A special day became even more so for the East Central Community College baseball program, as a dedication ceremony for the new covered grandstand was followed by a doubleheader sweep of Meridian Community College Wednesday, March 7, 2013, at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex on the Decatur campus.
Providing a cover for the grandstand was a longtime dream of the late Jamie Clark, who led the Diamond Warrior program from 1988 to 2001, when he lost his battle with cancer.
The covering, estimated to cost $30,000, was provided through private contributions and various fundraising efforts led by current head coach and former Clark assistant Neal Holliman and staff members.
ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart and Athletic Director Chris Harris participated in the dedication ceremony flanked by Coach Holliman, his staff and team members.
The Diamond Warriors capped the day’s activities by claiming a pair of 7-6 decisions of the rival Eagles to improve to 7-8 on the season.
Meridian took an early 1-0 advantage in the opener, which featured seven lead changes.
The Diamond Warriors took the lead for good in the seventh inning on Ryan Shotts’ RBI single scoring Zach May.
Shotts, a Louisville High School product, also singled earlier in the nine-inning contest. May is a product of Newton County High School.
Caleb Woods of Leake Central also belted two singles for EC and was credited with an RBI.
Other hitters were Tim Anderson of Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Kalik May of Tuscaloosa County, Chase Domino of Fairhope (Ala.) High School, Jordan Mixon of East Webster, Kyle Henson of Starkville Academy, Caleb McKee of Neshoba Central, singles each. May was also credited with two RBIs. Others knockings in runs were Rubert Alcantara of the Dominican Republic, Woods and McKee.
Runs were also scored by Deion Ulmer (2) of Laurel, Anderson, Alcantara, Mixon, and Henson.
Starter Fernando Gonzalez recorded the win, as the Puerto Rico native allowed two earned runs on five hits through 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander fanned five batters and walked one.
Mitchell Wooten of Edinburg got the save. Wooten hurled the final three innings and allowed one earned run on three hits. He struck out three batters.
In the nightcap, Shotts’ walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh provided EC the winning margin.
Shotts also belted a double and was credited with three RBIs.
Other hitters were Anderson, two triples; Alcantara, double, single and RBI; Kalik May and Domino, double and RBI each; and Xzavier Franklin of Newton County and Woods, singles each. Maxwell Harmon of Taylorsville was also credited with an RBI.
Runs were scored by Domino (2), Anderson, Kalik May, Franklin, Woods and Zach May
Starter Caleb McKee of Neshoba Central picked up the win. McKee allowed two earned runs on six hits through 5 2/3 innings. He also fanned six batters and walked three.
Wooten got the save, allowing one earned run on no hits. He also walked a batter.
EC travels to Northeast MS Community College Saturday, March 9 in doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on the Booneville campus.
The Diamond Warriors begin MACJC South Division competition Tuesday, March 12 against Pearl River Community College. Doubleheader action begins at 3 p.m. at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex on the Decatur campus.