WESSON – The Lions of East Mississippi Community College pounded out 15 hits in a 13-11 road win over Copiah-Lincoln to earn an MACJC baseball doubleheader split Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Field. The Wolves claimed the nightcap with an 8-4 victory over EMCC.
The Wolves countered with five runs in their half of the first as EMCC starter Jaxen Forrester had early control problems. Three walks in the frame led to a two-out, two-run single by Austin O'Flynn followed by Mark Hubbard's three-run homer.
After cutting the deficit to 5-4 with two more runs in the second on Destin Payton's two-run single, the visitors claimed the lead for good in the fourth on Anthony Hickman's three-run blast off Zach James. Three innings later, Hickman went deep again to increase EMCC's lead to 12-6 by smacking his second grand slam of the season and team-leading eighth home run of the year.
With the visitors still maintaining a seemingly comfortable 13-7 advantage heading to the ninth, the Wolves made things interesting in the end. Following a leadoff homer by Jaylyn Williams, Austin Tidwell hit his second homer of the game with a two-out, three-run shot off Garrett Ainsworth to make it a 13-11 contest. Hickman, EMCC's hitting star of the game, then moved to the mound from third base to get the final out and preserve the victory with his second save of the year.
Hickman, out of Pearl River Central High School, went 3-for-6 at the plate in the opener with two homers and a double to knock in seven runs and score four times. With 15 hits as a team in game one, the Lions also received multi-hit efforts from Payton, Martin, Gage Nyman, S.T. McMurrian and Luke Miller.
On the mound for the visitors, Forrester evened his record at 2-2 for the year after allowing six runs on five hits in six innings of work while striking out six and walking six.
The nightcap was basically decided in the opening frame as two costly infield errors by the Lions contributed to a seven-run inning for Co-Lin. Two-run singles by Tidwell and Craig Bradley off EMCC starter Luke Templeton highlighted the inning as the Wolves batted around. Tidwell added a solo shot in the third off Lion reliever Garrett Brown for his third homer of the afternoon to make it 8-0.
That appeared to be plenty of run support for the Wolves as Christian Day was in complete control on the mound through six innings. The sophomore right-hander limited the Lions to just a pair of singles heading into the final frame.
The visitors wouldn't go away easily, however. Aided by a Co-Lin infield error to begin the seventh inning, EMCC's bats came alive with RBI doubles from Nyman and Matt Inlow. The Lions added two more runs and had runners in scoring position before Tidwell came in to record the final out and secure the doubleheader split for the Wolves.
With four of EMCC's six total hits in the second game coming in the last inning, Nyman led the Lions with a 2-for-3 outing at the plate.
Coach Chris Rose's EMCC Lions, 8-12 overall and 1-5 in conference action, play host to the Trojans of Mississippi Delta in a 4 p.m. Tuesday twin bill at Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus.