Saturday, April 7, 2018

No. 16 ECCC Baseball Drops Pair of Heartbreakers to No. 7 Pearl River

It was a battle of Top 20 baseball teams at Clark-Gay Stadium in
Decatur April 4, and the East Central Community College Warriors came up on the short end of a couple of heartbreaking losses to the Pearl River Community College Wildcats. East Central, which entered the game at No. 16 in the most recent National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Top 20, saw a 10-1 lead evaporate in one inning of the opener and a 13-10 loss. Pearl River scored three runs in the top of the last inning of game two for a 6-3 win and the sweep.

With the losses, East Central is 19-9 overall on the season and 8-4 in MACJC league play. The Pearl River Wildcats are 24-4 overall and 10-0 in league play.

East Central opened up a 10-1 lead after six innings in the opener, thanks in part to a big six-run bottom of the fifth. Freshman Deon Leflore of Leake Central got the scoring started in the first with a solo home run. Jacob Edwards out of Newton County singled in a run in the second, and two more scored in the third on a Will Ross (Hernando) sacrifice fly and a steal of home by Zack Hutchison of Ellisville. In the fifth, the Warriors plated six runs thanks to a two-run double from Hutchison, a two-run single from Ken Scott of Clarkdale, an RBI single from Leflore, and a wild pitch.

Trailing 10-1 heading to the top of the seventh, Pearl River erased the deficit with 11 runs on six hits, four hit batters, two walks, and a Warrior error. Edwards, Leflore, and freshman George Farid (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) each had a pair of hits in the opener for East Central, and Ross had three RBI while Scott and Leflore had two each. Right-hander Dylan Marsh of Lake Cormorant started and took the loss for East Central.

In the nightcap, the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie into the final seventh inning when Pearl River scored three runs, two of them unearned on East Central errors, to take the 6-3 win. All three East Central runs in the game came off singles by Wyatt Ball of Nanih Waiya in the first and third innings.

The teams managed only four hits each in game two, but East Central committed four errors. Left-hander Brooks Warren out of French Camp Academy allowed only four hits and struck out seven batters over six and a third innings in a losing effort for the Warriors. The Warriors will be on the road for their next six games. East Central will travel to Scooba on Saturday, April 7, to face East Mississippi Community College at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; to Raymond on Tuesday, April 10, to face Hinds Community College at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and to Booneville onSaturday, April 14, to face Northeast Mississippi Community College at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Most home baseball games can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 or via audio stream and live stream video at