EUNICE, La. – A disappointed Clint Alford spent a few moments after Thursday’s 9-8 NJCAA Region 23 Tournament loss to Hinds texting a friend the bad news.
But all the news wasn’t gloomy.
Alford, ICC’s sophomore third baseman, went 5-for-5 with a double and an RBI for the fourth-ranked Indians.
“I’m starting to make more solid contact,” said the West Alabama signee from Tupelo. “I’ve been getting ahead, hitting fastballs early in the count.”
ICC’s bats produced 17 hits in the loss, but left 11 runners stranded.
“We just didn’t get the big hits at the right time,” Alford said.
Next for Alford and ICC – an attempt to win four straight games in this tournament.
“It’s going to be tough; we’ve got to win out against some really good teams,” Alford said. “This team has a lot of heart.
“We want to win and go to the World Series.”
LSUE coach Jeff Willis has recorded an impressive 276-76 career record in seven seasons with the Bengals. His teams have won four region titles and two national championships – last season and in 2006. … ICC last won the region and qualified for the World Series in 2003. The Indians won a school-record 46 games (46-11) and finished in fifth that season.
ICC broke up its eight-hour bus ride to Eunice on Wednesday with an hour-long workout at Southeastern Louisiana’s ballpark in Hammond, La. … Four Indians have already signed letters of intent with four-year schools – Lige Mitchell, Dustin Lunn and Clint Alford (West Alabama) and Justin Bryant (Auburn). Josh Chism (Lipscomb) is expected to sign after the season. … If ICC wins this tournament, it would be only the third team from Mississippi to win division, state and region titles in a season.
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal