits in the night­cap.

Coach Chris Rose's EMCC Lions, 12-18 overall and 5-11 in con­fer­ence play, con­tinue their stretch of four con­sec­u­tive road dou­ble­head­ers by tak­ing on the Ea­gles of Merid­ian Com­mu­nity Col­lege in a 4 p.m. Wed­nes­day dou­ble­header at MCC's Scaggs Field.

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