SCOOBA – East Mississippi Community College's baseball team flipped the score to earn a home conference doubleheader split with Coahoma Community College during Tuesday's MACJC action played at Gerald Poole Field. The Lions' 10-3 nightcap victory gained the twin-bill split after they dropped the opening game to the visiting Tigers by the same score.
The home-standing Lions took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning of the second game on Dillon Morgan's two-out, two-run homer – his third of the year – off Coahoma starting pitcher Trace Owens.
The Tigers promptly responded by knotting the score at 2-2 in their next at-bat on Joe Gee's two-out, two-run double off EMCC starting pitcher Wesley Grantham. The visitors then grabbed their only lead of the nightcap by plating an unearned run in the third inning.
EMCC wasted little time in reclaiming the advantage by putting up three runs in the fourth inning. Austin Beech's second single of the game and fourth hit of the day capped the scoring in the frame and gave the Lions a 5-3 lead.
While EMCC freshman left-hander Austin Campbell was limiting Coahoma to just one hit over his five innings of relief work, the Lions batted through the lineup in the bottom of the sixth to tack on five more insurance runs. Zarin Cole's second of a pair of two-run homers on the day highlighted the inning for EMCC, which also included back-to-back RBI singles by Dillon Brown and S.T. McMurrian.
Offensively, McMurrian and Beech led EMCC's nine-hit team effort with two hits apiece during the nightcap. Campbell, a Starkville native, struck out five and walked five to pick up his first collegiate victory for the Lions.
The Lions were forced to play from behind throughout the nine-inning opening contest after a pair of defensive errors contributed to Coahoma's four-run opening frame against EMCC starting pitcher Reid Blakely.
On the flip side, Coahoma staked starting pitcher Brandon Herring to an 8-0 lead before the Lions were able to get on the scoreboard in the sixth inning on Cole's initial two-run homer of the doubleheader. The Tigers got those two runs back in the eighth, including a solo home run by Jacob Compton off EMCC reliever Josh Smith. Cole's two-out RBI double in the bottom of the frame then closed out the scoring in the opening contest.
Cole, out of Pascagoula High School, drove in three runs during the opener with his two-run blast and run-scoring double, while Beech, a fellow Pascagoula product, had a pair of singles to combine for four of EMCC's five hits in the contest.
Coach Brett Kimbrel's EMCC Lions, 7-23 overall and 4-13 in conference play, travel to Perkinston to take on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bulldogs in a Friday doubleheader. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Ken "Curly" Farris Field on the MGCCC campus.