The season came to an end for the East Central Community College baseball team with consecutive losses in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 Tournament being held May 17-21 on the campus of Jones County Junior College in Ellisville.
East Central, the No. 5 seed in the six-team, double-elimination tournament, dropped its opening game 8-1 to the No. 2 seed Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers Wednesday, May 17. The Warriors were eliminated the following day with a 21-2 five-inning, run-rule loss to No. 1 ranked and No. 1 seed Jones County Junior College.
The Warriors couldn’t get the bats going in the opening game loss to Northwest. The score was tied 0-0 going to the bottom of the third inning when the Rangers put two runs on the scoreboard. Northwest added five more in the bottom of the fourth to break the game wide open.
East Central could manage only four hits off Northwest pitcher Jarod Wright. The lone Warrior run came off a fielder’s choice in the top of the fourth inning. Brandon Clark out of Neshoba Central was the only East Central player with multiple hits with two.
Kolby Crowley out of Winston Academy started and took the loss for East Central.
The East Central pitching staff had a rough afternoon in the loss to Jones County. A total of nine Warrior pitchers gave up 19 hits, walked eight, and hit four batters. Jones County also benefited from five East Central errors.
The Bobcats batted around in the top of the third scoring eight times, and again in the top of the fifth, scoring seven more runs.
The only runs for East Central came on a home run from Cole Prestegard out of Huntsville (Ala.) High School and an RBI single from Billy Cameron from Mendenhall.
Peyton Lott, who prepped at Seminary High School, took the loss, pitching the one and two-thirds innings and giving up five runs.
East Central ended its season with a 33-17 record.
Also participating in the tournament are No. 3 seed LSU-Eunice, No. 4 seed Hinds Community College, and No. 6 seed Pearl River Community College.
The tournament champion will advance to the NJCAA Division II Baseball World Series in Enid, Okla., May 27-June 3.