The Meridian Star
Meridian Community College got to see exactly what it will take to claim first place in the Miss-Lou Conference, as the Eagles kicked off conference play against rival Delgado Community College on Friday.
However, for MCC baseball, Friday was an ugly sight.
The Eagles dropped both games of their afternoon doubleheader at Scaggs Field, losing 16-9 in Game 1 before dropping Game 2 10-2 to the Dolphins.
“They won a lot of games for a reason,” MCC head coach Dillon Sudduth said of Delgado. “They are who we got to beat to get where we need to get to. We need to play better than we did today, that's for sure. We just have to come out ant play tomorrow and try to get us a win.”
Charles Morton put MCC on the scoreboard first in Game 1 when he laced an RBI double to left to score Johnathan Youngblood and give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Morton led MCC in Game 1, tallying three hits and two RBIs.
Delgado would tie the game in the top of the second inning, before MCC's Ben Gann ripped two-run home run to left in the bottom of the second to put the Eagles back up 3-1.
However, MCC's lead was short lived. Brady Williamson led off the top of the third with a towering home run to left to jump start the Dolphins, as Delgado exploded for nine runs in the inning to take a commanding 10-3 lead.
MCC rallied back for three runs in the bottom of the third and continued to generate runs, but poor performances by Mitchell Babb, Blake Barrow and Chad Hinton prevented any hopes of a comeback.
Despite the lopsided outcome, Sudduth said he was proud of the way his team refused to quit under adversity.
“We played the game the right way,” Sudduth said after Game 1. “We were playing hard, we made the routine plays and did a good job offensively. Their pitcher's numbers coming into the game were really good, and we put up seven or eight on him. There are no moral victories though, we are not happy.”
The Eagles did receive a sign of encouragement, as MCC bats roughed up Delgado starting pitcher Christian Trent for eight runs in the loss. Trent (5-1) entered the afternoon with a 1.59 earned run average over 22.2 innings pitched.
“Over the past week and a half to two weeks, we have done a good job offensively,” Sudduth said. “We have got some better swings off and have got better in that phase of the game. I'm proud to see that.”
Brandon Smith picked up the loss for MCC in Game 2, as he gave up seven hits and four earned runs over four innings. Youngblood led the Eagles in Game 2, going 1/3 with a double and a RBI.
With the two wins, Delgado improved to 30-5 (2-0), MCC fell to 14-15 (0-2). The two teams will play again today at Scaggs Field for a nine-inning game at 1 p.m. Sudduth is referring to the game as must-win for the Eagles, as they look to avoid the home sweep and earn their first win in conference play.
“This is were it counts,” Sudduth said. “These conference games count. The winner of the conference host the regional, and that is obviously very important to us.
“More than anything, we need to avoid the sweep. You can't afford to get swept by anyone, especially at home. Tomorrow is a big game for us.”