MOBILE, Ala. – Scratching out a pair of baseball road wins to improve to 5-1 on the year, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College swept Bishop State Community College, 4-1 and 7-6, Tuesday afternoon.
In the opening contest, EMCC took advantage of three BSCC errors to push across four unearned runs. While only managing singles by Corley Reynolds and Destin Payton on offense, a trio of Lion hurlers combined to strike out 13 Wildcat batters. EMCC's defense also played error-free baseball behind them.
Throwing the initial three innings, sophomore starter Alex Knight allowed just one run on four hits while striking out four and walking only one. The Sumrall High School product picked up his first win of the year and second of his EMCC career. Freshman left-hander Cole Whitman kept Bishop State off the scoreboard with six strikeouts during his three innings of three-hit, shutout work for the Lions. Sophomore Eli Leathers, of Kosciusko, then came in to strike out the side in the seventh to pick up his second save of the season.
During the nightcap, the Wildcats jumped out to an early 5-1 lead after three innings. With EMCC relievers Luke Templeton and Vijay Miller combining to keep BSCC scoreless through the middle innings, the Lions added a run in the fourth inning and then tied the game at 5-5 with three more runs in the fifth.
After the teams traded runs with solo tallies in the sixth, EMCC sophomore outfielder Marcus Ragan capped a 4-for-5 nightcap outing at the plate by knocking in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the top of the seventh. The Warren Central High School product opened the game with his first career collegiate homer. In relief of eventual winning pitcher Bubba Stockstill, who improved to 2-0 on the year, freshman Garrett Ainsworth retired the Wildcats in order to preserve the come-from-behind victory.
EMCC freshman Tucker Calhoun added two singles in four at-bats during the Lions' nine-hit team effort in the second game. Ragan, Knight and Reynolds all drove home a pair of runs apiece.
Coach Chris Rose's EMCC Lions are slated to return to the diamond with a Feb. 27 road doubleheader against Spring Hill College's JV team.