The Meridian Community College baseball squad looked to return to the win column Tuesday afternoon with a short road trip to Scooba, MS to tangle with the Lions of East Mississippi Community College. The Eagles were able to leave town Tuesday afternoon with a doubleheader split (8-3, 0-3) against the Lions and move its overall record for the 2014 regular season to 8-6. East Mississippi is now 10-4 after the doubleheader split with Meridian at Gerald Poole Field Tuesday afternoon.
Meridian will now travel to Copiah-Lincoln Community College Saturday afternoon for a doubleheader that begins at 2 p.m. EMCC will return to the field next Tuesday (March 4) for a road doubleheader at Pearl River Community College that begins at 2 p.m.
The Eagles used several two-outs and another solid performance from its young pitching staff to secure the Game One victory over the Lions. MCC scored the first two runs of the contest in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead over EMCC. Michael Druhan provided the spark for MCC by driving in a pair of runs on a single with two outs in the frame to give the green and white the early lead over EMCC.
The Eagles scored three more runs in the fifth inning, and then followed it up with three more in the seventh. In the fifth, the Eagles scored on a two-run single by Scott Votaw with two outs to score Ben Gann and Kevin Hall. MCC put the game away in the seventh inning with four straight doubles to give the Eagles eight runs to finish off the contest. Hall led the inning off with a double and later came around to score on a double by Garrett Larosa, while Mac Seibert and Druhan followed with back-to-back doubles to pace the offense for the Eagles in the seventh inning.
East Mississippi scored its only runs of the game on a three-run home run by Chase Reeves to account for the only scoring in Game One for EMCC.
MCC finished the game with 11 total hits and East Mississippi only managed three hits in the opening game of the twin bill. Dalton Thomas, Seibert, and Larosa led the way for MCC with two hits apiece. Chase Nyman and Colton Caver accounted for the other two hits in the game for East Mississippi.
Freshman Chandler Blakeney (2-0) picked up the pitching win on the mound for MCC and freshman Bryant Johnston earned his third save of the season in relief. Joshua Griffis took the loss on the mound for East Mississippi.
Freshman Kyle Liberto pitched a complete game shutout to lead East Mississippi to the victory in Game Two. Liberto fired seven innings and allowed six hits, to go along with six strikeouts.
EMCC took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Colton Caver to make the score 1-0. The score remained the same until the sixth inning, as the Lions scratched a pair of insurance runs across to make the final score 3-0. Dylan Vucannon and Brandon Acker collected RBI singles in the sixth inning to account for the final runs of the game.
MCC was led at the plate in Game Two by former West Lauderdale star Grant Hill with a pair of singles. East Mississippi finished the game with eight total hits and Caver led the charge with a pair of base hits.
Sophomore Ben Gann took the loss on the mound for MCC to drop his pitching record for the season to 1-1.