Northwest Splits Final Non-Conference Twinbill with East Central
April 7, 2012By Kevin Maloney of NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SENATOBIA – The Northwest-East Central matchup held true to its recent history on Friday afternoon, with the Warriors taking a 16-6 run-rule win in the opener before the Rangers bounced back with a 3-1 victory to split the doubleheader. The teams have now split the last 18 meetings dating back to the 2001 season.
Northwest moved to 16-16 overall and East Central moved to 21-13, winning the season series 3-1.
Northwest jumped all over starter Shawn Wiseman in the first inning of game one, chasing him after just 1/3 inning of work and taking an early 4-0 cushion. Dex Herrington's one-out, line drive three-run home run to left put the Rangers on the scoreboard, with Jimmy Braswell later scoring off an infield error.
The lead was short-lived, however, with East Central bringing 11 runners to the plate and responding with a seven-run second to take its first lead. They never looked back after that.
After cruising through the first, Nolan Ryan (2-4) struggled to find the strike zone in the inning, walking three consecutive batters and giving up four singles before being relieved by Chris Casto. Two more runs would score before Casto finally got Rubert Alcantara to groundout to third to end the inning.
The Rangers got one back in the bottom of the second, with Josh Johnson reaching on a leadoff error and coming all the way around to score on the play.
Leading 8-5 after three, East Central again rallied for a big inning to put the game out of reach.
A six-run fourth inning, that saw the Warriors issued five free passes (two walks, three hit-by-pitches) and send 11 runners to the plate, ended on a double play into left where Herrington threw out Tim Anderson on a line at home. They'd add two more in the sixth for the run-rule victory.
Eight different Warriors picked up hits in the win, with six of those driving in two runs each. Johnson, Herrington, Justin Rose and Bradley Noland each had hits for Northwest.
Colt Burns' (5-0) second complete-game performance of the year helped the Rangers earn the split with a 3-1 game two win, with the lone Warrior run coming in the final frame.
Northwest broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth, using an error on a stolen base attempt into second and Braswell's RBI-single into centerfield, to take a 2-0 lead.
The Rangers added a single run in the third on a trio of East Central miscues, striking out twice but reaching base thanks to a wild pitch and passed ball. After a failed pickoff attempt moved runners over, Johnson would score on a passed ball.
East Central's lone run came in the seventh (unearned), with Terrance Steele keeping the inning alive on a two-out, infield single and later scoring off an error.
Burns finished the game with eight strikeouts against just two walks and scattered seven hits.
Northwest was out-hit 7-2 in the game, but took advantage of four Warrior errors for the victory.
Braswell and Herrington picked up the lone Ranger hits, with Braswell extending his streak of reaching base safely in 18 consecutive games. His hit streak was snapped at 14 in game one.
Northwest will return to the diamond on Saturday, playing host to Holmes (15-13, 6-6 north) at 3 p.m.