By NEMCC Media Relations
BOONEVILLE – Northeast Mississippi Community College’s baseball team capped its 2009-10 regular season early with a sweep of Mississippi Delta that propelled the Tigers into the postseason.
After moving its doubleheader up a day in anticipation of inclement weather in the northeast Mississippi area, Northeast dispatched Mississippi Delta 10-4 and 10-9 in clinching a berth in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges postseason.
Northeast (25-25, 15-9 in North Division) wrapped up the third seed from the North Division after Coahoma scored an upset of Northwest on the final day of regular season breaking a potential tie with the Rangers and handing Northeast the third seed.
Northeast will play Hinds Community College in Raymond on Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8 in a best-of-three series to open up the MACJC playoffs.
Northeast secured its berth in the postseason with a 10-4 decision over the Trojans in the opener.
Brandon Farley (Cookeville, Tenn.) kept the Mississippi Delta bats in check as the Tigers built an 8-2 decision by the end of the third.
Mississippi Delta (14-32, 11-13) handed the Tigers their first run of the game when the Trojans dropped a fly ball in the outfield that allowed Northeast to get on the board.
Northeast did not need any favors in the second inning as the Tigers came out in their second at bat with a two-RBI single by Hunter Mize (Lafayette County) and an RBI double by Will Wallis (Ripley) in recapturing the lead.
Mississippi Delta briefly held the lead on the Tigers after the Trojans blasted home runs in back-to-back at bats. Brett White and Sam Ruston gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage in the top of the second – and the back-to-back homers wasn’t the only time during the day that the Trojans would turn the trick.
Northeast pushed its lead to 8-2 in the bottom of the third as Wallis collected two more RBI with a single to the outfield and after spotting the Trojans a run in the fourth – on another solo blast. Northeast put the game out of reach with a home run of its own when Michael Collie (Houston, Tenn.) connected on a two-run blast.
In the nightcap, Northeast battled back from a 6-2 deficit and an 8-5 deficit in taking a 10-9 win over the Trojans and clinching the third seed from the North.
Mississippi Delta came out of the gates on fire offensively in the nightcap – with Spencer Brunson and Hunter Bolden hitting back-to-back solo homeruns. Brunson and Bolden’s blasts were the fourth and fifth on the day for the Trojans and marked the second time Mississippi Delta hit back-to-back home runs in the doubleheader.
Northeast allowed Mississippi Delta to jump out to a 4-0 lead when the Tigers committed a pair of errors but Lee Griffin (Tishomingo County) started the comeback for Northeast in the bottom of the third. Griffin sent his first career homerun over the fence in left cutting the lead in half with his two-run blast.
After pair of runs in the fourth by the Trojans, Northeast cut it to a one-run game when John Stephens (Ripley) hit a two-run bomb and Nathan White (Pontotoc) chased in a run with an RBI double.
Northeast took its first lead of the contest as Kyle Emison (Mooreville) sent a three-run blast out of Harold T. White Field in the bottom of the sixth giving the host a 10-8 advantage.
Northeast returns to action this weekend as the Tigers travel to Raymond for the first round of the MACJC postseason. Northeast plays Hinds in a best-of-three series with first game set for 6 p.m. on Friday and game two of the series at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The ‘if necessary’ game will immediately follow Saturday’s nine-inning affair.