Eagles rip Alabama Southern
By By Austin Bishop / EMG regional sports director
March 31, 2004
It was almost unfair.
No matter what any of the four Alabama Southern pitchers threw up to the plate at Scaggs Field on Tuesday afternoon, homestanding Meridian Community College seemed to hit it.
The Eagles banged out 17 hits for the day, including four homers, to pound out a 14-3 run-rule win in just eight innings.
Meridian, now 25-4 for the season and ranked No. 3 in the country by the NJCAA, jumps back into MACJC Central Division play with doubleheader road trips to Hinds Community College on Saturday and East Central Community College on Tuesday. Hinds and MCC are both 3-1 in league play.
It didn't take the Eagles long to light up Alabama Southern starter Eric Lassiter (2-1).
Lead-off hitter Michael Murray singled to left and scored on a double to the wall by Toddrick Johnson. Three-hole hitter Van Pope then homered into the net beyond the right-field wall to make it 3-0.
Joey Lieberman singled to left and moved up to second when the ball was misplayed. An error on Aaron George's grounder to first put MCC up 4-0 before ASCC could even record an out.
Meridian picked up another run to take a 5-0 lead after one inning of play when George scored on Sam Self's ground out to short.
The Eagles scored an unearned run in the third to make it 6-0, before the visitors scored twice in the top of the fourth off MCC starter Chris Moffett (3-0). Neal Malpass led off with a single for Alabama Southern and scored on Tim Babin's homer to right.
MCC answered in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer to left by Lieberman. It was his team-leading 12th home run of the season. His 42 RBIs also lead the Eagles.
The visitors picked up two more runs in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of three walks, a hit batter, a sacrifice fly and a single to cut Meridian's lead to 9-4.
But Meridian just kept hacking away at the plate, scoring three times in the fifth and adding another run in the sixth on a solo homer by George.
Left-hander Dusty Davis and Tyler Hunter were excellent in relief, combining for four strikeouts, no walks and just one hit in 3.1 innings of work.
Self sent everybody home early, when the sophomore outfielder ripped a two-run homer to left-center in the bottom of the eighth.
Eight of Meridian's nine starters had at least one hit in the game, while Murray, Lieberman and George picked up three each. Johnson and Self had two apiece.
Travis Grandberry had two singles to lead Alabama Southern, which fell to 20-7 for the year.