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EMCC Lions conclude break-even baseball homestand by dropping pair of tough games to Northeast Mississippi
 April 10, 2013

SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College baseball team closed out a break-even, four-date homestand by dropping both games of Tuesday’s MACJC North Division doubleheader, 9-6 and 5-4, to Northeast Mississippi Community College at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field.

The Lions, who will play three of their remaining four division baseball doubleheaders on the road, completed their recent homestand with a 4-4 mark.  Having been at home in Scooba since March 29, EMCC had previously sandwiched a home doubleheader sweep of Coahoma Community College between twin-bill splits with Northwest Mississippi Community College and Itawamba Community College.    

Against Northeast, things turned sour for the home team in the third inning of the opener when the visiting Tigers batted around in scoring seven runs.  After benefitting from ground ball double plays each of the first two frames, EMCC starting pitcher Tyler Odom (2-1) didn’t make it through the third inning.  A double by Heath Wood was sandwiched between a pair of walks to load the bases.  Following run-scoring singles by Will Robertson and Justin Neal, Odom hit Chris Aichinger with a pitch to reload the bases.  Jake Beck then capped Northeast’s seven-run inning with a grand slam to left field.

Forced to play catch-up the rest of the way, the Lions attempted to chip away at the deficit by scoring solo runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings.  In the third, Trent Waddell doubled to lead off the inning and later scored EMCC’s first run after a pair of wild pitches.  An inning later, Brad Swede’s two-out double plated Drew Standland, who reached by way of an infield hit.

Though Northeast added solo tallies in the fourth and seventh innings, EMCC made things interesting by using the long ball during the latter innings.  In the sixth, Fredrico Moody launched his first collegiate home run to straight-away center field with a two-out solo blast off NEMCC starter Ben Hellums.  In the Lions’ final at-bat, LeDarious Clark pulled the home team to within three runs with a three-run homer – his third of the season – off reliever Josh Drake.

The Lions carried the late-game momentum from the opener into the early portion of the nightcap.  After EMCC got on the board in the first with a pair of runs on three singles and a walk, sophomore outfielder Austin Braddock put the Lions on top 4-1 the next inning by belting his team-leading fifth home run – a two-run shot – to deep right-center field off NEMCC starter Kyle Robbins.

Preceded by Riley Alef’s second-inning solo blast, the Tigers evened the score with two more home runs in the third inning.  A lead-off walk to Luke Stanley was followed by Wood’s two-run homer to left field.  An out later, Robertson knotted the score at 4-all and chased EMCC starter Blake Thomas with another solo smash over the left-field wall.    

Following a combined eight early runs scored through the first three innings, a pitching duel ensued during the latter stages of the nightcap between Robbins and EMCC freshman Nick Brooks (1-5), who absorbed the tough-luck loss.  After Brooks pitched out of some self-induced trouble by leaving the bases loaded in the fourth, Northeast was able to reach the Starkville product for the eventual winning run in the fifth.  Neal’s one-out double paved the way for Easton Hall’s two-out RBI single straight up the middle.

While Brooks was holding the Tigers to just the one run on only three hits through the final four innings, Northeast’s Robbins, a sophomore left-hander, appeared to get stronger as the game went along.  After producing their four runs on five hits in the opening two frames, the Lions were limited to only three singles over their final five at-bats.

With eight hits as a team in each contest, EMCC’s Colton Caver led the way with a 5-for-8 combined evening – all singles - at the plate for the Lions.  Braddock, from Columbus’ Heritage Academy, was 2-for-4 in game two, including the two-run homer.

Head coach Chris Rose’s 16-20 EMCC Lions, with a 6-10 mark within the division, will begin the challenging task of facing three road doubleheaders in their final four division game dates by traveling to Moorhead this Saturday to meet division-leading Mississippi Delta Community College in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.   



























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