February 13, 2017

ECCC's Cole Prestegard drove in five runs as the Diamond Warriors swept Jackson State Community College Feb. 11. (EC Photo)

The No. 8 nationally ranked East Central Community College Diamond Warriors baseball team opened its 2017 season with a doubleheader sweep against Jackson State Community College of Jackson, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Clark-Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur.

The Diamond Warriors beat JSCC 9-7 in a back-and forth first game. The score was tied at seven in the bottom of the sixth, when freshman Wyatt Ball of Nanih Waiya High School hit a fielder’s choice allowing ECCC to score two runs to take the lead they would not relinquish. 

Jackson State jumped out to the early lead by scoring two in the top of the first, but ECCC responded putting up two runs of their own in the bottom of the second on a single by Cooper Clement of Water Valley High School and a single by Luke Yancey of East Rankin High School.

East Central scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead 7-3 on a three-run double by Cole Prestegard of Huntsville (Ala.) High School and a double by Decatur native Ty Alderman. 

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Christian Bellew of Gulfport High School earned the win for Warriors, pitching two-thirds of an inning, allowing no runs, one hit, striking out one, and walking one. Dylan Marsh of Lake Cormorant High School earned the save recording the last six outs.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Sam Parker of Natchez Cathedral High School started the game for the Diamond Warriors, throwing one and two-thirds innings, surrendering two runs, no hits, and striking out five in his debut.

Alderman went 3-3 at the plate with one RBI. Yancey went 4-5, singling four times with an RBI.

In the nightcap, the Diamond Warriors defeated Jackson State 7-4.

JSCC scored three runs in the first inning on two home runs, but ECCC would tie the game in the bottom of the first on a homer by Prestegard over left field wall and an error by the Generals.

ECCC would then score a run every inning except in the second for the win in the seven-inning contest.

Sophomore right-hander Peyton Lott of Seminary High School picked up the win for the Warriors pitching three innings. Lott gave up three runs, three hits, and struck out seven. Hagan Brown of Gautier High School recorded the last three outs to earn the save for Diamond Warriors.

The East Central baseball team will host the EC Invitational Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19. ECCC will face Kaskaskia College at noon and Faulkner State Community College at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

Most East Central home baseball games game can be heard on the radio at WKOZ “Cruisin” 98.3. The radio broadcasts are also streamed online on the ECCC website at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media and at www.kicks96news.com.

Live video streaming is available via high-definition video and streaming audio found at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media or www.kicks96news.com.

The Diamond Warriors gather prior to the opening game of the season. (EC Photo)