PERKINSTON – The Lions of East Mississippi Community College banged out 15 hits to open Saturday's road baseball doubleheader with an 11-7 win over Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College at Ken "Curly" Farris Field. In the nightcap, Bulldog left-hander Dylan Mills-Derouen limited EMCC to just three singles during a 3-0 complete-game shutout to earn the split.
After allowing an unearned run in the bottom of the first, the Lions took control of the nine-inning opener with three runs in the second and four more scores a frame later off MGCCC starting pitcher Joshua Lewis. On the heels of Armani Lewis' sacrifice fly followed by Marcus Ragan's two-out, two run double in the second, Ja'Coby Cole gave the visitors even more momentum with a grand slam to make it 7-1 after three innings.
EMCC's lead grew to 10-1 in the fifth with another two-out, two-run double by Ragan followed by Anthony Hickman's RBI single. Ragan, a Warren Central High School product, finished the opener 4-for-6 at the plate with four runs batted in, two runs scored and three stolen bases.
Though the Bulldogs gradually cut into the deficit late in the game with a pair of runs during the six, seventh and eighth innings, EMCC starting pitcher Vijay Miller utilized the early lead to improve to 5-0 on the year. The two-sport standout from Itawamba AHS allowed three runs on five hits, while striking out six and walking two, during his six innings of mound work.
Along with Ragan's big outing, fellow EMCC sophomore Corley Reynolds was 4-for-4 at the plate in the opener with four singles, a walk and two runs scored. Cole and Hickman each added two hits for the winners.
But, that was the extent of East Mississippi's offense on this day, as the visitors were only able to get one runner in scoring position during the seven-inning nightcap off Mills-Derouen. After managing only a pair of walks off the redshirt sophomore southpaw through the first three innings, the Lions got singles from Whitt Davis and Cole in the fourth but couldn't get on the board.
Coming off his no-hitter a week ago against Pearl River, EMCC left-hander Bubba Stockstill allowed just one run through the first five frames before encountering control problems in the sixth. After getting out of a first-inning jam by having a runner thrown out at the plate, Stockstill gave up a leadoff double to Chase Fagan in the third, who was bunted over and then scored the game's opening run on a wild pitch.
While Mills-Derouen, now 9-3, was cruising to his third shutout and fourth complete game of the year, the Bulldogs manufactured two important insurance runs in the sixth with the help of a leadoff hit batsman, two walks, two more wild pitches and an infield hit by Logan McGrew.
Coach Chris Rose's EMCC Lions, 23-14 overall and 13-10 in conference play on the year, will close out the regular season this coming week with a Wednesday doubleheader at 19th-ranked Itawamba and a Saturday twin bill at Southwest Mississippi. The Lions are also slated to resume a protested game from last week at Northeast Mississippi during the coming week. In a protest upheld by the MACJC office following last Tuesday's EMCC-NEMCC nightcap, the contest is scheduled to be resumed in the bottom of the sixth with the score tied at 1-1. The Lions claimed the opening game of the doubleheader with an 18-14 victory over the Tigers.