DECATUR – Sophomore right-hander Jaxen Forrester threw a no-hitter in East Mississippi Community College's 10-1 nightcap road victory over East Central during Friday's MACJC baseball doubleheader split played at the Clark-Gay Baseball Complex. The home-standing Warriors held on for the 7-5 win over the Lions in the opening contest.
Forrester, out of Spanish Fort, Ala., struck out nine and walked two during the seven-inning, complete-game win over East Central. The only run he surrendered came in the final frame when leadoff batter Ken Scott reached base and came all the way around to score on a throwing error from third base. Only a total of five ECCC batters reached base during the game with the others coming via an infield error at second base to lead off the fourth inning and a dropped third strike in the seventh.
The only run support Forrester would need was provided by Tyler Miller's two-run blast in the third inning off East Central starting pitcher Walker Johnson. After adding two more runs in the fifth, the Lions sent a dozen batters to the plate in the seventh to tack on six more insurance runs and ultimately snap their 11-game losing skid.
Miller, a 23rd-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in last year's Major League Baseball Draft, paced EMCC's 10-hit team effort in the nightcap by going 3-for-5 at the plate. Also a product of Spanish Fort (Ala.) High School, Miller belted his team-leading third homer of the year and added a double and a single to go along with his two RBIs and two runs scored. Austin Beech and Josh Smith added two hits apiece for the Lions in the victory.
East Central grabbed the upper hand in the nine-inning opening contest by scoring runs during each of the first four innings. After pushing across a pair of runs off EMCC starting pitcher Chance Denson in the first inning, the Warriors added three more scores in the second on successive doubles by Jay Johnston, Al Dumas and Anderson Shelley. ECCC then tacked on solo tallies each of the next two frames to extend the lead to 7-0 after four innings.
The Lions' comeback attempt began by scoring two runs in the sixth inning off East Central starting pitcher Thomas Boothe before leaving the bases loaded. The visitors rallied again in the top of the ninth by adding three runs that scored on a two-out, bases-loaded walk followed by an outfield miscue. The rally fell two runs short, however, as EMCC left the potential tying runs in scoring position.
Dillon Morgan led EMCC's eight-hit team effort with a pair of singles.
Coach Brett Kimbrel's EMCC Lions, 4-17 overall and 1-7 in the MACJC, continue conference play on the road by traveling to Moorhead to take on the Trojans of Mississippi Delta in a 1 p.m. Tuesday twin bill.