Eagles fall 7-6 in Rush Invitational
By By Austin Bishop/EMG regional sports director
Feb. 18, 2002
The end to Meridian Community College's 7-6 loss to Tyler (Texas) Junior college in the 2002 Rush Invitational on Sunday, was a fitting one.
Anthony Collis struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to hand the Eagles, now 3-5, their fourth one-run loss of the season.
MCC struck out a school-record 19 times on the day, erasing the old mark of 16.
And it wasn't just one Eagle who had trouble putting the bat on the ball. A school-record 10 different hitters struck out in the game for MCC, including six twice and one four times.
Despite the trouble MCC had in putting the ball in play, the Eagles exploded for six runs on six hits in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-2 lead.
But the Apaches, now 7-7 on the year, roughed up sophomore reliever Justin Bounds (0-2) in the top of the seventh to score five runs and take the lead for good.
A walk, single, and double to start the inning cut the MCC lead to 6-3. After another walk to load the bases, Bounds struck out the Tyler third-place hitter. But clean-up man Kyle Spangler put one in the netting just beyond the right field wall, to give the Apaches the 7-6 advantage.
After a long fly out to center, the next batter walked, prompting Federico to go to his bullpen once again. Freshman Damien Givens allowed just one base runner the rest of the way, but it was too late, as MCC could never tie the score.
The Eagles threatened in the eighth when they loaded the bases with three walks with just one out, but a strike out and a ground out ended the threat. MCC then struck out in order in the ninth.
Reliever Chris Reed picked up the win for TJC, while Collis got the save.
Tyler took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third thanks to three singles and a sacrifice fly.
MCC got its six-run, fifth-inning rally started, oddly enough, when Lance Dawkins struck out but reached first when the ball got away from the catcher.
After a single by McKee and a strike out, Tyler Scarbrough singled off the third baseman's glove, driving in the first run for MCC. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, but McKee advanced to third on the play.
Drew Van Sickle then beat out a slow roller to short for a hit, scoring McKee for the tying run.
After a walk, Adam Smith drove in one run and Walt Bounds followed with a two-run double to make it 5-2. Billy Porter then singled in Bounds for the last MCC run of the day.
Meridian out-hit Tyler 10-8 on the day, with Bounds ripping a double and single and Scarbrough reaching on two singles and a pair of walks. Van Sickle also had two singles for MCC.
The Eagles are scheduled to host Bevill (Ala.) State in a single game at 2 p.m. on Tuesday before playing host to East Mississippi Community College, East Central Community College and Jones Community College in the Rush Classic on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.