East Central Community College had held its own recently against nationally ranked teams, but the visiting Itawamba Indians overpowered the Warriors in a couple of MACJC baseball games Monday, April 15, at the Clark-Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur.
No. 4 ranked Itawamba scored all its runs in two innings to win the opener 12-4 by run-rule in seven innings. The Indians scored eight runs in the first inning and then runs in every inning after that to win the nightcap 26-7. Itawamba hit six home runs in the two games.
With the losses, East Central falls to 17-15 overall on the season and 10-8 in MACJC play. Itawamba improves to 28-5-1 overall and moves into first place in league play with a 13-3 MACJC record.
Tied 0-0 heading to the top of the fifth of game one, Itawamba scored five times. The Indians collected four hits, including a two-run homer in the frame. East Central also committed two errors in the inning.
After the Warriors closed the gap to 5-1 on an RBI single by sophomore first baseman Will Ross (Hernando), Itawamba scored seven more runs in the top of the sixth. A three-run homer was the big blow of the inning as the Indians had four hits to go with two walks, two hit batters, and another East Central error.
The Warriors made the final score 12-4 with three more runs in the sixth, including an RBI double by sophomore third baseman George Farid (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), and a two-run single off the bat of freshman Cameron Cotten (George County)
Sophomore right-hander Thomas Boothe (Fairhope, Ala., Bayside Academy) took the loss on the mound for East Central.
The Indians jumped all over East Central in game two, scoring eight runs in the first inning, five in the second, three in both the third and fourth, and then seven in the fifth.
Warrior pitchers walked 13 batters and hit two more to aid the Itawamba scoring. East Central also committed four errors. Four Itawamba home runs accounted for nine of the 26 runs, including a grand slam from Russell Bunch. Justin Medlin, who had two home runs in the opener, hit two more in the nightcap giving him nine RBI for the afternoon.
A three-run homer by Cotten in the bottom of the third accounted for half of East Central's runs in the loss.
Freshman right-hander Walker Johnson (East Webster) got the start for East Central and took the loss.
East Central continues its busy week with two more doubleheaders, both at home. The Warriors will host MACJC foe Hinds at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, and then go out of conference to face Baton Rouge (La.) at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 18.
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.