ELLISVILLE – East Mississippi Community College's baseball season ended on a high note by claiming a 12-2 run-rule nightcap victory over seventh-ranked Jones College during Friday's MACJC conference action played at Community Bank Park. The Bobcats posted a 5-2 win over the visiting Lions during the opening game of the doubleheader.
With sophomore right-hander Jaxen Forrester on the mound in the scheduled seven-inning nightcap, the Lions provided all of the run support EMCC's pitching ace would need early in the contest. A two-run triple by Philip Martin and Frederic Reynolds' run-producing groundout in the first inning off Jones starting pitcher Brady Greene gave the visitors an early 3-0 lead.
The Lions then batted around a frame later on the way to scoring four runs on six hits to extend the margin to 7-0. Dillon Brown's leadoff double preceded four consecutive singles, including an RBI single by Austin Beech and Stuart Coggins' two-run single two batters later. Josh Smith's two-out RBI single capped EMCC's four-run second inning.
After Forrester retired the first six JC batters in order, the Bobcats got on the board in the third inning by pushing across a run on two hits and two walks before leaving the bases loaded.
The visitors went back to work at the plate by adding a pair of runs in the fourth inning on Martin's fourth home run of the year and then tacking on three more insurance runs a frame later to reach the run-rule margin. Jones managed to plate an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth to account for the 12-2 final.
EMCC's 12-hit team effort in the nightcap was led by Beech, Martin, Coggins, Tyler Miller and John Ross Briggs with two hits apiece. On the mound for the winners, Forrester allowed only the two singles in the third inning, while striking out eight and walking three, to improve his record to 4-4 on the season.
The nine-inning opener was scoreless until the middle innings when Jones scored in the third, fourth and fifth frames. After scoring a pair of runs in the fourth off EMCC starting pitcher Austin Campbell, the Bobcats added two more tallies an inning later on RBI singles by Bailee Hendon and Blake Johnson off Lion reliever Reid Blakely.
Jones College tacked on an unearned run in the sixth before EMCC was able to get on the board late in the contest. The Lions scored their runs in the eighth on an RBI double by Coggins followed by Martin's pinch-hit sacrifice fly. Payton Harris preserved the win in relief by inducing an inning-ending double play in the eighth and then retiring EMCC in order during the ninth to seal the 5-2 victory for the Bobcats.
Coach Brett Kimbrel's EMCC Lions concluded the 2019 baseball campaign with an 11-30 overall record and 8-20 conference mark.