From School Reports
A second-straight MACJC State Baseball Championship was not to be for the East Central Community College Diamond Warriors who fell 9-8 to Hinds Community College in an elimination game in Booneville on Friday.
East Central, which fell 12-1 to the Eagles in first-round action Thursday defeated tournament host Northeast Mississippi Community College 12-4 late Friday to clinch a spot in this week’s Region 23 Baseball Tournament scheduled May 15-17 and hosted by the state champion Jones County Junior College Bobcats in Ellisville.
The Diamond Warriors (23-27) battle Jones County (43-9) at 6 p.m. Thursday, in the double-elimination event. Hinds (32-18) and LSU-Eunice (41-11) meet at 2 p.m.
The regional champion will advance to the NJCAA Division II World Series set for May 24-31 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Oklahoma.
HINDS 13, EAST CENTRAL 4
The Eagles scored six runs on the second inning to pull away from the Diamond Warriors and win the first game of the MACJC State Tournament 13-4 at Harold T. White Field.
EC trailed 6-0 before Maxwell Harmon broke up Casey Sutton’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single and later rounded the bases on a fielding error. Harmon is a product of Enterprise High School.
Kyle McCullough contributed an RBI single to cut the Hinds advantage to 6-2. McCullough hails from Madison Ridgeland Academy.
Jake Bush later doubled for his second hit of the game and knocked in two runs to close the gap to 6-4 at the seventh-inning stretch. Bush is a product of Brookwood (Ala.) High School.
But the Eagles responded with five runs in the bottom of the frame and held on for the win.
In addition to Harmon, McCullough and Bush, other EC hitters were Cody Daigle of Parkview (La.) Baptist High School and Lane Fazende of Pearl River Central, singles each.
Also scoring besides Harmon were Dylan Little of Mary G. Montgomery (Ala.) High School, Chance Whitten of South Panola and Zach May, a product of Newton County High School.
Starter Kale Fultz took the loss. He went 5 1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs on nine hits. He also fanned three batters and walked two. The right-hander is a transfer from Southwest Tennessee Community College and a product of Covington (TN) High School.
EAST CENTRAL 12, NORTHEAST 4
The Diamond Warriors scored nine straight runs between the sixth and eighth innings to pull away from the host Tigers and claim a 12-4 decision Friday, May 9 in the first elimination game.
Fazende got the rally started in the sixth with a two-RBI triple to left-centerfield that scored McCullough and Cojuante McMillian of Hamilton.
EC added two runs in the seventh when Hunter Thrower of Southeast Lauderdale and Little scored following John Morgan Berry’s single to left field. Berry is a product of Madison Central High School.
A five-run eighth frame – during which McCullough and Berry both had RBI hits – put the game out of reach for Northeast, which completed season action at 27-20.
May led the EC offense with a triple, double and three singles. He finished the contest with four RBIs.
Other sluggers were McCullough, double and single, two RBIs; and Whitten, double and single, one RBI; Berry, two singles and one RBI; Little, two singles; Caleb Woods of Leake Central, RBI single; and Harmon, Thrower and Fazende, singles each. Daigle was credited with an RBI.
Runs were scored by Little (2), Berry (2), McCullough (2), Whitten (2), Harmon, Thrower, Woods and May.
Conner West got the win in relief. He pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, fanned a batter and walked one. The right-hander is a product of Taylorsville High School.
HINDS 9, EAST CENTRAL 8
After trailing 6-0, the Diamond Warriors scored eight runs over two innings to take an 8-6 lead.
Berry’s RBI double and McCullough’s RBI single pulled EC within 6-5 with no outs in the sixth. EC tied the contest on a wild pitch and jumped ahead on Harmon’s two-RBI single.
But the Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for the win in the elimination contest.
Hitters for EC were May, two singles and RBI; Berry, RBI double; Harmon, single and two RBIs; Thrower, RBI double; McCullough, RBI single; and Daigle and Whitten, singles each.
Runs were scored by Ben Cooley (2) of South Jones, Whitten (2), Thrower, Little, Berry and May.
Starter Cory Kitchens took the loss. The southpaw from Heidelberg Academy went 2.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits. He also fanned a batter.