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Eagles take first round win in Rush Classic

By By Austin Bishop/Special to The Star
Feb. 24, 2001
It's amazing how far an 11-run inning will go toward making a team feel better about itself.
The Meridian Community College Eagles picked up 11 runs on seven hits in the bottom of the fourth inning Friday to rally for a come-from-behind 12-5 win over East Central Community College in the first round of the Rush Classic being played at MCC's Scaggs Field this year.
Jones County Junior College used a 16-hit attack to take a 12-7 win over East Mississippi Community College in the day's first game.
Meridian's bats struggled early against ECCC, as the Warriors jumped out to a 5-1 lead in picking up eight hits over their first four at bats.
But then the Eagles woke up at the plate, knocking ECCC starter Cory Amis and reliever Brandon Fish (1-1) out of the game on the way to the big 11-run inning.
The win pushed MCC to 6-4 on the season, while East Central fell to 1-5.
The ECCC Warriors are set to take on 3-4 Jones today at Noon in the Rush Classic, while MCC and East Mississippi (1-4) are set to start at 3 p.m.
Meridian pitching coach Mike Federico said he was especially pleased with the effort of reliever Adam Smith (2-1), who went 3.1 innings in relief of starter Martin LaRocca. Smith gave up six hits, but struck out four, didn't walk anyone and allowed no runs.
ECCC came out swinging the bats, going up 1-0 in the top of the first thanks to an RBI double by Monte Migliacio. The Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Tyler Scarbrough drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Travis Garner who had walked to start the inning.
East Central starter Amis, who walked three and hit one in the first inning, settled down to strike out the next two hitters.
The Warriors came right back to pick up two more runs in the second. The first came on an RBI single by Hornsburger and the second came when Hornsburger swiped home on a double-steal play.
ECCC stretched that out to 5-1 when the Warriors touched LaRocca for four singles and two runs in the fourth.
The Eagles tied the game at 5-5 quickly in the bottom of the fourth thanks to an RBI double by Garner and RBI singles off the bats of Rory Thornton, Dustin Cliburn and Scarbrough. Then the ECCC right fielder misplayed a fly ball by Chris Knight, allowing two more runs to score and the Eagles to take the lead for good.
Temetric Thomas followed that by smashing a triple to right-center, then the Eagles used singles by Garner and Thornton and a two-run triple by Gray to go up 12-5.
Garner finished the night with three hits for MCC, while Hal Thompson had four singles to lead East Central. Josh Chaney and Hornsburger also had three hits for the Warriors, who finished the night with 15 hits.
JONES 12, EMCC 7: The Bobcats scored four runs in the top of the eighth to answer an East Mississippi rally on the way to their third win of the season.
The Bobcats had built a 7-2 lead, only to have EMCC cut it to 8-6 thanks to a two-run seventh inning. But JCJC answered with four in the top of the eighth.
Matt McAlpin ripped three singles and scored three runs to lead the Bobcats, while former Quitman High School standout Kyle Valentine (1-0) picked up the win on the mound.
Tyler Lowros picked up three hits and scored three runs to lead the Lions, while Josh Buckley had a double, single and drove in three runs.
Steve Oglesby (0-2) took the loss on the mound for EMCC.