NEMCC BASEBALL WINS NORTH DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
April 30, 2013
BOONEVILLE, Miss. – Northeast Mississippi Community College's baseball team took home its first Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges' North Division championship since 1992 with a sweep of Mississippi Delta Community College on Friday, April 26.
Northeast (28-15, 18-6 in North Division) knocked off Mississippi Delta 9-2, 3-0 in earning the North Division title outright.
With the North Division title, Northeast also earned the right to host the first round of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges' (MACJC) State Baseball Playoffs on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 as the Tigers will play host to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. First game of the best-of-three series is set for 2 p.m. on Friday.
Against the Trojans on Friday, April 26, hometown product Kyle Stephenson of Booneville helped the Tigers secure at least a share of the North Division championship after leading the Tigers to a 9-2 win over Mississippi Delta in the opener.
Pitching for the second time in less than a week, Stephenson capped his Northeast career with a complete game effort.
Stephenson's complete game was his second of the as the Tiger knocked off the Trojans 9-2 and set the stage for the sweep in Booneville.
Stephenson limited Mississippi Delta to just three hits in seven innings while getting nine runs in support of his effort on the mound.
With the win, Stephenson moved to 5-1 on the year with two complete games and averages 6.4 strikeouts per outing after striking out six Trojans in the seven-inning effort.
While Stephenson was silencing the Trojans bats, sophomore Justin Neal made sure he had a Sophomore Day that would not soon be forgotten.
Neal knocked around three hits against the Trojans in the opening game and then helped the Tigers overcome a 51-minute rain delay in the nightcap to help Northeast secure its first North Division championship in two decades.
Heath Wood put the first game on ice for the Tigers as the Kossuth native came through with a two-run single in the fourth and Will Robertson followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Tigers a 5-1 advantage.
Neal continued with his barrage against opposing pitcher with a two-run single that staked the Tigers to a 7-1 lead and capped a five-run for Northeast.
Robertson, who had four RBI on the day, sits second in the nation behind Kankakee Community College's John McLaughlin. McLaughlin has 56 RBI for Kankakee in 47 games while Robertson has drove in 55 runs in 43 games on the year.
In the 3-0 nightcap that sealed the division championship for the Tigers, Robertson made sure the Tigers walked away with the league title.
Northeast’s starting right fielder broke open a 0-0 game in the sixth as the Falkner native sent a one-out, two-RBI double down the right field line on the eleventh pitch of the at bat that staked the hosts to a 2-0 lead.
New Albany’s Riley Alef followed suit with a two-out, ground-rule double down the left field line that scored Robertson and gave the Tigers all the run support they would need.
Alef had thwarted two Trojan threats earlier in the game. The freshman from New Albany threw out a runner in the early stages of the game before coming through in the fifth by preventing another Mississippi Delta runner from reaching scoring position.
After coming through with the one-out double in the sixth, Robertson became the fifth Tiger to pitch and struck out two in the top of the seventh before giving way to Jonathan Morrison for the save.