Several East Central Community College baseball players received post-season honors following the recently completed 2014 campaign.
At the top of the list is right-handed pitcher Conner West who was named first team MACJC All-State. The Taylorsville High School product was also selected the Diamond Warriors’ most valuable pitcher.
Also receiving post-season accolades are right-handed pitchers Kale Fultz of Covington, TN and Ty Hendrix of Maben; infielder Dylan Little of Semmes, Ala., and outfielder Kyle McCullough of Madison, who were named second team MACJC All-State. McCullough, a right fielder, is also a nominee for an NJCAA Golden Glove award.
Fultz is a transfer from Southwest TN Community College. Hendrix is a product of East Webster High School, and Little hails from Mary G. Montgomery High School near Mobile. McCullough, a right fielder, played high school ball at Madison Ridgeland Academy.
Receiving team honors were infielder Maxwell Harmon of Meridian, who was named most valuable player, most valuable defensive player and shared scholar athlete award honors with Caleb Woods of Carthage, and Zach May of Little Rock, who received the most improved player award. May has also been nominated to receive an NJCAA Golden Glove award. Harmon is a product of Enterprise High School and Woods hails from Leake Central. May is a product of Newton County High School.
East Central finished fourth in the MACJC South Division and began post-season competition by defeating North top seed East Mississippi Community College in a best-of-three series.
The defending state champion Diamond Warriors advanced to the MACJC State Tournament and Region 23 Tournament en route to a 25-29 record under head coach Neal Holliman and assistants Scott DeLoach and Ronald Sims.
Area young athletes will have an opportunity to sharpen their baseball skills by participating in the 2014 East Central Community College Summer Baseball Camp scheduled June 11-12 (Wednesday-Thursday) at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur.
Registration is set for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 11. Early registration is available on the ECCC Web site (www.eccc.edu) or by faxing registration form to 601-635-4099.
Instruction will be provided from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. both days of the instructional clinic, which is designed for ages six through 12.
Drills will focus on throwing, catching, hitting, pitching and base-running.
“We will work together to provide the individual camper with the best instruction available,” said Neal Holliman, ECCC head baseball coach.
Cost is $60 per camper and includes insurance and camp T-shirt. Concessions and souvenir items will be available for purchase. Water will be provided.
Campers should provide glove, cap, bat, tennis shoes and rubber cleats. Catchers should provide their own gear.
For more information, contact Coach Neal Holliman (601-635-2226) or assistant coach Scott DeLoach (601-635-6374). The e-mail addresses are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
A “special” graduation ceremony was held for the above East Central Community College baseball players who were unable to attend the college’s 85th Commencement Saturday, May 10, 2014, due to their participating in the MACJC State Baseball Tournament hosted by Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville. Diamond Warriors who received diplomas and special honors at the May 13, 2014, ceremony on the Decatur campus included (first row, from left) Mason Woodrow, Phi Theta Kappa, and Conner West, Achievement Scholar, both of Taylorsville; and Ty Hendrix of Maben, Achievement Scholar; and (back row, from left) Maxwell Harmon of Meridian, President’s Scholar, Phi Theta Kappa and NJCAA Academic All-American; Jacob Bush of West Blocton, Ala., Dean’s Scholar, Phi Theta Kappa and NJCAA Academic All-American; Caleb Woods of Carthage, President’s Scholar, Phi Theta Kappa; John Morgan Berry of Madison, Achievement Scholar; and Zach May of Little Rock, Achievement Scholar. ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart presented diplomas and provided in inspirational message to the outstanding student-athletes. The Diamond Warriors finished fourth in the MACJC South Division and advanced to the MACJC and Region 23 tournaments. EC’s baseball program is led by head coach Neal Holliman and assistants Scott DeLoach and Ronald Sims.
ELLISVILLE – A three-run seventh inning proved to be decisive for the top-ranked Jones County Junior College Bobcats here Thursday in the Region 23 Tournament at Community Bank Park.
The Bobcats broke a 2-2 tie with East Central Community College and went on to defeat the Warriors, 6-4.
The win lifts JCJC, 44-9, into a winner’s bracket game at 6 p.m. on Friday vs. Hinds, 33-18.
Trailing 9-6, the Eagles scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning – capped by a two-run Caleb Upton home run – and stunned 2nd-ranked LSU-Eunice, 10-9. LSU-Eunice, 41-12, will meet East Central, 24-28, in an elimination game at 2 p.m. on Friday.
The winner of the tournament advances to the NJCAA Division II World Series May 24-31 in Enid, Oklahoma.
Bobcats 6, Warriors 4
Starting pitchers Westin Stringer and Kale Fultz matched pitch-for-pitch until the bottom of the seventh.
With the game knotted at 2-2, Carter Polles led off the inning with a drive to left for a double. Fultz was then replaced by Connor West.
Stephen Stiglets then sacrificed, but first baseman John Morgan Berry could not field the throw from catcher Lane Fazende. The ball got away and Polles scored all the way from first base to make it 3-2.
Chris Morgan and Trent Giambrone were then each hit by pitches to load the bases with no outs. Mason Woodrow then replaced West.
Tyler Graves then singled to right to make it 4-2. After a fly out, Chase Hensley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home Morgan to make it 5-2.
But the Warriors came back in the top of the eighth.
Will Simon replaced Stringer at the start of the inning and was greeted by an infield single by pinch-hitter Jake Bush. Dylan Little drew a walk and Berry then singled to load the bases with no outs.
Daniel Goff then entered in relief for JCJC. Kyle McCullouch’s fielder’s choice scored Bush. McCullouch then took second when Cody Daigle struck out and the ball got away from Graves for a wild pitch.
Little was then balked home to make it 5-4, but Goff got pinch-hitter Caleb Woods on a strikeout to end the inning.
JCJC got an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Stiglets led off with a single. He advanced to third on a two-base error on an errant pick off throw and scored on Morgan’s sacrifice fly to deep center.
Goff then retired the side in order in the ninth to post his first save.
East Central scored the game’s first run in the top of the first when Little singled with two outs. Berry then singled and Little scored all the way from first on a throwing error.
JCJC tied it in the bottom of the first.
Morgan led off with a single and Giambrone reached on a fielder’s choice. Giambrone stole second and scored on a single by Graves.
East Central took a 2-1 lead in the third when Maxwell Harmon reached on an infield single and was sacrificed to second by Hunter Thrower. Berry’s two-out double scored Harmon.
The Bobcats tied it at 2-2 in the fourth.
Graves led off with a walk and Jordan Stark singled. Hensley sacrificed the runners and after Alex Shermer was intentionally walked to load the bases, Josh Pankratz’s sacrifice fly to left scored Graves.
Stringer went the first seven innings and recorded his nation’s best 12th victory. He allowed two runs (one earned), seven hits, walked none and struck out six. Goff tossed the final two innings, allowed no hits or walks and struck out four.
Polles and Shermer each doubled and singled, while Graves singled twice and drove in two runs for JCJC. Morgan, Giambrone, Stark, Hensley and Stiglets added singles.
Fultz went six-plus innings and took the loss. He gave up three runs (all earned), eight hits, walked two and struck out one. West faced three batters and failed to retire one. He gave up two runs (one earned) and no hits. Woodrow went 1/3 of an inning and gave up one hit and no runs. Cory Kitchens went 1 2/3 innings, allowed one unearned run, two hits and struck out one.
Berry doubled and singled twice for East Central, while Daigle singled twice. Zach May had a double, while Bush and Little singled.
Region 23 Tournament Ellisville
Jones County Junior College
Community Bank Park
Game 1, Hinds 10, LSU-Eunice 9
Game 2, Jones County 6, East Central 4
Game 3, LSU-Eunice vs. East Central, 2 p.m.
Game 4, Hinds vs. Jones County, 6 p.m.
Game 5, Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m.
Game 6, Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.
Game 7, If necessary, 2 p.m.
(Submitted by Shawn Wansley/JCJC Sports Information Director)
These members of the 2014 East Central Community College baseball team are co-recipients of the Scholar Athlete Award presented at the annual Spring Sports Awards Banquet held recently on the Decatur campus. From left are Caleb Woods of Carthage and Maxwell Harmon of Meridian, who both earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Woods is a product of Leake Central High School and Harmon hails from Enterprise High School. ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart and Warrior head coach Neal Holliman presented awards.
ECCC Diamond Warriors Finish Third in MACJC Tourney; Begin Region 23 Tournament Competition Thursday at JCJC
Booneville - A second-straight MACJC State Baseball Championship was not to be for the East Central Community College Diamond Warriors who fell 9-8 to Hinds Community College in an elimination game late Friday, May 9, 2014.
East Central, which fell 12-1 to the Eagles in first-round action Thursday, May 8, defeated tournament host Northeast MS Mississippi Community College 12-4 late Friday to clinch a spot in this week’s Region 23 Baseball Tournament scheduled May 15-17 and hosted by the state champion Jones County Junior College Bobcats in Ellisville.
The Diamond Warriors (24-27) battle Jones County (43-9) at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 15, in the double-elimination event. Hinds (32-18) and LSU-Eunice (41-11) meet at 2 p.m.
All Region 23 Tournament games featuring JCJC will air on www.jcjc.tv.
The regional champion will advance to the NJCAA Division II World Series set for May 24-31 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Oklahoma.
HINDS 13, EAST CENTRAL 4
The Eagles scored six runs on the second inning to pull away from the Diamond Warriors and win the first game of the MACJC State Tournament 13-4 at Harold
T. White Field.
EC trailed 6-0 before Maxwell Harmon broke up Casey Sutton’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single and later rounded the bases on a fielding error. Harmon is a product of Enterprise High School.
Kyle McCullough contributed an RBI single to cut the Hinds advantage to 6-2. McCullough hails from Madison Ridgeland Academy.
Jake Bush later doubled for his second hit of the game and knocked in two runs to close the gap to 6-4 at the seventh-inning stretch. Bush is a product of Brookwood (Ala.) High School.
But the Eagles responded with five runs in the bottom of the frame and held on for the win.
In addition to Harmon, McCullough and Bush, other EC hitters were Cody Daigle of Parkview (La.) Baptist High School and Lane Fazende of Pearl River Central, singles each.
Also scoring besides Harmon were Dylan Little of Mary G. Montgomery (Ala.) High School, Chance Whitten of South Panola and Zach May, a product of Newton County High School.
Starter Kale Fultz took the loss. He went 5 1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs on nine hits. He also fanned three batters and walked two. The right-hander is a transfer from Southwest Tennessee Community College and a product of Covington (TN) High School.
EAST CENTRAL 12, NORTHEAST 4
The Diamond Warriors scored nine straight runs between the sixth and eighth innings to pull away from the host Tigers and claim a 12-4 decision Friday, May 9 in the first elimination game.
Fazende got the rally started in the sixth with a two-RBI triple to left-centerfield that scored McCullough and Cojuante McMillian of Hamilton.
EC added two runs in the seventh when Hunter Thrower of Southeast Lauderdale and Little scored following John Morgan Berry’s single to left field. Berry is a product of Madison Central High School.
A five-run eighth frame – during which McCullough and Berry both had RBI hits - put the game out of reach for Northeast, which completed season action at 27-20.
May led the EC offense with a triple, double and three singles. He finished the contest with four RBIs.
Other sluggers were McCullough, double and single, two RBIs; and Whitten, double and single, one RBI; Berry, two singles and one RBI; Little, two singles; Caleb Woods of Leake Central, RBI single; and Harmon, Thrower and Fazende, singles each. Daigle was credited with an RBI.
Runs were scored by Little (2), Berry (2), McCullough (2), Whitten (2), Harmon, Thrower, Woods and May.
Conner West got the win in relief. He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, fanned a batter and walked one. The right-hander is a product of Taylorsville High School.
HINDS 9, EAST CENTRAL 8
After trailing 6-0, the Diamond Warriors scored eight runs over two innings to take an 8-6 lead.
Berry’s RBI double and McCullough’s RBI single pulled EC within 6-5 with no outs in the sixth. EC tied the contest on a wild pitch and jumped ahead on Harmon’s two-RBI single.
But the Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for the win in the elimination contest.
Hitters for EC were May, two singles and RBI; Berry, RBI double; Harmon, single and two RBIs; Thrower, RBI double; McCullough, RBI single; and Daigle and Whitten, singles each.
Runs were scored by Ben Cooley (2) of South Jones, Whitten (2), Thrower, Little, Berry and May.
Starter Cory Kitchens took the loss. The southpaw from Heidelberg Academy went 2 2/3 innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits. He also fanned a batter.
EC’s baseball program is led by head coach Neal Holliman and assistants Scott DeLoach and Ronald Sims.
ELLISVILLE – The bracket has been set for this week’s Region 23 Baseball Tournament.
The top-ranked and MACJC state champion Jones County Junior College Bobcats will host the tournament at Community Bank Park.
Game 1 of the tournament will be at 2 p.m. Thursday between 2nd-ranked LSU-Eunice, 41-11, and MACJC runnerup Hinds, 32-18. Game 2 will be at 6 p.m. Thursday between MACJC champion JCJC, 43-9, and East Central, 23-27.
Game 3 will be between the losers of Games 1 and 2 at 2 p.m. on Friday. Game 4 will feature the winners of Games 1 and 2 at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Game 5 will feature the winner of Game 3 vs. the loser of Game 4 at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Game 6 will be the championship game between the winner of Game 4 vs. the winner of Game 5 at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Game 7, if necessary, will be played at 2 p.m. on May 17.
The winner of the tournament will advance to the NJCAA Division II World Series May 24-31 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Oklahoma.
All games in the Region 23 Tournament featuring JCJC will air on www.jcjc.tv.
Region 23 Tournament
Jones County Junior College
Community Bank Park
Game 1, LSU-Eunice, 41-11, vs. Hinds, 32-18, 2 p.m.
Game 2, Jones County, 43-9, vs. East Central, 23-27, 6 p.m.
Game 3, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m.
Game 4, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 6 p.m.
Game 5, Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m.
Game 6, Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.
Game 7, If necessary, 2 p.m.
East Central Community College baseball standouts (seated from left) Kale Fultz of Covington, Tenn., and Maxwell Harmon of Enterprise recently signed national letters of intent to continue their careers on the university level. Fultz, a 6-5 right-handed pitcher and transfer from Southwest Tennessee Community College, signed with Nichols State University in Thibodaux, La. Harmon, a 5-11 shortstop, inked with the University of West Alabama in Livingston. He is a former standout at Enterprise High School. “We are very proud of both of these young men as they have been tremendous assets to our program,” said Diamond Warrior head coach Neal Holliman (standing at right). “Kale has developed tremendously and has become the guy at the top of our rotation. Maxwell is a returning starter from last year’s team and has continued to be a tremendous player, leader and student. He is a team captain and has had a tremendous impact on our squad since returning from a broken foot injury that sidelined him for the first half of the season. Both of these young men are well deserving of their honors and the opportunity to move on to the next level.” Also pictured (standing from left) are Roger Perry, Fultz’s grandfather; and Steve Harmon, Maxwell’s father. The playoff-bound Diamond Warriors are the defending MACJC State Baseball Champions.
Booneville, Miss. - For the first time in program history, Northeast Mississippi Community College is set to host the four-team Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Tournament.
The Magnolia State's best baseball squads are scheduled to meet in the annual double elimination event from Thursday, May 8 through Saturday, May 10 at Harold T. White Field.
A possible seven games will be contested over the three-day period with the top three schools advancing to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament next weekend.
"We're proud to host the 2014 baseball championships here in Booneville," said Northeast athletic director David Robbins. "We wish all the teams participating good luck and hope fans from around the state will join us for this special occasion."
East Central Community College, who pulled a first round upset at nationally ranked East Mississippi Community College, and MACJC South Division runner-up Hinds Community College meet in the opening game of the competition at noon on Thursday.
The host Tigers, who are the lone team from the MACJC North Division still playing, then take the field for the initial time at 4 p.m. against the top ranked team in the country in Jones County Junior College.
A pair of elimination games are on tap for Friday, with the losers of games one and two meeting at 10 a.m. The loser of that contest concludes their season while the victor secures its spot in the regionals.
The two winners of Thursday's matchups hit the diamond at 1 p.m. with a berth to the title tilt on the line. The loser of that game must rebound quickly with a final elimination game booked for a 4 p.m. start.
The 2014 MACJC State Championship game will begin at noon on Saturday with an if necessary contest to follow at approximately 3 p.m.
Admission is $5 each day at Harold T. White Field. Tournament t-shirts will be on sale as well for $15 while special gameday programs cost $2 at the entrance.
For full information on the 2014 MACJC State Baseball Tournament, visit the "Tournament Central" page at www.nemccathletics.com and follow the Tigers on Twitter (@NEMCCTigers) for in-game updates.
2014 MACJC State Tournament Schedule
at Harold T. White Field, Booneville
G1: East Central vs. Hinds, noon
G2: Jones County vs. Northeast, 4 p.m.
G3: Game One Loser vs. Game Two Loser, 10 a.m.
G4: Game One Winner vs. Game Two Winner, 1 p.m.
G5: Game Three Winner vs. Game Four Loser, 4 p.m.
G6: Game Four Winner vs. Game Five Winner, noon
G7: If Necessary Championship Game, 3 p.m.
After winning the best-of-three series with North top seed East Mississippi Community College May 2-3 in Scooba, East Central Community College’s baseball team can now set its sights on claiming a second-straight MACJC State Baseball Championship.
The Diamond Warriors, who qualified for the post-season playoff series as the No. 4 South squad, rallied for a 4-3 win over the home standing Lions in first-round action Friday, May 2, fell 7-1 in the second contest Saturday afternoon, then rebounded for a resounding 12-3 victory in the rubber game Saturday night to advance to this week’s state tournament at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville.
East Central begins the double-elimination event by taking on Hinds Community College at noon Thursday, May 8. Jones County and the host Tigers battle at 4 p.m.
A pair of elimination games are on tap for Friday, May 9, with the losers of games one and two meeting at 10 a.m. The loser of that contest concludes their season while the winner secures its spot in the Region 23 Tournament.
The two winners of Thursday’s matchups battle at 1 p.m. with a berth to the title game on the line. The loser of that game must rebound quickly for an elimination contest set to begin at 4 p.m.
The 2014 MACJC State Championship game will begin at noon Saturday, May 10 with an “if necessary contest” to follow at approximately 3 p.m.
All games are nine-inning contests.
Admission is $5 each day at Harold T. White Field. Tournament T-shirts will also be on sale for $15 while special game-day programs cost $2 at the entrance.
For more information on the 2014 MACJC State Baseball Tournament, visit the “Tournament Central” page at www.nemccathletics.com.
EAST CENTRAL 4, EAST MS 3
Chance Whitten’s two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning provided the Diamond Warriors with a 4-3 victory over eighth-ranked East MS Friday, May 2 to begin the best-of-three series at the Lions’ Gerald Poole Field.
Whitten is a product of South Panola High School.
Maxwell Harmon also had a hot bat for the Diamond Warriors, as the Enterprise High School product belted a home run in the first inning and singled in the seventh.
Other hitters were Kyle McCullough of Madison Ridgeland Academy, two singles and RBI; and Dylan Little, a product of Mary G. Montgomery (Ala.) High School, single.
Kyle Fultz picked up the win. The right-hander from Covington, Tenn., went five innings and allowed two earned runs on two hits. He fanned four batters and walked three.
EAST MS 7, EAST CENTRAL 1
The Diamond Warrior offense struggled in game two of the playoff series and managed just two hits – a double by Hunter Thrower of Southeast Lauderdale and a single from Harmon.
Lane Fazende of Pearl River Central scored the lone run and John Morgan Berry of Madison Central was credited with the RBI.
Nick Wilson took the loss. He lasted 4 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits. The southpaw fanned three batters and walked three. Wilson is a product of Terry High School.
EAST CENTRAL 12, EAST MS 3
East Central’s offense exploded for six runs in the fifth inning en route to a 12-3 thumping and the series title over the longtime rival Lions.
Berry’s three-run homer highlighted the scoring onslaught. Berry added a single to his productive outing at the plate.
Harmon contributed two singles and two RBIs, and McCullough slapped three singles and also knocked in a run.
Other hitters were Little, single and two RBIs; Ryan Ward of Madison Ridgeland Academy and Caleb Woods of Leake Central, RBI singles each; and Cojuante McMillian of Hamilton, two singles. Thrower and Fazende were each credited with an RBI.
Runs were scored by Berry (2), Thrower (2), Ben Cooley of South Jones, Little, Jake Busk of Brookwood (Ala.) High School, Harmon, McCullough, Ward, Woods and McMillian.
Ty Hendrix picked the win for EC, which improved to 23-25. He went 6 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs on 11 hits. He also fanned a batter.
EMCC completed season action at 32-13.
East Central’s baseball program is led by head coach Neal Holliman and assistants Scott DeLoach and Ronald Sims.