from school reports
The Meridian Star
East Mississippi Community College freshman Nick Brooks tossed a complete-game no-hitter in a 3-0 nightcap victory over visiting Mississippi Delta Community College to propel the Lions to a Wednesday baseball doubleheader division split at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field. The home-standing Lions dropped the opening game 9-6 to the Trojans.
Brooks, a right-hander from Starkville High School, used 140 pitches to record his first collegiate win in four decisions on the year. Keeping the Delta hitters off stride the entire game, Brooks struck out 10 batters while scattering seven walks during the seven-inning shutout.
A versatile 5-foot-7, 175-pound performer, Brooks began the month of March by belting a walk-off, ninth-inning grand slam in EMCC’s 12-8 home win over East Central Community College back on March 1. Interestingly enough on that same evening three weeks ago in Scooba, the Lions received a combined no-hit pitching performance from Tyler Odom and KC Abney during the 6-0 nightcap victory to sweep the rival ECCC Warriors.
After getting out of a self-induced jam in the first inning by way of back-to-back walks, Brooks settled down in the second, third and fourth innings. While he was finding his rhythm on the mound, Brooks was staked to a 2-0 lead in the third inning via a two-run home run by freshman first baseman Trent Waddell. Waddell’s team-leading fourth homer of the season also plated Philip Tice, who got on board in front of him with a one-out single.
Freshman outfielder LeDarious Clark then single-handedly manufactured a third run for the Lions the following inning. The former all-state performer from Southeast Lauderdale High School led off the fourth with a solid single and then promptly stole second base and later third while scoring on an overthrow from Delta catcher Drew Sciabarassi.
While protecting his 3-0 lead, Brooks ran into some difficulties during the latter innings. In the fifth, he issued a two-out walk to Sciabarassi. Courtesy runner Quentin McDonald then stole second and advanced to third on one of Brooks’ five wild pitches on the evening. Brooks escaped trouble by fanning Tyler Mize to end the inning.
The next inning, Delta’s Eagle Weustney opened the sixth by striking out on a ball in the dirt, but catcher Josh Tentoni’s throw down to first base pulled Waddell off the bag.
A one-out walk to pinch-hitter Gage Davis was followed by a ground ball to first base that moved both runners into scoring position. On a full-count pitch with two outs, Brandon Cummins’ grounder to the left side of the infield was gloved by Tyler Odom. EMCC’s freshman third baseman then alertly tagged out the trail runner between second and third to end the threat.
The anticipation carried over into the final frame for Brooks and his Lion teammates. After walking Delta’s Connor Osborne to open the inning and wild-pitching him to second, Brooks struck out Cody Marks and got Sciabarassi to ground out. Following a two-out walk to Mize, Weustney’s fly ball to the outfield was gloved by Clark.
Along with his 10 strikeouts on the night, Brooks induced six fly outs and five ground outs en route to the no-hit shutout.
Ironically, the Lions were only able to get four hits off a trio of Delta pitchers in the nightcap after banging out a dozen hits in their 9-6 opening-game setback.
During the first game, EMCC was able to put up three runs in both the first and second innings on a combined nine hits. However, the Lions could only manage three more hits over the final five innings in the loss.
Along with sophomore starter Smokey Ethridge (2-1) not having his best stuff while pitching into the fifth inning in game one, the Lions committed six errors behind a quartet of EMCC hurlers, including three miscues during the Trojans’ four-run, go-ahead fifth inning.
Now 12-14 overall on the year and 2-4 within the division, head coach Chris Rose’s EMCC Lions will travel to Goodman to meet the Bulldogs of Holmes Community College in a 1 p.m. Saturday doubleheader.