BATON ROUGE — Two innings later, the Lions assumed the lead for good with their three-run third. Following Dylan Vuncannon’s leadoff infield single, Nyman and LeDarious Clark both reached base on consecutive misplayed grounders by Northwest’s middle infielders. Odom increased the EMCC lead to 5-2 with a two-run double to right-center field.
Meanwhile on the mound for EMCC, freshman left-hander J’Daylin Jackson settled down after allowing three hits and two runs over the first two innings. The former St. Joseph Catholic School standout retired 10 consecutive batters before handing the ball to closer Conner Burton with two outs in the fifth inning.
Jackson left the game with a 6-2 lead after Nyman’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth. The Lions added a pair of additional runs the next frame on Colton Caver’s bases-loaded single that greeted Northwest reliever Colin Liles. Caver had two of EMCC’s five hits in the nightcap.
In his 4 2/3 innings of work, Jackson gave up just four hits while striking out three and not issuing a walk to improve to 7-1 on the year and become EMCC’s first seven-game winner since 2008. Burton, out of East Webster High School, locked down the victory by allowing just one hit with three strikeouts over the final 2 1/3 innings.
The scheduled nine-inning opener featured outstanding pitching performances from EMCC’s Joshua Griffis and Northwest’s Domenick Carlini before needing an extra frame to decide the outcome. Northwest opened the scoring with a solo tally in the first when James Lear led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice, stole third and then scored on Jay King’s sacrifice fly. The Lions initially tied the game in the fourth after Reeves led off the inning with his second double of the game and came around to score on back-to-back groundouts to first base.