May 12, 2017
With a sweep over Mississippi Delta Community College May 10 and May 11 in a best-of-three playoff series, the East Central Community College baseball team advances to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 Tournament May 17-20 on the campus of Jones County Junior College in Ellisville.
The Diamond Warriors picked up two run-rule victories over the Trojans in the series. ECCC won game one 10-2 and game two with a 16-7 win at the Clark-Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur.
In both games combined, ECCC outhit Mississippi Delta 26-15.
In game one, the contest was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the third when the Warriors drove in six runs to take a lead they would not relinquish.
The crucial inning included RBI singles by Brandon Clark of Neshoba Central, Zach Parker of Quitman High School, and Nathan Roseberry of Purvis High School, and a two-run home run by Jacob Edwards of Newton County High School.
In the first inning Mississippi Delta jumped out early putting up two runs, but ECCC responded with two runs of their own on back-to-back singles off the bats of Cole Prestegard of Huntsville (Ala.) High School and Clark.
The Warriors picked up a run each in the fourth and the seventh on a wild pitch and single by Roseberry for eight run run-rule win.
The winning pitcher was Brock Morris of West Jones High School, who allowed one hit and no runs, while striking out two and walking no batters over six innings of work on the mound.
Roseberry led offensively with three RBI on two hits. Clark followed with two RBI on two hits. Billy Cameron of Mendenhall High School scored three times for the Warriors.
The lead went back-and-forth in game two of the series until the Diamond Warriors put up 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Mississippi Delta jumped out early again, scoring two runs in the top of the first. ECCC trailed the Trojans 2-1 after one inning of play.
East Central took the lead after scoring three in the third on a sacrifice fly and back-to-back singles from Prestegard and Cameron.
The Trojans then regained the lead after scoring fours in the top of the fifth, but the bats came alive for the Warriors in the bottom of the fifth.
ECCC went up for good in the 10-run fifth scoring on a passed ball, a two-run double by Parker, a single by Edwards, a single by Luke Yancey of East Rankin High School, a two-run single by Prestegard, a single by Clark, and a two-run home run off the bat of Ty Alderman of Newton County Academy.
For the run-rule, Prestegard blasted a two-run homer in the seventh.
Left-fielder Prestegard led offensively for Warriors in game two going 4-4 at the plate and five RBI. Clark and Parker each had two hits and two RBI.
Right-hander Hagan Brown of Gautier High School picked up the win.
East Central is now to 33-15 on the season and will play in the six-team, double elimination NJCAA Region 23 Tournament next week with the winner advancing to the NJCAA Division II Baseball National Tournament.