Meridian Baseball Spltis Amazing DH With EMCC
March 8, 2014
By Robby Atkinson
Meridian Community College Sports Information
The Meridian Community College Eagles entered play Saturday needing something positive to happen in the win column after losing five straight games. The Eagles were hoping to completely reverse its fortunes as rival East Mississippi Community College paid a visit to Scaggs Field for a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The news got worse for the green and white as EMCC won Game One of the twin bill 11-5, but Game Two would go down as one of the most unbelievable comebacks in school history for the Eagles.
MCC battled back from a 9-0 first-inning deficit to secure a 15-12 victory in Game Two to halt its losing streak at six games. MCC moved its overall record to 9-11 with the doubleheader split, while East Mississippi is now 13-5 for the 2014 season.
MCC will return to action Thursday to close out its current five-game home stand against Southeast Iowa for a single-game at 6 p.m. The Eagles will finish the two-game set with Southeast Iowa Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. East Mississippi will return to the diamond Wednesday as it will open MACJC North Division play against Holmes Community College in a doubleheader at home beginning at 4 p.m.
The Eagles built an early 3-0 lead, but the Lions would pull away in the middle innings to take the victory. MCC scored its first run of the game on an RBI single by Scott Votaw and the other two runs of the frame scored on a fielding error by EMCC to give the Eagles a quick three-run lead. East Mississippi would score all of its runs from the third inning until the seventh to roll to a six-run victory over Meridian in Game One.
Scott Votaw and Ben Gann led the offense for MCC in Game One with two hits apiece, while freshman Dalton Thomas added a solo home run for the Eagles. Kevin Hall and Michael Druhan each added a double in the Game One setback for MCC. Chase Nyman led the Lions in Game Two with a pair of hits and one of the hits was a three-run home run for EMCC. Chase Reeves added a pair of hits and knocked in two runs, while Tyler Odom collected a pair of RBI’s on two base hits for the visiting Lions.
Kyle Liberto picked up the pitching win for EMCC by working all seven innings and collecting four strikeouts. Liberto has now earned two victories on the mound against Meridian this season after pitching a complete game earlier this season in a 3-0 win. Bryant Johnston suffered the loss out of the bullpen for the Eagles after working three innings and allowing four earned runs.
The Lions built a 9-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first inning of Game Two and it was looking very favorable that MCC would lose its seventh straight game of the season. MCC would eventually claw back and secure one of the biggest comebacks in school history to defeat EMCC by three runs to earn the split.
East Mississippi scored nine runs in the first inning on six hits and took advantage of one error by MCC to take the big first inning lead. MCC would fight back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to cut the score to 9-2 in favor of EMCC. Paul Angel delivered the big blow of the frame with a two-run double that gave MCC a little bit of life heading to the second inning. The game would eventually turn very heated in the top of the second inning as MCC head coach Dillon Sudduth was ejected from the game by arguing a foul ball at home plate and third base coach Travis Creel would also get ejected later in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes, but the drama would ignite the Eagles at the plate.
MCC scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning to cut the East Mississippi lead to 9-6. Brooks Balisterri got the scoring started with a two-run double and another run crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice by Kevin Hall to make the score 9-5. Angel came through again moments later for MCC by smashing a line drive single to right field to bring MCC a little closer at 9-6.
East Mississippi would answer the Meridian rally with one run in the top of the fourth inning to make the score 10-6. Brandon Acker collected an RBI for EMCC on a groundout to give the Lions a small four-run cushion. MCC would explode for five runs in bottom half of the fourth inning to take its first lead at 11-10. Angel drove in the first run of the inning on a fielder’s choice and Ben Gann knocked in two runs on a double to left center field and MCC cut the score to 10-9. Scott Votaw would drive Gann in from second base on a double of his own to tie the score at 10-10, and the final run of the frame scored on an error by EMCC to give MCC a one-run lead.
East Mississippi would fight back in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at 11-11 on an RBI single by Trent Waddell, but MCC would take the lead for good in the bottom half of the fifth inning. The Eagles snatched the lead back on a base loaded walk to Angel and Dalton Thomas would follow with a two-run single to left field to give MCC a 14-11 lead. MCC would add one final run in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Kevin Hall and EMCC scored one final run in the seventh inning on a double by Tyler Odom to end the offensive slugfest at 15-12.
MCC finished the game with 12 hits and EMCC ended Game Two with 16 hits. Angel led the effort for MCC by collecting five RBI’s on two hits, while Thomas added a pair of hits and two RBI’s. Balisterri, Gann, and Hall each finished the game by knocking in a pair of runs for MCC.
Colton Caver, Blake Key, and Chase Reeves each had three hits in the loss, while LeDarious Clark added a pair of RBI’s on two hits.
Freshman Chandler Blakeney picked up the win in relief for MCC, while Ben Gann earned his first save of the season.