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Eagles split with Shelton St.

By Staff
GETTING DIRTY n MCC second baseman Matt McClesky forces out a Shelton State baserunner on a double-play Wednesday. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Robby Atkinson/Special to The Star
May 3, 2001
Now the real season begins!
The MCC Eagles concluded the 2001 season with a double header split with Shelton St. CC.
The Eagles finished the season with an overall record of 36-16. Meridian returns to action next Thursday in the Region 23 Tournament when the Eagles face Jones Junior College. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Shelton St. 4, Meridian 2: Justin Roberts pitched a complete game for Shelton St. to take the first contest. Roberts pitched seven innings and struck out two Eagles to lead to the victory. Meridian scratched for a run in the fourth inning of action to take the early lead over Shelton. Lance Dawkins reached on a Shelton St. error to begin the scoring threat for the Eagles.
Dawkins later crossed the plate on an RBI double by Matt McClesky to give Meridian the early 1-0 advantage. Shelton St. quickly answered in the following inning with three runs of their own. Eugene Rodriguez reached on an error and later scored on a single by Jonathan Smalley to tie the game 1-1. Another runner reached base for Shelton on yet another Eagle error to begin a scoring threat. Both runs scored on a double by Jared Walker to give Shelton St. the 3-1 lead after five innings of action.
Meridian tried to mount a comeback in the sixth inning of play with a run. Trave Hopkins led the inning off with a double and the run later scored on a single by Ben Shannon to draw Meridian closer at 3-2. Shelton St. added an insurance run in the seventh to secure the win over Meridian. Smalley led the inning off with a walk and Chris Stacey drove in the run on a double to give Shelton St. the two run win.
Martin LaRocca took the tough loss for the Eagles to run his record to 7-3.
LaRocca pitched five innings and struck out three batters in the pitching loss for the Eagles.
MCC 8, Shelton St. 1:: The homestanding Eagles used their power to take the seven run win in the second game of the twinbill. The Eagles started the scoring in the opening inning of the contest with four runs. Travis Garner led the inning off with a double to get things started for Meridian. Tee Thomas followed with a hit by pitch to put a pair of runner aboard for MCC. Both runs scored on a towering three run home run by first baseman Dustin Cliburn to give the Eagles a 3-0 cushion.
The Eagles added one moire run in the frame to make the score 4-0. Former Lamar star Robert Daggett reached on a walk and then scored on an RBI groundout by Rory Thornton to increase the MCC lead. Shelton St. tried to draw closer to the Eagles with a run in the second inning. Jeremy McCoy had the only run of the game for Shelton St. on a solo home run to tighten the game at 4-1.
The third and fourth inning of play saw a few special moments for the Eagles. Sophomore Tee Thomas smashed his first home run of the season to extend the Meridian lead to 5-1. Another sophomore Josh Raggio also joined Thomas with a solo home run in the fourth to make the Meridian lead 6-1. Thomas didn't seem to be satisfied as he added yet another home run to give the Eagles a comfortable 8-1 win. "It was like another day at the ballpark," Thomas said. "It felt great to hit my first home runs of the year and especially to have my parents their made the moment even better," Thomas added.
Raggio also had his first home run of the season and also shared the same emotions. "It felt great to get my first home run," Raggio said. "Hitting it on sophomore day made it very special," Raggio added. "Just having the chance felt great also." MCC honored its 13 sophomores during the break of the double header with a ceremony. Thomas finished the day with a pair of homers and three RBI's. Garner went 3for3 for the Eagles with a pair of singles and a double. Robert Daggett also added a double in the win for the Eagles.