Meridian Star

Sports

February 19, 2014

LeDarious Clark’s walkoff slam powers EMCC

SCOOBA — Ignited by a walk-off grand slam by LeDarious Clark in Game 1 of a home baseball doubleheader, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College swept visiting Hinds, 7-5 and 6-4, during Tuesday?s MACJC inter-divisional action at Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus.

Forcing an extra inning after knotting the score at 3-3 with a solo run in the bottom of the seventh, EMCC had to battle back one final time after the visiting Eagles scored twice in the top of the eighth on a two-out, two-run single by Quade Smith. In the bottom half of the frame, the Lions were down to their final out when things began to get interesting for the home team.

Late-game replacement Brandon Acker helped begin the comeback for the Lions by lining a single off reliever Derek Martin.  Blake Key and Chase Nyman loaded the bases in front of Clark with consecutive singles. Clark, a former Southeast Lauderdale High School standout who was rated as the nation’s No. 40 junior college baseball prospect by the renowned baseball scouting service Perfect Game, then provided the game-winning heroics by smashing his second home run of the year and seventh of his EMCC career over the left-center field wall. 

In the opening contest, EMCC sandwiched a two-run third inning between solo-run frames by Hinds in the second, fourth and fifth innings. Needing a run to extend the contest, the Lions began the seventh by loading the bases. Following a force out at home, sophomore first baseman Trent Waddell delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly to center field to send the opener into the extra inning.

In relief of starter Joshua Griffis, sophomore right-hander Conner Burton earned his first collegiate victory by throwing the final 3.2 innings. A product of East Webster High School, Burton scattered four hits and allowed a pair of runs while striking out three in relief. Griffis, a southpaw transfer, went the opening 4.1 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks, in his second start of the season.

 

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