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EMCC Lions sweep Bishop State in season-opening baseball DH at Oak Grove High School
 February 4, 2013

HATTIESBURG – The East Mississippi Community College baseball team successfully opened the 2013 season by sweeping Bishop State Community College, 7-4 and 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Oak Grove High School’s Harry Breland Field.

In the opener, the Lions plated four runs in the bottom of the first inning on consecutive two-run singles by Austin Braddock and Philip Tice.  After Bishop State cut the deficit in half with two runs in the top of the second off Braddock, EMCC pushed across solos runs in the second, third and fourth innings to take a 7-2 lead.

In the second inning, Lion freshman LeDarious Clark reached base via a hit-by-pitch and stole second.  Redshirt freshman Trent Waddell followed with an RBI double.  Braddock scored EMCC’s fourth run after doubling and coming around to score on a Bishop State fielding error.  Ole Miss transfer Chase Reeves, from Hamilton, knocked in the Lions’ final run with a run-scoring ground out in the fourth.

Bishop State put up two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to make it 7-4 when EMCC sophomore reliever Corbin Johnson surrendered a two-run homer.  Freshman relievers Hunter Floyd and Brock McKnight closed the game for the Lions.   

In addition to going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored as the team’s designated hitter, Braddock picked up his first collegiate win on the mound by striking out four and giving up two earned runs in 3.1 innings of work.

The Lions got off to a slow start offensively in the nightcap and trailed 1-0 after four innings.  While redshirt freshman right-hander KC Abney was limiting Bishop State to just the solo run through the first five innings, EMCC moved ahead 2-1 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.  Clark, a three-time all-state selection at Southeast Lauderdale High School, had a run-scoring double and Reeves added an RBI single later in the inning.

The Wildcats answered with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth off Abney, who went 5.2 innings giving up the three earned runs and striking out seven.  EMCC relievers McKnight, of Kosciusko, and Nick Brooks, from Starkville, closed the door on Bishop State by each getting two outs to set up the bottom of the sixth inning.

That’s when Braddock, a former Heritage Academy standout, capped a successful afternoon by blasting a lead-off solo home run on a 0-2 count to knot the score at 3-3.  Tice followed Braddock’s blast with a single and advanced to third base on subsequent outs.  Tice was then balked in from third base with two outs for the go-ahead and eventual winning run.     

Head coach Chris Rose’s 2-0 EMCC Lions will travel to Meridian to meet the Eagles of Meridian Community College in a Tuesday twin bill beginning at noon at Scaggs Field on the MCC campus.

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