MCC sweeps Rush Classic with win over Jones

By By Austin Bishop/Special To The Star
Feb. 26, 2001
If only one guy had fun during Meridian Community College's 4-2 win over Jones County Junior College in the last day of the Rush Classic on Sunday afternoon, there is no doubt who it was.
The win gave MCC a three-game sweep in the round-robin event, as the Eagles moved their mark to 8-4 on the season.
The game was tight throughout, with MCC leading the entire game after scoring a run in the bottom of the first when Travis Garner singled and scored two batters later on a double-play ball.
Meridian never led by more than two runs.
Freshman right-hander Jason Wimberly (1-0) had an impressive outing on the mound for MCC, going seven strong innings, while Curt McLellan came in to pitch the last two innings and earn his first save of the season.
MCC picked up a run in the second inning when Temetric Thomas reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a balk, to third on a fly-out and scored on a wild pitch to put the Eagles up 2-0.
But Jones, which showed tremendous ability to hit the ball throughout the three-day event, cut it to 2-1 in the top of the third.
Former Quitman High School standout Mario Laphand got things started on a single to left and later scored on an RBI single by second baseman Craig Bush. Bush had a big game for the Bobcats, going 4-for-4 to pace the JCJC 10-hit attack.
Jones tied the game in the top of the fourth when Matt McAlpin, who served as the designated hitter as well as starting pitcher, doubled and then scored on a single by Josh Sullivan.
MCC answered in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good.
Tyler Scarbrough reached second when he dropped down a bunt hit and moved to second on an errant throw on the play. Thomas then promptly singled him in.
Jones threatened in the top of the sixth, when Bush and McAlpin opened the inning with back-to-back singles. But Wimberly responded by registering a strikeout, fly-out and groundout to end the threat.
McLellan came on in the top of the eighth and was greeted by Bush's fourth single of the game.
But the next hitter rolled into a double play.
The next hitter walked, and that was followed by a single by Sullivan to put runners on first and second with two outs. But McLellan buckled down to get a strike out to end the inning.
He then struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth on the way to retiring three straight hitters.
But before McLellan took the mound in the ninth, his teammates added a run to his lead in the bottom of the eighth.
Rory Thornton led off the MCC eighth with a single to right. After a fly out by the next hitter, Thornton advanced to third when a pick off throw got away from the first baseman. Pinch hitter Robert Daggett was then hit by a pitch, bringing up Scarbrough with runners on first and third and just one out.
After falling behind in the count, one ball and two strikes, the freshman third baseman hit a grounder to short and then hustled to first to beat the relay throw on the attempted double play scoring Thornton on the play.
Scarbrough said all he was trying to do was advance the runner.
Scarbrough, Thornton and Josh Raggio had two hits each to lead MCC at the plate.
Bush had four hits for Jones, which fell to 4-5 with the loss, while McAlpin and Sullivan picked up two each.
MCC returns to action on Tuesday when the Eagles host Hinds Community College in a single game at Scaggs Field beginning at 3 p.m.