Meridian Star

Sports

March 23, 2014

Walk-off home run by Votaw completes doubleheader sweep for MCC

MERIDIAN — The Meridian Community College baseball team extended their winning streak to seven games in dramatic fashion when Scott Votaw launched a game-winning, two-out, two-run home run in Game 2 that helped the Eagles complete a doubleheader sweep over Baton Rouge Community College, 10-4 and 4-2, in Miss-Lou action Saturday at William F. Scaggs Field.

“I’m still in shock,” Votaw said. “I struggled mostly today, but I told everybody if they managed to get me an at-bat in the end, then I would do it for us.”

Votaw’s home run capped a late-inning rally that saw the Eagles score four runs in the final two innings after being shut out in the previous five. MCC managed just two hits through five but notched five hits over the final two innings in the comeback victory.

In the opener, Meridian smacked three home runs, including two by Michael Druhan.

MCC (16-12, 2-0) scored three runs in the second to take an early advantage. Garrett LaRosa began the inning with a sharp single and moved to third following Mac Seibert’s double. Both runners trotted home when Druhan launched the first of his home runs over the left field wall.

“(The pitcher) tried to bust me inside, but I turned on it and put a good swing on it,” Druhan said.

In the third, BRCC rallied for four runs. Three consecutive singles gave the Bears the scoring opportunity. Jose Dupuy scampered home on Mark Traylor’s  RBI groundout. Following a walk, Cameron Burns recorded a sacrifice fly, and Blake Meisner dashed home on a wild pitch by Goose Yates. Following another walk, Yates was replaced by Bryant Johnston, who promptly gave up a single to Cade Milazzo that drove in the final run of the inning.

But that would be all that the Bears would scratch across against Johnston, as the 5-foot-10 side-arm delivering righty tossed 4 1/3 relief innings in earning his first win of the year.

“I had to lean on my slider a little more then what I had been,” said Johnston, who finished with seven strikeouts.  “I was getting them to chase it, and I was happy about that.”

In the fourth, Meridian answered Baton Rouge’s rally with one of their own. Kevin Hall opened the frame with a solo-home run. Two batters later, Druhan launched his second home run of the game, and Ben Gann drove in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.  

“In the last seven to 10 days, we’ve really hit our stride offensively,” Meridian coach Dilon Sudduth said. “We’ve strung a few hits together and got a few big knocks.”

The Eagles added a single run in the fifth and three more in the sixth, highlighted by Votaw’s two-RBI single.  

In Game 2, the visiting Bears (12-21, 0-2) struck for two runs in the first. Meridian starter, Dustin Smith, was replaced by Josh Curtis after recording just one out in the first.  

Curtis allowed for MCC to mount their comeback, limiting BRCC to one hit in 5 2/3 innings with six strikeouts.

Layton Dill pitched a clean seventh inning, including striking out two Baton Rouge hitters.

Said Sudduth, “What might get overlooked is that we get punched in the mouth early and our starter doesn’t even throw a full inning. But we got a tremendous job from the bullpen.”

In the two contests, Eagle pitchers struck out a combined 22 BRCC hitters.  

“We didn’t compete today in two-strike situations,” BRCC coach L.J. Dupuy said. “That was the ball game. The two-strike count is killing us right now. We have to come back out here tomorrow during batting practice and correct that.”

The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the sixth when the Eagles tied it. Dalton Thomas singled, and Votaw walked to open the frame. LaRosa laid down a sacrifice bunt to push the runners into scoring position, and Thomas crossed home following Kevin Hall’s sacrifice fly. Seibert then smacked a single into right to score Votaw.  

In the seventh, two quick outs were recorded before Thomas singled to right. Votaw then sent the stadium into a frenzy with his game-winning home-run to left.

“We are just trying to get better every day and taking it one game at a time,” Sudduth said.

The Eagles will attempt to sweep BRCC when the two teams meet again today at 1 p.m.

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