LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Freshman Jaxen Forrester's complete-game shutout lifted East Mississippi Community College to a road baseball doubleheader split with the University of West Alabama's junior varsity team Wednesday afternoon at Tartt Field. The Lions' 2-0 nightcap win earned the split after they dropped a 13-2 decision to the Tigers in the opening game.
Forrester, from Spanish Fort, Alabama, scattered three hits during the early innings but faced just one batter over the minimum during the final four frames to pick up his first collegiate victory. After working out of a bases-loaded jam in the third, the right-hander recorded eight of his nine strikeouts during those last four innings. Forrester also issued three walks during his three-hit shutout.
Getting at least one hit every inning, the Lions provided Forrester all the run support he would need with solo tallies in the third and fourth innings of the nightcap. Freshman catcher S.T. McMurrian led off the third with a walk and was bunted over by Destin Payton in front of Dillon Brown's two-out, run-scoring single. A frame later, Philip Martin's two-out triple plated Gage Nyman, who singled for the second time in the contest.
With three singles in four at-bats during the second game, sophomore shortstop Anthony Hickman paced the Lions' nine-hit team effort in the victory.
EMCC took the early lead in the opening contest as well before defensive lapses in the infield opened the floodgates for the home-standing Tigers. The Lions jumped out to the early 2-0 lead in the third inning on Hickman's team-leading fourth home run of the season with Luke Miller aboard. Hickman's four homers came during a five-game stretch heading into Wednesday's nightcap.
UWA's JV team knotted the score with a pair of unearned runs off EMCC starting pitcher Chance Witt in the bottom half of the third. After retiring the game's first seven batters, Witt ran into more tough luck the next inning when two more Lion miscues led to three additional unearned runs. With the aid of a fourth infield error in the contest and four walks in the inning by EMCC pitching, the Tigers put away the first game by batting around during an eight-run fifth inning.
Coach Chris Rose's 4-6 EMCC Lions are scheduled to play on the road against Nunez Community College during a 1 p.m. Saturday doubleheader in Chalmette, Louisiana. East Mississippi swept Nunez, 17-2 and 10-4, last Saturday in Scooba.