The East Central Community College Warriors played from behind early and never could catch the Gulf Coast Bulldogs in dropping a pair of 9-5 games in MACJC doubleheader action Tuesday, March 19, at the Clark-Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur.
With the losses, East Central falls to 8-10 on the season and 1-3 in MACJC play. Gulf Coast improves to 12-4 overall and 4-0 in the league.
Game one didn't start well for East Central as Gulf Coast plated four runs in the top of the first inning, aided by couple of errors and a walked batter. The Warriors got a couple of runs back in the bottom of the second when freshman designated hitter Dakota Kennedy (Choctaw Central) hit a two-run homer to left field.
Gulf Coast scored another error-aided run in the top of the third. The Warriors again closed the gap to two runs, 5-3, on an fielder's choice RBI off the bat of sophomore right fielder Ken Scott (Clarkdale).
Again, the Bulldogs extended the lead with two more runs in the top of the fourth, before East Central again answered with two more of their own in the bottom of the frame. A triple by freshman first baseman Evan Keith brought in one run, and a sacrifice fly from sophomore shortstop Jay Johnston (Lake) brought in Keith.
The score remained 7-5 until the top of the eighth when two runs by Gulf Coast sealed the 9-5 win. The Bulldogs took advantage of five East Central errors and 10 walked batters in the win.
Scott and sophomore second baseman Anderson Shelley (Greenville, Washington School) each collected two hits for East Central.
Freshman right-hander Thomas Boothe (Fairhope, Ala., Bayside Academy) took the loss for the Warriors throwing the first four innings.
East Central fell behind early in game two as well, as Gulf Coast scored three runs in its first two at-bats. The Warriors responded with a run in the bottom of the second on an RBI single from sophomore third baseman George Farid (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada).
Gulf Coast extended its lead to 6-1 with three more runs in top of the third. The Warriors briefly got back into the game in the bottom of that frame. Kennedy tripled in two runs and later scored on a passed ball making the score 6-4. That would be as close as the Warriors would get as Gulf Coast put single runs on the board in the fourth, fifth, and seventh of the seven-inning game.
East Central's final run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder's choice ground ball off the bat of freshman designated hitter Cameron Cotten (George County), which brought home Keith who had tripled.
The Bulldogs again were the beneficiaries of East Central miscues, as the Warriors committed four errors and six pitchers walked 10 batters.
Freshman right-hander Tanner Knight (Eupora) got the start for East Central and was credited with the loss.
East Central will host Mississippi Delta for a pair of games beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, before traveling to Summit to face Southwest at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27. East Mississippi will visit Decatur on Saturday, March 30, for a doubleheader which begins at 2 p.m.
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.