Northeast splits division opener against Itawamba

Northeast Mississippi Community College baseball team knew starting off division play against rival Itawamba Community College would be a challenge.
However, the Tigers were able to earn a split in their first Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division doubleheader of the year after dropping the first game 6-3 with a 4-2 decision in the nightcap in Fulton.
After seeing a sixth inning comeback from Itawamba in the opener, Northeast (10-9, 1-1) broke open a 2-all game in the fifth inning as sophomore catcher Will Wallis (Ripley) ripped an RBI double giving the Tigers a 3-2 advantage and the Indians handed Northeast a two-run cushion when a throwing error allowed Stuart York (Oxford) to score later in the frame.
Earlier in the contest, Northeast jumped on the host during its first at bat as Corey Smith (New Albany) used a groundout to give the Tigers a run.
However, Itawamba rebounded in the bottom half of the frame when Jake Smithey hit a two-out, two-run double that put the hosts up 2-1.
Drew Chisholm (Saltillo) made sure the Tigers were in position for the win in the second game as the Northeast freshman’s fielder’s choice knotted the game at 2-all in the second. Northeast kept the Itawamba bats in check for the nextthree innings until Wallis’ hit in the fifth set the stage for the Tigers’ first division win of the year.
In the opener, Itawamba starter Taylor Dickerson handcuffed Tiger batters forcing 13 fly ball/pop-ups during his five-plus innings on the mound but Northeast handed Dickerson a no decision with a sixth-inning comeback that tied the game at 3-all.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, Itawamba watched as Northeast mounted a mini comeback in the fourth when Jacob Long (Vardaman) made Dickerson pay when the Northeast sophomore laced a two-out RBI double to the outfield that cut theIndian lead to a run.
After surrendering a run on a John Gatlin fielder’s choice in the fourth, Matt Davis (Iuka) came on in the fifth and shut down an Indian rally getting the Tigers out of a one-out, bases loaded jam and opened the door for the Northeast come back.
Northeast battled back and knotted the game at 3-all in the sixth with two outs when Drew Cristo (Booneville) and Will Wallis (Ripley) picked up a pair of runs for the Tigers. Cristo scampered home on a wild pitch while Wallis laced and RBI single to the outfield to knot of the game and chased Dickerson from the game.
Itawamba was able to walk away with the win when the Indians loaded the bases with one out in the sixth and picked up three runs on a pair of hits batsmen and a wild pitch.
Northeast continues North Division action on Tuesday, March 22 as the Tigers travel to Moorhead to take on Mississippi Delta Community College. Northeast’s next home game at Harold T. White field in Booneville is Saturday, March 26 when the Tigers host Holmes Community College.