SCOOBA — The Lions of East Mississippi Community College enjoyed a successful 2021 home baseball season debut by sweeping Mississippi Delta, 12-2 and 5-4, during Tuesday's MACCC action played at Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus.
In the opener, the two teams traded two-out, two-run home runs in the first inning before the home-standing Lions took control later in the game. Chad Stockstill's two-run homer off EMCC starting pitcher Jonah Posey was answered in the home half by Rye McGlothin's game-tying blast off Delta starter Tanner Johnson with Austin Beech aboard.
EMCC broke open the early 2-2 tie by batting around in the third inning to score four runs on three singles and four walks.
The Lions then supported reliever Garrett Robbins with three more runs during the fourth and fifth innings. Another two-run homer by McGlothin highlighted the fourth frame, while four more walks by Delta pitching in the fifth led to Beau Bates' two-out, bases-loaded hit to right-center field that ended the scheduled nine-inning opener in run-rule fashion.
Robbins, out of Sumrall, entered the game in relief of Posey one batter into the third inning and proceeded to allow just one hit with a pair of strikeouts over the final three innings to pick up his first collegiate win.
With his pair of home runs to give him a club-leading three homers on the year, McGlothin paced EMCC's 12-hit attack in the opener by going 3-for-3 at the plate with five runs batted in and four runs scored. Beech, Bates, Reiley Tate and Zack Griffith all added two hits apiece for the winners.
The scheduled seven-inning nightcap also began with an early 2-2 deadlock again courtesy of a pair of home runs. This time, Davione Hull's two-run blast to straightaway center field for the Lions off Delta starting pitcher Landon Comer in the bottom of the second inning was countered by Carson Chapman's game-tying homer off EMCC starter Gabe Garner in the top of the third.
After Chapman's two-out, two-run double off EMCC reliever Jonah Caskey an inning later put the Trojans on top, 4-2, the Lions took advantage of some Delta errors in the fourth and fifth innings to push across single runs in each frame to knot the score at 4-4.
Caskey and closer Austin Garrison combined to limit the visitors to only a pair of singles, while striking out eight, over the last five scoreless innings to set the stage for EMCC's game-ending rally in the bottom of the ninth.
With Haden Luke in relief of Comer for Mississippi Delta, the Lions benefitted from a leadoff walk to Tae Lucious, who advanced to third on Beech's third single of the game and fifth hit of the twin bill. Following an intentional walk to McGlothin to load the bases, Blayze Berry drilled a two-out, walk-off liner to right-center field to plate Lucious with the game-winning run.
With a team-high three hits in the nightcap, Beech reached base eight times in nine plate appearances during the doubleheader with five singles and three walks. Berry, a Mississippi State transfer out of Heritage Academy, and Hull added two hits each for EMCC in the second game.
On the mound for the Lions, Garrison picked up his first collegiate victory by working the final pair of shutout innings, including striking out the side in the eighth. Caskey set up the nightcap win nicely by allowing just two hits with six strikeouts and only one walk during his 3.1 solid innings of middle relief work.
Coach Brett Kimbrel's 7-1 EMCC Lions are scheduled to begin conference play on the road with a Saturday doubleheader against the Warriors of East Central Community College. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. at ECCC's Clark/Gay Baseball Complex on the Decatur campus.
By: David Rosinski | Sports Information Director
East Mississippi Community College