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MCC splits doubleheader

By Staff
CAUGHT n MCC's Lance Dawkins is tagged out by Jefferson State second baseman Brandon Hoffman Thursday. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Austin Bishop/Special To The Star
March 16, 2001
The Meridian Community College baseball team continued its roller-coaster ride of a season on Thursday afternoon, dropping a disappointing 8-4 loss to Jefferson (Ala.) State in the first game of a doubleheader, before bouncing back to take an 11-2 win in the second game.
The killer for MCC in the first game was hitting into double plays.
The Eagles got runners on base while they were trying to mount a comeback, but hit into rally-killing double plays in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
While Dustin Cliburn may not have been John Wayne, he was at least a good imitation of Clint Eastwood on Thursday.
After hitting a homer, single and double and driving in three of Meridian's four runs in the opener, he had two singles and a homer to drive in four more runs in the nightcap.
He had hits in six consecutive at bats over the two games combined.
Another player who has been hot as of late is second baseman Chris Wright.
He had three hits against Faulkner on Tuesday, and then after sitting out Thursday's first game, went two-for-three with a pair of doubles.
MCC, now 15-7 on the season, scored three runs in the bottom of the first in the nightcap, then used four doubles to score five more in the second and take an 8-0 lead.
Meridian, which plays host to Kishwaukee (Ill.) in a single game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, had six doubles in the game, one short of the school record.
It was Cliburn's three-run homer that gave MCC its lead in the first. Wright, Chris Knight, Antoin Gray and Tyler Scarbrough all had doubles in the second.
After Jefferson State, now 15-8, scored two in the third to cut it to 8-2, the Eagles answered with three more in the fourth with a two-out rally.
Cliburn singled and later stole home on a double steal, while Scarbrough singled and scored on a wild pitch and Wright doubled in Lance Dawkins, who had walked.
Martin LaRocca (4-1) picked up the win on the mound, striking out three and allowing six hits over five innings, without giving up a walk.
Meridian and Jefferson were tied at 3-3 after three innings, before the visiting Pioneers scored two times in the fourth and two more times in the fifth to take control of the game.
Chord Robinson (1-2) took the loss on the mound for the Eagles. Cliburn was the only Eagle to have multiple hits in the game.
After Saturday's game with Kishwaukee, the Eagles play host to Shelton (Ala.) State at 2 p.m. Sunday in a single game.

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