SCOOBA – Capped by a complete-game no-hitter thrown by Bubba Stockstill, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College swept visiting Pearl River Community College, 9-4 and 10-0, during Sunday's MACJC baseball action played at Gerald Poole Field.
Winners of seven of their last eight games, Coach Chris Rose's 21-13 EMCC Lions improved to 11-9 in MACJC play with their second conference doubleheader sweep of the week. East Mississippi will close out the regular season away from home over the next two weeks with road twin bills at Northeast Mississippi (Tuesday), Mississippi Gulf Coast (Saturday), Itawamba (May 3) and Southwest Mississippi (May 6).
After three costly Pearl River errors helped contribute to EMCC's first seven runs in the Lions' 9-4 opening-game victory, Stockstill grabbed the headlines during the run-rule nightcap. The 6-foot-7 sophomore southpaw faced just one batter over the minimum during his six-inning masterpiece against the Wildcats. With 10 strikeouts in the game and only one walk to lead off the second inning, Stockstill's only other base runner was picked off after being hit by a pitch to open the fifth. The Pearl River Central High School product threw just 74 pitches, including 49 strikes, to improve to 3-4 on the season.
Stockstill's run support in the nightcap began immediately with the Lions plating a pair of runs in the first inning on Austin Lowther's first of two sacrifice flies in the game followed by Ja'Coby Cole's two-run single off PRCC starting pitcher Parker Dungan.
A pair of three-run innings followed for EMCC in the fourth and fifth frames to extend the lead to 8-0. In the fifth, four consecutive walks by PRCC pitching to open the inning paved the way for back-to-back sacrifice flies by Whitt Davis and Lowther.
The Lions made sure to put Stockstill's complete-game no-hitter in the record books by reaching the run-rule margin in the sixth inning of the scheduled seven-inning contest. Following a walk to Wesley Leamon to open the frame, pinch-hitter Isaiah Eiland drove home Leamon with two outs for his first collegiate hit. The Nanih Waiya High School product then scored on Anthony Hickman's game-ending RBI triple.
Hickman, Cole and Marcus Ragan paced EMCC's 12-hit team effort in the second game with three hits apiece.
In the nine-inning opener after the two teams traded solo scores in the second frame, Pearl River took a brief 2-1 lead against eventual winner Vijay Miller with a run in the top of the fifth. The Lions promptly responded with a trio of unearned runs off PRCC starting pitcher Camden Dusang in the bottom of the fifth and then again a frame later on Davis' three-run home run off Luke Bradley – his fifth of the year – to increase EMCC's lead to 7-2 after six innings.
The two teams traded two-run at-bats late in the game to account for the final 9-4 margin. Miller, a quarterback on the Lions' football team out of Itawamba AHS, earned his team-leading fourth win of the year in as many decisions by giving up two runs on five hits, with three strikeouts and two walks, during his five-inning stint. After the visitors manufactured a pair of runs and still had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth, EMCC closer Eli Leathers was called upon to get the game's final two outs on strikeouts to lock down his sixth save of the season.
Outhitting Pearl River, 13-6, in the opener, the Lions received three-hit efforts from Ragan and Lowther, who doubled twice and then added another two-base hit in the nightcap.