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 May 6, 2013


BOONEVILLE, Miss. –  Northeast Mississippi Community College’s baseball team found a formidable opponent in the opening game of its best-of-three series on Saturday, May 4.

Northeast (28-16) dropped a 7-2 decision to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College after Bulldog pitcher Cameron Cochran surrendered just one hit over the first 7.2 innings of the Tigers and Bulldogs Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Baseball Playoffs opening round series.

Northeast now needs to sweep Mississippi Gulf Coast on Monday, May 6 at Harold T. White Field in Booneville to advance to the MACJC State Baseball Tournament to be held at Pearl River Community College.

In the opening game against the Bulldogs, it was a pitcher’s duel as Cochran faced off with Tiger ace and Mississippi State University transfer Tanner Gaines.

Gaines and Cochran combined to silence the offense for the first six innings of play.

Mississippi Gulf Coast was able to scratch across runs in the second and the sixth but Gaines was able work out of the jams.

Blake Lawson put the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the second as he connected on a full-count, two-out home run to left and the Bulldogs however, Northeast’s Easton Hall counted with the Tigers first hit of the game when the New Albany native sliced a one-out double into left field during the Tigers’ ensuing at bat.

Mississippi Gulf Coast chipped away at Gaines in the sixth after the opening batter ricocheted a line drive off Gaines’ leg and the Bulldogs were able to get a run in the inning before Gaines rallied.

Jared Gates came through with a double to left that scored one but Gaines recovered and got the Tigers out of the inning as the Bulldogs stranded runners at second and third with a line out to Ethan Estes at second.

Mississippi Gulf Coast made it a 4-0 game in the seventh when the Bulldogs tallied a pair of runs after Tayler Hardy loaded the bases with a bunt single with no outs in the frame.

Michael Gilbert came through with a sacrifice fly to centerfield while Ryan Henry sent a single to center that chased home a two-out run for the Bulldogs.

After getting out of a jam in the eighth with a 5-2-3 double play, Northeast rallied.

Will Robertson and Chris Aichinger drew back-to-back walks and forced the Bulldogs to remove Cochran after 7.2 inning of work and Riley Alef, who had taken Cochran to an eight-pitch at bat earlier in the game, came through for the Tigers with a two-out single to right that scored one.

Northeast would continue to put the pressure on the Bulldogs and left the bases loaded in the eight before continuing its push in the ninth.

Following a Bulldog run that made it a 7-1 game, Estes came through for the Tigers in the ninth as the Northeast team captain collected the Tigers third hit of the game and scored a run with one down in the frame.

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