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Ethridge's pitching gem highlights EMCC's doubleheader split at Itawamba in MACJC North Division baseball opener
 March 13, 2013

FULTON – Smokey Ethridge’s complete-game four-hitter enabled visiting East Mississippi Community College to earn a doubleheader split at Itawamba Community College during Tuesday’s MACJC North Division baseball opener.  The Lions claimed the first game 7-1 but dropped the nightcap 3-1 at ICC’s Eaton Field.

Ethridge, a sophomore right-hander, used 86 pitches to stymie ICC’s bats in the opener.  Striking out four with two walks in going the distance, the West Lauderdale High School product improved to 2-0 on the year and 8-2 for his EMCC career.  

Benefitting from four Indian errors in the contest, the visitors plated five of their seven runs with two outs.  After scratching out a pair of runs in the second, EMCC doubled that total with four more scores the next frame.  The Lions’ four-hit third inning was highlighted by Nick Brooks’ two-run double and RBI singles from Austin Braddock and Drew Standland.

With Ethridge breezing along on the mound, EMCC tallied another two-out run in the sixth, while the Indians managed to finally reach the Lions’ starter with a solo run in the bottom half of the frame.

In the nightcap, the home-standing Indians pushed across a pair of runs in the third and added a third run in the fifth to move out to a 3-0 lead.  The Lions attempted to make ICC pay for leaving nine runners on base through six innings by loading the bases themselves with no outs in the top of the seventh.  However, EMCC could only get one of those base runners home in the team’s final at-bat to settle for the twin-bill split.

Offensively, the Lions had 10 hits in the opener, paced by LeDarious Clark’s 3-for-4, 2-RBI effort.  Tyler Odom and Philip Tice added two hits apiece in the win.  However, EMCC was limited to just four hits by ICC sophomore southpaw Dylan Earnest, of Hamilton, in the second game.  Colton Caver led the way for the visitors by going 2-for-3 in the nightcap with singles in the first and seventh innings.

Coach Chris Rose’s 11-11 EMCC Lions stay within the division by heading to Booneville to take on the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi Community College in a Saturday afternoon doubleheader.  First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Harold T. White Field on the Northeast campus.  

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