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Meridian CC sweeps Rush Invitational with 11-3 victory

By By Robby Atkinson / staff writer
March 1, 2004
The Meridian Community College Eagles accomplished something that has never been done in the history of the program on Sunday afternoon at Scaggs Field.
The Eagles swept the field of the 2004 Rush Invitational for the first time in school history by taking a run rule-shortened win over Shelton State (Ala.) by a final score of 11-3.
The Eagles closed out the long 10-game home stand at 9-1, leaving MCC head coach Mike Federico pleased.
Shelton State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Brian Sprowl led off with a walk and later scored on a single by Adam Stacey.
MCC answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the first, when Michael Murray led off with a single and came around to score on an RBI single by Van Pope.
The Eagles opened the offense up in the third inning to take a comfortable 4-1 lead over Shelton State. Toddrick Johnson led the inning off with a walk and advanced to second on a stolen base. Johnson leads MCC with 10 stolen bases for the season on 11 attempts. Johnson crossed the plate moments later on a single up the middle by Aaron George to give the Eagles their first lead of the day at 2-1.
The next run that scored for MCC was due in large part to a mistake by the Buccaneers in the outfield. Sprowl failed to make a routine catch in right field and that allowed George to score all the way from first base to extend the lead to 3-1.
Sam Self drove in the fourth run of the day for MCC with a single to center that scored Joey Lieberman, who reached on the error to make the score 4-1.
MCC started to pull away for good in the fourth inning thanks to a two-run homer by Ricky Newman.
The biggest blow of the game came in the fifth inning, which spelled the end for Shelton State. Lieberman drilled a towering home run to center, scoring three more runs to extend the lead to 9-1. Lieberman also hit the game winning homer in MCC's 9-7 win over Pensacola (Fla.) on Saturday.
Shelton State (3-11) added one run in the sixth and seventh innings to cut the lead to 9-3. One run scored on a throwing error by Pope at third in the sixth and the third run that crossed the plate was on an RBI single by Cory Barton.
MCC ended the game with two more runs in the eighth, one coming on a double by Pope that scored Jobe Allen, who led off the inning with a double.
Chad Catalano moved his record to 2- 0 by pitching six innings and allowing only one earned run with four strikeouts.
MCC returns to action Thursday against Bossier Parish on the road for the first time of the year at 1 p.m. The Eagles also face Texarkana the same day.