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National powers in contention for Rush Invitational title

By By Austin Bishop/Special To The Star
Feb. 15, 2001
The Meridian Community College baseball team will face its second big test of the young season when the Eagles host the 2001 Rush Invitational Baseball Tournament this weekend.
The Rush Invitational has been an annual event since the mid-1990s and has featured such national powers as Okaloosa-Walton, Georgia Perimeter and Northeast Texas.
This year's guests for the three-day, four-team round-robin event will be Faulkner (Ala.) State, Columbia (Tenn.) State and Panola (Texas) College.
Grand Junction, Colo., is the site of the NJCAA World Series. MCC has competed in the World Series five of the last eight seasons, including last year.
Before the Eagles, now 2-1 on the season and ranked No. 2 in the country in the NJCAA Preseason Poll, get ready to face the Rush Invitational field, they will take on Bevill (Ala.) State in a single game today at 3 p.m.
The Eagles were supposed to play at Bevill on Wednesday, but the game was moved to Scaggs Field today due to inclement weather.
The home game with Bevill scheduled for April 18, will now be played at Bevill at 1 p.m.
Freshman Chord Robinson of West Lauderdale is expected to get the start on the mound for MCC in today's game.
The first game on Friday afternoon features Faulkner State taking on Columbia State at noon, while MCC and Panola face off at 3 p.m.
Saturday's action has Panola and Faulkner meeting at noon and MCC and Columbia State playing at 3 p.m. Sunday's action has Columbia and Panola playing at noon and MCC and Faulkner wrapping up the weekend at 3 p.m.
Martin LaRocca (1-0) will get the start for MCC on Friday, while Brian Reed (0-0) gets the nod on Saturday and Jason Wimberly (1-0) is set to go on Sunday.
The Eagles got things started off on a strong foot last weekend, winning two-of-three games in the Okaloosa-Walton Tournament.
MCC beat Central Florida on Friday, before losing to Miami-Dade 3-0 in extra innings on Saturday and then bouncing back to beat Okaloosa-Walton 11-10 on Sunday.