ICC baseball visits Northeast

LOGO-ICC-Sports-Logo-copyBy David Wheeler

Special to the Journal

Action is about to pick up on the state’s junior college baseball fields.

And as league play begins, this corner of the state will get a healthy dose of a North Division Northeast logorivalry as the Northeast Tigers host the Itawamba Indians today in a doubleheader.

First pitch for Game 1 is set for 1 p.m., weather permitting.

There’s a slight chance of rain.

“It’s a big week for us, playing two of the perennial powers in the North,” said Northeast head coach Kent Farris, whose Tigers split their league opener with Northwest on Wednesday. “The series with ICC is real crucial because you can’t get yourself in a hole in the division early.”

The Tigers (8-8, 1-1) enter this two-game set having won five of six.

Sophomore Heath Wood from Kossuth tops the Northeast offense, hitting .420. Freshman Trent Turner from Brandon is at .366, and Luke Stanley, a sophomore from Lafayette, is at .323.

Farris is expecting to send freshman Cody Bo Dillard from East Union and sophomore Tyler Cox from Kentucky to the mound as starters against ICC.

“Anytime you play in division, it’s important,” Farris said. “Sure, this game carries a little bragging rights, but all the division games are important.”

ICC’s North opener

Today will be the North opener for Itawamba (10-6).

“You always want to get off to a good start in the division,” Itawamba head coach Rick Collier said. “With Northeast being first for us, it’s even a larger thing.”

Sophomore Drew Wheeler, from Mooreville, has been swinging a solid bat for the Indians, hitting .385. Sophomore Ethan Gill from Pontotoc and freshman Luke Gibbs from Oxford are each at .333.

Collier expects to send two freshmen out as the starting pitchers for the matchup – T. J. Watson from Georgia, and Brandy Chambley from Winona Christian.

“Those two pitchers are the hottest we’ve got,” Collier said.