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Lions, Eagles split twin bill

By By Robby Atkinson / staff writer
March 28, 2004
Meridian Community College and East Mississippi Community College entered Saturday's doubleheader at Scaggs Field having traveled very different paths through the 2004 season.
MCC came into the twin bill with a 23-3 record and a No. 3 ranking in the nation, while the Lions came in at 7-17 with several injuries throughout the roster. On paper the Eagles were the overall favorite, but sometimes the game of baseball can produce an upset.
East Mississippi took a 5-4 win in game one thanks to a great pitching performance from Robert Tucker, but the Eagles bounced back in game two to take an impressive 13-0 shutout to salvage a spilt for the day. MCC pitcher Matthew Rozier tossed a complete game no-hitter in the second game.
MCC (24-4) returns to action Tuesday at home against Alabama Southern in a single game beginning at 2 p.m. and East Mississippi (8-18) will travel to Shelton State for one game at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
East Mississippi 5
MCC 4
The Lions scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning and held off a late comeback from MCC to take the one-run win.
Tucker (1-2) recorded the win on the mound for the Lions, going six innings and allowing four hits to go along with seven strikeouts.
East Mississippi's Tyler Bratton led the game off with a single and scored on an RBI single to left field by catcher Justin Faulkner to give the Lions a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
The Lions' Blake Pippin led the third off with a single, and David Nanney collected a single to put a pair of runners on base for the Lions. Faulkner followed with a base hit to left to load the bases, and Rod Williams drew a walk to bring home Pippin for a 2-0 advantage.
Eagles starting pitcher Chad Catalano (5-1) ended his day soon after the walk and took his first loss of the season.
Jason Phillips came in for MCC and didn't have much luck against the bats of East Mississippi. Two more runs crossed the plate moments later on a crucial throwing error by Van Pope at third base to extend EMCC's lead to 4-0.
Lance Burnham delivered an RBI single to left that plated another run for a 5-0 lead.
MCC struck for its first hit and first run of the game in the fourth inning off a solo home run by Van Pope to cut the lead to 5-1.
The Eagles scored two runs in the in the sixth inning on a two-run double by Kyle Ginn to make the score 5-3.
MCC first baseman Joey Lieberman added a solo homer in the seventh, but it wasn't enough as the Lions held on for the win.
MCC 13
EMCC 0
The Eagles came right back in game two to take a convincing win to salvage the split.
MCC scored four runs in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead over the Lions. Three runs scored on a three-run home run by Lieberman, and Dillon Sudduth hit an RBI double in the inning.
Rozier pitched a complete five-inning no-hitter to improve his record to 3-1. He struck out four batter and walked two in a 66-pitch performance.
MCC scored three runs in the third inning for a 7-0 lead over EMCC. The highlight of the third inning was a two-run home run by Sam Self. It was his first home run of the season.
The Eagles closed the game with six runs in the fourth. Sudduth added hit a two-run double in the inning, and Pope notched an RBI double in the six-run fifth inning. Drew Van Sickle chipped in with a one-run double, and Micheal Murray added an RBI on a sacrifice fly.

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