POPLARVILLE – The 16th-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College registered their fourth baseball doubleheader sweep of the pre-division slate with 4-1 and 7-3 road wins over Pearl River Community College Wednesday evening at Wildcat Field.
In a twin bill pushed back one day because of cold weather conditions earlier in the week, the visiting Lions got on the scoreboard first when sophomore outfielder Chase Reeves reached PRCC starting pitcher Jake Brumfield for a solo home run in the top of the third. The blast was the second of the season and third of his collegiate career for the former Hamilton High School standout.
The Wildcats countered with a solo tally of their own in the bottom half of the third on Jacob Taylor's run-scoring single. But, that was the lone scoring the home team would muster off the combined pitching efforts of EMCC starter Chase Cameron and Conner Burton.
With Cameron scattering eight hits over 4.1 innings of work to pick up the win and raise his record to 2-1, Burton finished off game one by throwing 2.2 innings of no-hit baseball to collect his third save of the campaign.
The Lions went ahead in the opener for good in the fifth on Colton Caver's two-out RBI single scoring LeDarious Clark. The next inning, EMCC benefitted from back-to-back singles by Colby Ramey and Kyle Liberto when they later scored via fielder's choices off the bats of Dylan Vuncannon and Chase Nyman.
East Mississippi's nine-hit team effort in the opener was led by 2-for-4 outings at the plate by Reeves and Liberto.
In the nightcap, the visitors scored in five of the seven frames and out-hit Pearl River, 11-6. It was Reeves again with the game's first RBI, as the former Ole Miss signee singled home Nyman, who led off the contest with a single and reached third on two of his three stolen bases in the game.
The Lions opened the next frame with three straight hits initiated by Tyler Odom's lead-off double – one of four two-baggers for the visitors in game two. An RBI single by Ramey and a sacrifice fly by Nyman made it a 3-0 contest.
After Pearl River cut the deficit to 3-2 with a pair of runs off EMCC starter J'Daylin Jackson in the bottom of the third, the Lions got those two tallies right back on Clark's two-out, two-run double in the fourth. The visitors added solo scores in the sixth and seventh innings on Reeves' RBI double and Liberto's fielder's choice, respectively.
On the mound, Jackson picked up the win for the Lions in the nightcap to improve to 3-0 on the year. The freshman southpaw from Greenville's St. Joseph Catholic School went 3.2 innings before receiving quality relief help from Andrew Crane and Hunter Swart.
Reeves, Nyman, Odom and Trent Waddell all had two hits apiece for the winners in the second contest.
Also with doubleheader sweeps over Bishop State, Hinds and East Central on the season, head coach Chris Rose's 12-4 EMCC Lions close out the non-MACJC North Division portion of their 2014 baseball slate by hitting the road to take on rival Meridian Community College in a Saturday twin bill slated for a 2 p.m. first pitch at MCC's Scaggs Field.