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franklin county times

Two paths to Region 23 Tourney

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
May 9, 2003
The two representatives from the newly formed Central Division, Meridian Community College and East Mississippi Community College, at the Region 23 Baseball Tournament took two very different routes to Scaggs Field this weekend.
MCC rolled into the four-day event, that began on Thursday, like a brand-new, sleek sports car. Which makes sense because the Eagles joining the league is the reason why the Central was added along with the traditional North and South Division.
EMCC made its way to the regional championship series more like a classic sports car, that needed a little work before it could motor around the track.
The Eagles came off the starting line hard and fast.
MCC piled on the wins early and often in the division.
The Eagles went 3-1 in their first four games of conference play.
MCC swept East Central Community College at Chris Gay IV Memorial Field on March 25 in a double-header 13-5 and 9-3, and the squad followed the conference opener sweep splitting a double-header against the Holmes Community College Bulldogs at Scaggs Field.
The Eagles went on to on to clinch the Central on April 18 at home against their fellow representative in the regional tournament from the division, the Lions.
MCC posted a double-header sweep of EMCC at Scaggs Field to lock up the divisional crown and earn berths to both the Region 23 and State Baseball Tournaments.
Now the Eagles need to keep the ball rolling at Scaggs, as they search for another title and a ticket to Grand Junction, Ariz., for the junior college World Series.
EMCC fine tuned itself throughout the year in order to get to the tourney this weekend.
The Lions began the regular season with a 3-6 record, but the squad was able to bang out the dents of its classic sports car body and hit the open road.
EMCC rallied off seven straight wins before constant rain and Spring Break put the team back into the garage for a while.
The classic roadster that was the Lions this year didn't fair well after coming out of an idle position.
The squad from Scooba dropped nine consecutive games after emerging from the garage on March 19.
It took a week for the team to refuel and get back in victory lane with a 5-4 win over Bevill on March 26.
After the win, the Lions had to continue to scrap for victories until the end of the season for a shot at a postseason appearance.
EMCC entered the final week of the regular season having to sweep its final two divisional double-headers against Hinds Community College and East Central Community College.
Proving that with a little elbow grease a classic vehicle never goes out of style, the Lions dropped Hinds 14-8 and 4-0 to set up one last drag race into the postseason with ECCC.
EMCC's final game of the year at Gerald Poole Field was ripe with possibilities and scenarios, but only one meant the Lions' season wasn't over they had to sweep.
The team rose to the challenge again notching 6-5 and 5-0 wins over ECCC to roll into the Region 23 tourney.
Now the two squads that took very different roads are racing for one more chance to continue its season.
It may be the new sports car, with its flash and flare, or it could be the classic model that just needs a quick visit in the shop before it can cruise like new.
Either way, the representatives from the Central Division have driven long and hard, and now the teams will need to switch to another gear to get to Grand Junction.

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