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EMCC Lions conclude regular-season home baseball slate with critical doubleheader sweep over Holmes
 April 18, 2013

SCOOBA – The Lions of East Mississippi Community College collectively out-hit visiting Holmes Community College 19-7 in picking up a critical division doubleheader sweep, 5-1 and 9-1, during their regular-season home finale Wednesday afternoon at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field.

Battling down the stretch for one of four divisional playoff spots available, the EMCC Lions used the long ball and combined five-hit pitching from starter Tyler Odom and reliever Tyler Jones in the opener.  The power surge began early as Austin Braddock smashed a two-run homer in the first inning.  The former Heritage Academy standout then chased Holmes starter Payden Lynch in the fourth with a two-out, solo blast for his team-leading eighth home run of the season.

The Lions tacked on two more runs in the fifth to move ahead 5-0.  Freshman centerfielder LeDarious Clark, of Southeast Lauderdale, belted his fourth homer of the year – a solo shot – off reliever Carl Brice, while freshman shortstop Drew Standland added an insurance run with a two-out, RBI single that plated Philip Tice.

Meanwhile on the mound for the Lions, Odom pitched through the sixth inning, allowing a solo run in the sixth and just three total hits in the game before being relieved.  The former Oak Grove High School product struck out five and walked two in upping his record to 3-1 on the season.

Braddock headlined EMCC’s nine-hit team effort in game one with a 4-for-4 showing at the plate, including two singles to go along with his pair of round-trippers and three runs batted in.  Odom also had two singles in the opener.

Badly in need of a home sweep to remain a legitimate contender in the divisional playoff race, the Lions struck early and often in the nightcap to stake reigning MACJC Pitcher of the Week Smokey Ethridge to a 6-0 lead with a six-run first inning.  EMCC took advantage of three Holmes errors and added four singles to bat around in the opening frame.

Pitching on three days’ rest after earning a third straight complete-game victory this past Saturday at Mississippi Delta, Ethridge threw the first two innings against Holmes, giving up a single and a walk, before giving way to Blake Thomas.  Thomas, a product of West Lauderdale High School, proved to be very effective in relief for the Lions.  The sophomore right-hander completely shut down the Bulldogs, allowing only one single and a seventh-inning run while fanning six and not issuing a walk in five innings of work, to pick up his first win of the year.

With Holmes going through five pitchers in the second contest, EMCC added a solo tally in the third and two more runs in the fourth on a pair of bases-loaded walks to account for the final margin.

Odom, playing third base in the nightcap, added two more singles, as did Clark and Colton Caver, to pace the Lions’ 10-hit team effort in game two.               

Coach Chris Rose’s 19-21 EMCC Lions, now 9-11 in MACJC North Division play, will hit the road for the final week of the regular season, beginning with Tuesday’s 4 p.m. doubleheader at Northwest Mississippi Community College.  EMCC wraps up the regular season a week from Saturday (April 27) with a 1 p.m. twin bill at Coahoma Community College.

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