ECCC, MCC baseball to battle in Thursday doubleheader
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - For the second time in the 2020 season, Meridian Community College and East Central Community College will face off on the diamond.
Both teams met early in the season on Feb. 23 for a single, five inning matchup. The Eagles would score first before the Warriors added on 11 runs, nine runs coming in the final two innings, to win 11-1.
Meridian head coach Dillon Sudduth said that February matchup feels like a lifetime ago since so much baseball has been played since.
The Eagles are the No. 9 team in this week’s National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll and are coming of split series with EMCC and Pearl River.
When asked about the team’s loss to ECCC earlier in the season, Coach Sudduth said Mississippi JUCO baseball is loaded with talented teams who are going to make it a challenge every time you step on the field, and the Warriors are no different.
“They’re always a well coached team. They’re always solid and are always going to compete and play hard from the first pitch to the last out,” Coach Sudduth said. “It’s always going to be a full day of baseball when you play those guys.”
The Warriors are ranked No. 15 in this week’s NJCAA poll and are coming off back-to-back series losses to Hinds and Northwest. Both losses to Northwest were decided by a combined three runs while the losses to Hinds were a result of not being able to get the bats going, according to head coach Neal Holliman.
Holliman wasn’t worried about his teams recent struggles. In fact, the head coach said the true test will be how his team responds in the series against MCC.
“Everybody knows when things are going there way it’s easier to have energy - but what are you going to do when things don’t go your way?” Coach Holliman said. “That’s really going to be the testament of what you have, the character you have and the willingness to compete.”
With both schools residing in neighboring counties, the turnout for Thursday’s matchups is expected to be high.
“It’s always been a cross town rivalry. We always draw a good crowd for games but there should be a lot more for this one,” sophomore Banks Tolley said. “I feel like the guys and I have the same mentality about it: No reason to be nervous. We just need to go into it and do what we need to do and we should come out with two wins.”
Game one of the doubleheader is scheduled for 4 p.m. with game two following after.
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