Runs were at a minimum as the East Central Community College Warriors opened 2019 MACJC league play with a doubleheader split against the Holmes Bulldogs in games played Saturday, March 16, at Charlie Donald Field in Goodman.
The Warriors left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth in a 5-4 loss in the nine-inning first game. Five East Central pitchers limited the Bulldogs to a single run in a 3-1 win in the nightcap to gain the doubleheader split.
East Central is now 8-8 on the season and 1-1 in MACJC play. Holmes is 16-2 and 1-1.
A four-run bottom of the second inning by Holmes was the difference in game one as the Bulldogs went ahead 5-0 early. East Central battled back with one run top of the third and fifth innings and two in the top of the fourth.
Trailing 5-4 with two outs in the top of the ninth, the Warriors got back-to-back singles and a hit batter to load the bases before Holmes recorded the final out to take the one-run win.
East Central outhit Holmes 10-8 in the loss, but left 10 runners on base. Sophomore left fielder Ryan Cupit (West Monroe, La.), sophomore shortstop Jay Johnston (Lake), and sophomore designated hitter Alex Hay (Lewisburg) all drove in runs for the Warriors.
Freshman designated hitter Cameron Cotten (George County) drove in a run with a single in the top of second, sophomore second baseman Anderson Shelley (Greenville, Washington School) stole home in the top of third on a pickoff at first base, and Cupit singled in a run in the top of the seventh for East Central's runs in game two. Cotten had a pair of singles in the win.
Five Warrior pitchers held Holmes to seven hits and the one run. Sophomore left-hander Javian Stone (Jackson, Provine, Highland Community College) got the start and the win, giving up two hits and no runs in three and a third innings.
The Warriors will play their home opener on Tuesday, March 19, when Gulf Coast visits the Clark-Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur. The doubleheader begins at 3 p.m.
East Central will host Mississippi Delta for a pair of games beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23.
Most East Central home baseball games can be heard on WKOZ "Cruisin" 98.3 or watched via live stream video at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media.