Tigers, Indians in key matchup

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

A bit of good weather signaled a bit of good momentum for the Northeast Community College Tigers baseball team, which finds itself in first place in the North Division.
But bad weather has forced the Tigers (14-8, 7-1) into playing three doubleheaders in three days, including a key North matchup with the Itawamba Indians. Northeast will host its area rival today, with game No. 1 beginning at 1 p.m.
“We have gotten off to a real good start in the division, but we had struggled to start the season,” Northeast head coach Kent Farris said earlier this week. “The weather has been the worst I can remember.
“In the game of baseball, you need to get in a rhythm, and we had gotten in a rhythm during spring break.”
That rhythm for Northeast includes sweeps of Northwest and East Mississippi.
Farris should send Baldwyn sophomore Tanner Gaines (4-0) and Ripley freshman Ben Hellums (2-1) to the mound against ICC.
Offensively, Farris is pleased with the recent swings of Lafayette’s Josh Mills (.350) and Falkner’s Will Robertson (.361), with Chris Aichinger (.391) leading the team in hitting.
Itawamba looking up
Defending North champion Itawamba (11-13, 2-4) finds itself looking up at several teams in the division, and needing to turn that situation around quickly.
The Indians have won the North eight of the last 10 seasons, and should send sophomores Ben Hudspeth (3-3) from Tupelo and Dylan Earnest (4-1) from Hamilton to the mound against Northeast.
Pontotoc’s Ethan Gill has the Indians’ highest batting average at .394 with Jake Smith (.325) from New Hope second.
Gill leads the team with 20 RBIs.