By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
Keeping up with school sports schedules can be like peeling an onion – there are more layers than you can imagine.
A mostly unrecognized layer for Mississippi junior college baseball is its fall schedule, which Itawamba Community College and Northeast Community College are in the middle of right now.
“We get all of our defensive stuff put in, get all of our signs, and what’s expected in situations,” Itawamba head coach Rick Collier said. “We also touch on some hitting and pitching mechanics.”
It has been a somewhat busy off season for ICC, after the completion of its 39-13 season in the spring.
Tupelo sophomore pitcher Ben Hudspeth has committed to Mississippi State, and infielder Tyler Tipton to the University of Kentucky.
On the field currently, Itawamba is in the middle of its Steak and Beans series, a best of five intersquad event. That includes a 2 p.m. contest today – prior to the Copiah-Lincoln football game – and Friday at 2 p.m.
ICC also has games scheduled Oct. 12 at MSU against East Central and Jones County, and Oct. 19 in Jackson against Southwest (Tenn.), and Southwest Mississippi.
“The players look forward to playing those games,” Collier said. “We’ll see how some guys do, and get to look at all the freshmen.”
Collier reports that sophomores Dylan Earnest from Hamilton and Cody Shrewsberry from Tupelo have looked good. Of the incoming freshmen, Tyler Nelms from Kossuth, Ethan Waldrop from North Delta Academy, Ethan Gill from Pontotoc, and former MSU signee Jacob Shumpert from Oak Hill Academy.
Northeast head coach Kent Farris has welcomed back 18 sophomores for fall ball off a 16-30 season, plus his incoming freshmen.
“We’re at the point now where we need to evaluate ourselves against outside competition,” Farris said. “The kids have been working hard, and we’ve been into practice about a month.”
Farris reports that sophomores Will Robertson from Falkner and Josh Mill from Lafayette are currently playing well. Other sophomore showing promise so far are Tre Welch from Booneville, Jack Beck from Alcorn Central, Ethan Estes from Biggersville, and Chris Aichinger from Ga.
As part of the fall schedule, Northeast sophomores reported to Hinds Community College Sept. 14-16 for a Sophomores Showcase for all the junior colleges in the state.
Besides intersquad scrimmages, Northeast will be at Meridian Saturday for games against Meridian Community College and East Central. Then Oct. 17, Northeast will be at Pearl River for games against Faulkner State and Belhaven.