The Southwest Bears erased a four-run deficit in game one to take a 5-4 win, before the East Central Community College bats came alive in game two and the Warriors grabbed an 11-1 run-rule win in six innings for the doubleheader split Wednesday, March 27, on the Southwest campus in Summit.
With the MACJC doubleheader split, East Central is now 11-11 overall on the season and 4-4 in MACJC play. Southwest is 10-11 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
East Central built a 4-0 lead through five innings in the opener. Sophomore right fielder Ken Scott (Clarkdale) hit a two run homer in the top of the third, bringing home sophomore second baseman Anderson Shelley (Greenville, Washington School), who had singled. The Warriors added another run in the top of the fourth as freshman first baseman Evan Keith (Vancleave) singled in sophomore left fielder Ryan Cupit (West Monroe, La.), who had doubled. The final Warrior run came on a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman designated hitter Dakota Kennedy (Choctaw Central) in the fifth.
Southwest pulled to within 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth with three runs on four singles, after having been held to just two hits in the first five innings. The Bears plated two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the 5-4 lead, and the Warriors never threatened again.
Cupit and Keith combined for four of East Central's seven hits in game one.
Freshman right-hander Tanner Knight (Eupora) had a strong start on the mound for East Central, going six innings and giving up three runs on six hits. Freshman right-hander J.T. Carney (Jackson Academy) took the loss in relief.
Three Warrior pitchers combined for a four-hitter in game two as the East Central bats came alive with 11 runs and 12 hits.
The big inning for East Central was the top of the sixth when six runs crossed the plate. Shelley and Kennedy both singled in runs. Sophomore third baseman George Farid (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) had an RBI single and sophomore first baseman Will Ross (Hernando) doubled in two runs. Another run crossed the plate on a Southwest error.
East Central's other runs came on a Scott RBI single in the first, a Ross sacrifice fly and an RBI single from freshman shortstop Roper Ball (Nanih Waiya) in the fourth, and a Scott RBI triple and a Cupit RBI single in the fifth.
Cupit, Farid, Scott, and Ball all had two hits in the win.
Sophomore left-hander Javian Stone (Jackson, Provine, Highland Community College) got the start and the win. He pitched the first four and a third innings, giving up one run on three hits. Sophomores Austin Braswell (Hattiesburg, Presbyterian Christian) and Woody Vowell (Choctaw County) came on in relief.
East Central returns home to face East Mississippi in an MACJC doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 30.
Next week the Warriors will host No. 2 ranked Jones College in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, and then Northeast at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.
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.