Second season starts today
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
May 9, 2002
Gulf Coast Community College baseball coach Cooper Farris might not get much argument from many of the teams in this year's Region 23 Division I Baseball Tournament when he says, "The big thing is we can throw out the records."
Half of this year's field comes in below .500. Delgado is the obvious pre-tournament favorite with a 41-9 record and a No. 12 ranking in the final NJCAA poll.
Farris' team lost all four meetings with Delgado during the regular season.
In today's games, Meridian, 24-26, takes on Mississippi Delta, 23-16, at 1 p.m., Delgado meets Gulf Coast, 21-22, at 4, and MACJC state champion Jones, 27-22, faces East Mississippi, 17-29, at 7 at Scaggs Field.
Delgado is the Miss-Lou Conference champion and is 10-2 against the tournament field. Leading the Dolphins at the plate are Mike Prestenback (.401, 15 2B, 3 HR, 39 RBI), Nathan Meiners (.400, 14 2B, 4 HR), and Ryan Core (.385, 17 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR).
Top pitchers for Joe Scheuermann's team are Chris Bourgeois (8-0, 3.88, 58 IP, 50 K), Jared Terrebonne (5-1, 1.75, 46.1 IP, 55 K), and Brandon Hollingsworth (4-0, 4.23).
Gulf Coast is the defending region champion, having beaten Bossier Parish 4-3 in the 2001 finals.
Pitching is Gulf Coast's strong suit as the Bulldogs boast a 3.78 team ERA.
Catcher Jacob Brown leads the Bulldogs with a .389 average. Other top hitters are first baseman Chas Evans (.350) and shortstop Justin Mundt (.300).
Leading the pitching staff for Gulf Coast are Jonathan Butterfield (6-2) and Clint Whitfield (3-0).
Meridian also comes in below .500.
We've played well the last 20-25 games," MCC coach Mike Federico said. "We've just got to get after it. I've been here three years and the best team doesn't always win it, in my opinion.
The Eagles were 2-4 against Delgado.
Top hitters for MCC are Adam Smith (.345), Lance Dawkins (.335), and Tyler Scarbrough (.325). Top Eagle pitchers are Todd Doolittle (6-2), Tim Jones (4-4), Justin Rayborn (3-4), and Chord Robinson (4-0).
The Delta Trojans are led by shortstop Norwood Taylor (.345), third baseman Juan Ortiz (.340), first baseman Brett Cerda (.335), and left fielder Keith Fitzgerald (.320, 8 HR).
The ace of Terry Thompson's pitching staff is Raymond Rivera (7-3).
The Trojans lost a coin flip for the No. 1 seed with Jones as both finished MACJC play with identical 15-9 marks.
Jones comes in hot, winning the MACJC state championship last week at Senatobia.
The top hitter for the Bobcats is catcher Wyn Spencer (.357), a transfer from Tulane. Other top hitters are right fielder Ricky Breazeale (.355), designated hitter Michael McCraney (.343), second baseman Craig Bush (.337), and center fielder Scott Robertson (.311). Jones has a .288 team batting average.
Glaze's top pitchers are Chris Holloman (9-1), Matt McAlpin (8-4), and Jared White (2-0, 1.54, 3 saves).
The Lions of East Mississippi are led by first baseman Ben Mason (.369, 9 2B, 3 HR, 31 RBI), outfielder Kent Lewis (.329, 15-17 SB), outfielder Wade Whitaker (.321, 20-23 SB, 42 runs), third baseman J.D. Harbour (.314, 20 RBI), and outfielder Josh Snider (.303). The Lions have a .286 team batting average.
Getting the nod on the mound in the opener is Lee Boyd (3-9, 4.31 ERA). Four of Boyd's losses have been by one or two runs, EMCC coach Bill Baldner said.
Other EMCC pitchers are Bill Cotton (3-3, 6.23), Donte Hill (2-5, 6.46), Andrew Lilly (2-3, 3.76), Nick Dimino (1-4), and closer Ryan Clay (2-2, 3.24, 3 saves).